The village in which this story took place was sunny and warm. the street was hot from hours of not having shade, and the sky was filled with purely white, chicken-fat clouds. There were children playing outside, most children were playing hopscotch, jump rope, playing tag, or house. Only one child was not. She wore a green skirt and a hair ribbon. She had taken her shoes off and begun to pull baby birds out of them, like there had been a nest in them all along. The little girl held a baby bird in her hand, whispered to it with a smile, and sent it into flight.
The birds flew to nearby trees as though they’d been flying their whole lives. When there were no more birds, she politely asked a nearby man for his cane. She took it, holding it in front of her with one hand on top, and jumped onto it with ease. With one leg sticking out for balance, she reached out and plucked a big apple off a tree. Then she jumped off, handed the cane back to the now perfectly perplexed man, and offered the apple to a very hungry looking lady. The little girl walked back into the mass of children, where she joined a game of tag. She was having fun being chased, but she tripped over a large root and tore her skirt by accident. It seemed to be no bother to her, for she simply stood up, brushed her hands across it, and the tear was gone, but the boy who was chasing her stood frozen in place. Only his eyes moved, darting back and forth from her face to the dress.
He looked so confused that the girl couldn’t hold her laughter, so she laughed, but not unkindly. Then she said, “Silly! It’s Just a trick of the eye. Would you like me to show you?” The boy nodded.
“What’s your name?” The girl asked.
“Daniel.” The boy said, “and yours?”
“Sabrina,” She motioned to him, “Daniel, come closer.” He had taken a few steps back, “Take the bottom of your shirt, and make a small tear.” Daniel took the part of his shirt closest to his waist and tore a hole. “Okay, now take your hands, and brush them across the tear, as if you are trying to shake dirt off.” He brushed his hands across the tear, but when he took his hands away, it was still there. Daniel tried many more times, every time the tear was still there. Sabrina sighed, she expected this to happen, but she didn’t want to discourage her possibly new friend. So, she asked, “May I?” motioning for his hands. Daniel lifted them, “Here,” Sabrina said as she took them. “Like this,” She motioned his hands in the same way, and just like that the tear was gone.
His mouth gaped with amazement, and he said, “Terrific!”
Daniel cocked his head to one side and implored, “How did you learn to do that?”
Sabrina looked off to the side, and said, “I’ve been able to do that since I was young, I never really thought about it.”
“Well,” Daniel said, “With a gift like that, I think you should share it with everyone,”
“Really?” Sabrina stood up a little straighter. “You think they’d like it?”
Right before he was about to respond, she looked at where the sun was in the sky and put a hand to her face in shock. “Oh no. I’m late, I must go home, it’s almost nighttime.”
Sabrina started running away, and Daniel called after her, “Wait! But aren’t you going to say goodbye!?”
Without stopping to turn around, Sabrina called back, “Goodbye!” as she ran towards her house.
When she got to her front door, she used magic to silence the noise of the door creaking open, her footsteps, and the sound of her breathing, as she crept into the house, and snuck into the kitchen. When she got into the kitchen, all her siblings were sitting down at the table, praying quietly over their food. With her silent spell cast, Sabrina ladled a bowl of pheasant soup, picked up a spoon, and made her way to the table. When she got there, she had the bowl set itself down on its spot, then she gestured to the chair, and it pulled itself out in such a way that it would not make any noise. Sabrina sat down in it, and it pulled itself back in. She swiftly pretended she had been praying, just in time for father to say “amen” and gesture for them to eat. Sabrina lifted her spoon but dropped it back in the bowl with a sharp chink, and her siblings next to her glanced her way. Visibly wondering, “when did she get here?” and rolling their eyes at her mischief. On the other hand, her father had also noticed her, but he was looking at her with an eyeful of disdain.
“Sabrina.” he commanded her attention.
Her eyes looked up from her soup and locked with his.
“Yes, father?” she answered.
Sabrina watched him as his hand lifted a spoon of soup up to his lips, hearing the slurp, she kept her gaze where it was.
She sat innocently in her seat, confident that she had fooled everyone with her tricks.
“I do hope you took off your shoes when you came in just now?” The corners of father’s mouth and eyebrows curved in a smirk. Sabrina’s head and shoulders slumped, she truly thought she had tricked him.
He laughed, “My darling, you may have had your siblings fooled by that little act, but you missed just one detail that gave you away…-“ her father pointed to the chandelier, “The light, when you passed in front of it you cast a shadow crossing my eyelids, that’s how I knew.”
Sabrina let out a long and frustrated sigh, “How will I ever fool you? you always know.”
“Ah,” father said, nodding, “one day you will fool me, but that will come with practice, if you practice enough, the mistakes you make will not be so frequent.”
She suddenly jolted up in her chair and gave him pleading and begging eyes, “but they’re not frequent: I practice all the time, you just don’t notice!”
Father sighed, and said dismissively, “Time to go to bed children, it’s getting past your bedtime.” He waved them off and started heading to his study. As Sabrina made her way to bed with all her siblings, aged 4 to 17, she looked back at her father. She wished, with all her heart, that her father would stop trying to get children he didn’t have.