GENRE: YA Fiction
James Guan was not quite like other birds. There was his name, of course, James. His mother, a red-faced Guan like himself, had always admired American names. His father had preferred to go with something a little more traditional, but, as is the case in bird tradition, the mother chooses the name of the baby.
Then there were his siblings, or lack thereof. As it was, James was an only child. Birds generally have more than one child, and James always felt a little lonely without brothers or sisters to play with. There was another bird that swam hazily at the edge of James’ memory, but he did not know if it was a sibling or not. He suspected it was, as once, when James’ father had had a little too much to drink at a neighborhood party, he had said something about wishing both of his sons had survived. That was all, though. He couldn’t get his father to say anything else.
And that left the feathers. The young Guan was known to have one of the most beautiful coats of feathers in the school. Unlike his peers, who had coats that ranged from mottled brown to black and white, James’ feathers were an unusual golden color. The beauty of those feathers! Strangers would stop and stare at him as he flew passed, their mouths or beaks agape. James learned to be quick at a young age, as squirrels, ever the hoarders, would make a sport out of trying to pluck the feathers from his back.