peacock featherLiving in cramped quarters in the city, most children in Singapore don’t have many opportunities to interact with wild life. This was so even when I was a young child. Back then, chancing upon a bird’s feather would be a big thing.

Believing in magic, we’d hide these found treasures between the pages of our text books, sprinkling bread crumbs over them to feed them. If we loved them enough, we used to believe, the feathers would sprout fluff at the bottoms of their shafts and eventually (very very eventually) grow into the birds themselves.

I suspect the fluff that appeared was probably mould. And of course, the feathers always fell out of the books and disappeared before they had time to turn into swans or peacocks or even crows.

Anyway – this is a poem in Zoong’s voice about that childish practice:

Fathers are like birds’ feathers

Father’s are like birds’ feathers
You got to stroke them right

Father’s are like birds’ feathers
Never ruffle them wrong

I have two feathers
One from a peacock
The other a crow

They’re both black and shiny
Like my father’s hair
Like my father wrestling with his troubles
They bend smooth and bounce back strong

I talk to my birds’ feathers every day
I pet them every night
If you love your birds’ feathers
They’ll love you back the very same way

Father’s are a lot like birds feathers
Somehow …

Did you believe in magic when you were little? Tell us about one magical belief you acted on that seems oh so foolish now …

  1. I remember believing in Santa Claus. I didn’t want to stop believing in him, even when I knew he wasn’t real. I pretended to myself, even while admitting the truth. I loved reading fairy tales and myths, and I’m sure that I did believe them when I was little.
    Sometimes, even now, I half believe I’ve seen a fairy, or at least sensed its presence. It makes life more interesting. The science side of me scoffs at this, of course. I twinkle in and out of letting myself think they’re real.

    • Audrey Chin says:

      You’re not alone Ann. I suspect most of us would still like to believe in fairies, hence the popularity of Lord of the Rings and Legolas. I remember waking up very early one morning and sneaking out of the house to try to catch sight of some garden fairies. Some mornings, when it’s particularly cool, I still half-believe it might be possible:)

  2. wonderful poem and post – and yes I still believe in magic!

  3. Audrey I still believe in magic, loved the poem and I and my children relish a chance to collect a feather. The peacock feather is a magical thing to behold and I never want to lose that.

  4. darcywiley says:

    Love this idea of the feathers growing into real birds! When I was little, I peeled up the carpet to look for secret passages. I thought for sure my dolls turned into real babies while I slept at night. I spoke into the hollow of a light pole in my apartment complex thinking someone from another time could hear me.

    • Audrey Chin says:

      Thanks for dropping by Darcy. Being in the tropics, we didn’t have carpets to peel back but I too imagined by dolls came alive at night. I can see a story emerging from the picture of a little girl whispering into “the hollow of a light pole” 😉

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