When my kids were young, they'd often find nests on the ground after violent spring storms. Sadly, doomed baby birds were sometimes lying in the grass nearby . . . vulnerable to hungry barn cats.
Once, we tried to save a little robin that was hopping around, only a week or so from being ready to fly. I put a ladder against the tree and climbed up, holding the little guy gingerly in one hand, and returned it to its (too low) nest. Trouble was, he jumped right out again. One of the kids ran inside for an Easter basket. We tossed in a few handfuls of grass, tied the handle to the branch near the nest, and, once again, I took the little bird up and placed him inside. Ploop! He was back on the ground before I was.
Photo by Sande LaFaut (used with permission)
Four or five cats were closing in fast, and one snatched the little guy before we could retrieve him, then streaked away. Nature can be cruel, or at least it would seem so to us humans.
But it always bugged me that that little bird, so close to independence, met such a tragic end. Which is why I wrote Tom's Tweet, a story in which a curmudgeonly cat's impulsive good deed goes wildly haywire when he ends up having to babysit a demanding little nestling all day. This time, I made sure the story had a happy ending, the one I wished had happened in real life: the two become friends.
So for today's writing workout:
Think back to a real-life situation, one in which you made the wrong decision or that you simply wish had ended differently, then create a story around the incident – not the way it really happened, but with a happier or more satisfying ending.
Meanwhile, remember to enter our contest to win a copy of Angry Birds Playground: Dinosaurs. Contest ends June 18th.