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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Melody in the Mountains

Ho-Shing walked through the bamboo. It was much taller and greener than it had been further down the mountainside. As he gazed up into the canes, he spotted a pretty lavender bird. Ho-Shing whistled and the bird flew down and landed on his paw. "You are a beautiful parakeet. The colors of your wings remind me of the lilac trees, blooming in the springtime." He petted the parakeetís head. "I shall call you Mei-Ying because you remind me of the flowers that once grew in the garden when I was a small panda." Mei-Ying chirped a pretty song for Ho-Shing.

Mei-Ying flew up to his shoulder and stayed there as he walked through the bamboo forest. When he returned, Yong-Hu saw Mei-Ying. "What a pretty bird that is, Ho-Shing. Itís a parakeet, isnít it?"

"Yes. You are correct," Ho-Shing replied.

"We can use the bamboo to make her a cage. I have made many of them. Would you like me to make you one, Mei-Ying?" Yong-Hu asked.

She chirped and sang for him. Yong-Hu gathered strips of bamboo and spent the next few hours bending and shaping the bamboo. When the cage was finished, Yong-Hu took it to where Ho-Shing sat with the bird on his shoulder. "Iíve made you a cage, little parakeet," he said to the bird. She flew inside and Yong-Hu gently closed the door. Mei-Ying climbed onto the tiny swing and perched there warbling a beautiful melody.

"She likes it," Ho-Shing said, smiling.

"Yes, she seems to. Now, back to the bamboo. Iím starving," Yong-Hu said. He walked away.

Ho-Shing took Mei-Yingís cage and hung it on the branch of a pine tree. "Here you will be happy and safe," he said. He filled her tray up with seeds that heíd gathered around the woods. From then on, every day they listened to Mei-Ying singing. Her music filled the air with bright and happy tunes.

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