Beautiful story. MyMother loved Cardinals, and when I see one I think of her.

Tim Steffen

“See the cardinal?” she asked.

“No,” he replied.

“Right there.” She pressed her finger against the kitchen bay window. “Underneath the evergreen tree, by the driveway.”

He saw it – a shock of red feathers against the white snow that had fallen the night before. Next to the red cardinal alighted a female. She was plump and grayish-brown in color with ginger-tinged wings. Her orange beak pecked at the sunflower seeds his mother had scattered there early that morning.

He sniffed at the scent of milk warming on the stovetop. His mother tended to the pot, scooped in spoonfuls of chocolate, and stirred. He watched the two birds as they deftly cracked open the shells and ate the seeds inside. A gust of wind blew a cloud of light snow across the yard in a cyclone swirl of white – the first snowfall of winter, only one week before Christmas…

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