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Flash Fiction Friday: Big Thanks for Little Soup

by Miles Skelton

There once lived a little bird in a little house. In his little house, he had a little straw bed, a little iron stove, and a little wooden table. The little bird enjoyed nothing more than cooking little soups for his little bird friends. When his soups were almost ready, he would tweet into his little telephone. So delicious were his little soups, all his friends flew swiftly over. Sitting down at his little table, they would tweet their big thanks for his little soup.

Unlike people parties, where one big soup is made for a big group of people, the little bird made a personal soup for each little bird friend. He made pea soup for the green bird, carrot soup for the orange bird, chicken noodle soup for the yellow bird, and tomato soup for the red bird. For himself, the little bird filled a little bowl with one spoonful of each of the four soups to make a brown soup, for he was a brown bird.

One day, the little bird was rushing about to set the little table for his little soup party when a gust of wind blew some leaves into the little house. The little bird spread his wings over the little soup bowls so the leaves did not blow into the soup. When the leaves settled, the little bird lowered his wings, but it was impossible to tell the soups apart, for in his haste, the little bird had spilled a little of each soup into the other soups. The pea soup, the carrot soup, the chicken noodle soup, and the tomato soup were as brown as the brown soup he made for himself. There was no time to remake the little soups. He had already tweeted his friends on his telephone. They would arrive any minute.

There was a peck at the door. They were already here. The little bird did not even have time to sweep up the windblown leaves. He scooped up the leaves and looked about the little house for an empty shelf or perhaps a cupboard where he could store the leaves, when he realized there were exactly four leaves. One leaf was green, another was orange, another was yellow, and last there was red. Quickly, the little bird set the four leaves in four of the little soup bowls. He had gone through such effort to prevent the leaves from falling into the soup, and here he was placing them in the soup bowls with gusto. Even if his little friends did not enjoy leaf soup, at least the colors matched.

The little bird scurried to the door and welcomed in his little friends. They took their usual places at the little table, and gave their big thanks for the little soup in their usual manner. When the little bird’s friends raised their four little spoons, the little bird raised his too. The little bird thought that all was in the clear. It wasn’t the type or taste that mattered, only the color. But of course he would think that. His little soup did not have a leaf for a cover.

Before any of them had tasted their leafy leaf soup, the little bird’s friends set down their spoons. “I guess we’re not hungry today,” they said.

The little bird let out a squawk, and in his moment of doubt, he thought of a thing to make all the day’s problems go away. He asked his four little friends to pass around his little bowl and share his little brown soup with him.

And when the little bowl of brown soup was empty, the little bird’s friends folded their wings into megaphones and loudly thanked the little bird for the best soup they had ever tasted. They passed their little bowls of leaf soup around the little table until each of them had enjoyed each other’s soup.

Miles Skelton grew up in the desert. Now he lives by the ocean. This is his first published story.

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