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Songs for the Jingwei Bird

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The little bird flew slowly but surely across the water, the twigs in her beak cutting through tendrils of fog. The sun creeping over the horizon turned the boundless mist to a strange luminous substance, but the little bird knew where she was going. She swooped down below the clouds and dropped her freight, watching as the twigs fell into the ocean.

After a moment, the ocean murmured, "Good morning."

The little bird wheeled around and alighted on a crag of rock jutting up from the water. She raised a wing and nudged her beak beneath her outer feathers, fussing with the fine down lining her body. "Good morning," she finally returned, frostily.

"You seem tired today," the ocean observed.

"Only temporarily, I assure you," she said, bristling.

"I didn't mean - what I meant, is you should rest a while," the ocean said. The little bird chirruped disdainfully and went back to cleaning her feathers.

"I could tell you a story," the ocean offered. When the little bird refused the reply, the ocean sighed a great deep swell of a sigh, and began.