Although he had been Daniel’s pet for the longest time, Rocky felt as though he was treated differently than the other pets. He knew that the dog had two beds, one inside and another one outside of the house. He knew too that Daniel ran around the backyard with him every afternoon.
He also knew that the cat didn’t have a bed at all, she didn’t need one because she slept wherever she wanted. This left Rocky’s only real friend, Daniel’s pet bird Flitter, who also lived in Daniel’s room. Rocky had been placed in the drawers in Daniel’s room after he had lost one of his googly eyes when that sneaky cat was stalking Flitter and knocked Rocky off the shelf.
There was a time when Rocky and Daniel were best friends, spending hours playing with each other. Rocky was even lucky enough to be the one taken for a walk down to the park, sitting on top of Daniel’s bag, watching him as he learned to use the swings properly. But, as the years went by, Daniel got some new pets, first the dog, then the cat, followed by Flitter, and the thrill of having Rocky as his only pet seemed to wear off.
Rocky still loved to sit on the shelf and watch as Daniel started going to school and learned to ride his bike, but he missed the days when it was just him and Daniel. He wanted to try his best to get that feeling back.
This wasn’t going to be easy though. After all, Rocky didn’t have any arms or legs, so he was going to need some help to make his plan come to life. The first step was to get his missing googly-eye back on. It was never the same after he lost it and Daniel was never going to want to play with him in his current one-eyed state.
He’d try to get attention by calling out from the drawer loud enough for Flitter to hear him, but there were two opportunities each day for this to happen: Once in the morning when Daniel opened the drawer to find his digital watch, and once in the evening when Daniel opened it again to put the watch back. In the second that it took Daniel to open his drawer and close it again, Rocky would let out a high-pitched message that only Flitter could hear. “I’m in the drawer, Flitter!” he’d yell. “Please help me get my missing eye back.”
Now Flitter was a caged bird, but she was also extremely smart. Through months of practice, she had learned to open the door of her cage using only her beak. So, once Daniel had left the room, Flitter would open her cage and fly over to the drawer. She opened it up and found his friend Rocky staring back at him with a single googly-eye. Like most birds do, Flitter had excellent eyesight as well and she noticed the other googly eye lying on the bottom of the drawer. She bent down, picked it up and with a little chirp to show she was satisfied with her work, she stuck it back on to Rocky’s head.
Flitter thought that would be enough to cheer Rocky up but he was still not his usual self, so he nudged him gently, encouraging him to talk about what was wrong. Rocky was reluctant at first, but he trusted Flitter, so he spent a lot of time talking about how much he missed Daniel and how loneliness had become a familiar feeling for him over the past few months. Always the attentive bird, Flitter listened closely while nodding occasionally at just the right moments.
By the end of the day, Flitter had moved Rocky back to the shelf in Daniel’s room where he once sat and had flown back to her cage. Daniel had come home and opened the draw as usual to return his watch but, still, he did not notice Rocky with his two eyes. Worse, now that Rocky had both his eyes, being on the shelf meant that Rocky had a perfect view of Daniel as he ran around the yard with his dog, and lay on his bed with his cat.
Rocky was feeling much sadder than when the day had begun but he was unable to cry, so he just fell asleep thinking of all the memories he and Daniel had shared together. He didn’t wake up until the sun was shining through Daniel’s window, lighting up the room, allowing him to see everything once again.
Rocky watched as Daniel got out of bed and walked towards the bedroom door, only to suddenly stop in the middle of his room. Daniel’s head turned, and he walked slowly towards the shelf where Rocky was sitting. He looked a little sad as his eyes moved along the shelf, but Rocky could still not see what had caught Daniel’s attention.
To his surprise, Daniel then reached out and took Rocky off the shelf. He was looking as though he might become upset at any moment. Rocky was overjoyed, he was finally back in Daniel’s hands and as Daniel turned around, Rocky caught a glimpse of the shelf he had slept on for so many lonely nights.
From one end to the other were photographs of Daniel and Rocky; sometimes at the park, sometimes at home, sometimes relaxing in his bedroom, but always smiling.
Flitter watched as Daniel cupped Rocky tight in his hands before placing him gently in the warmth of his pocket. She then let out two pleasant sounding chirps, her friend Rocky was happy once again.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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