Chapter one: A Pica named Tiny

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I first met him on a bright summers day, when I almost stumbled over him. He was just a few feet away from our front porch, a tiny little rugged Pica Pica; or Eurasian magpie as he’s more commonly called.

He looked at me with his big, black eyes and he wasn’t scared. When I took a few steps away from the porch, he turned around and walked towards a pile of wood, that my husband had stacked nearby. He didn’t flee. They were slow, determined steps, as if he was telling me; “I’m not afraid of you.”
He reached the pile, walked in through a gap between the branches, turned around and looked out at me. It wasn’t a scared little bird, that hastily watched his surroundings. Instead, he looked directly at me; as to see if I was about to trespass into his territory.
That summer day was the start of an ongoing friendship, I didn’t know it at the time; but this tiny little magpie had a strength and determination that is rarely seen, nor in animals or in people.
We named him Tiny, because he was such a little bird; just half the size of a regular magpie fledgling. One of his wings was deformed, bent in a strange angle and much smaller than the other. Tiny was faced with one, tremendously, big challenge; he couldn’t fly.
I’m not one to use exaggerating words, but if you’re a bird, that is a tremendous problem. Most birds don’t survive it, but I will tell you right now – Tiny did.
Not only did he survive, but he has built himself a beautiful life in our front yard. So, let’s start from the beginning. Let me tell you a story of courage and compassion, that not only gave me strength when I needed it the most. It’s a friendship that has affected me. A tiny bird, larger than the life he was born into; helped me through one of the worst periods of my life.

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