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When I was young, you worried that my quills were useless. You said that the world was cruel, as were the people in it, and the soft down sprouting from those shafts would do no good.

"Those bits are far too garish, and yielding," you said, "they will offer you no protection."
You told me to sharpen my quills every day – that they would grow stiffer and sharper with time – that no one would be able to hurt me. Shaving them down was painful, and they often pricked me hard enough to draw blood, staining the points crimson.

"This is a beauty that others will admire," you proclaimed, dancing from crowd to crowd, from person to person, eager to garner praise for the dyes you had used to paint those bristling knives. More than once, I saw your own quills pierce your flesh as you tried to barter for approval.

Many times, I tried to dance that dance. I received shallow, disingenuous admirers – fickle people who lost interest as soon as the self-supplied pigment on my quills began to fade.

Many times, the pain of sharpening those quills was too much. If I abstained for too long, they would begin to soften. That colorful down would start to reappear.

That down was terrifying. It was a vulnerability – a weakness. It would not protect me from the spears wielded by the world.

The spears, however, were relentless, and I could not curl up on myself, lest I fall victim to my own quills, bled from both within and without.

At last, I set down my knife. Sharpening my quills had become entirely too much. I watched in panic and sorrow as they lost their points, and became riddled with soft, colorful down. These things would not protect me from the world.

Quills would keep many people from getting close enough to hurt me. On the other hand, a bristling being of rattling sabers will prick those they try to keep warm.

Feathers might not always block a spear, but, I am much more free as I soar, wounds healing, than I ever was while dancing on the ground to display my quills – a slave to the capricious nature of those I would seek approval from.

I might not be the most stunning bird in the sky.

The most important thing, though, is, now I can fly.
This is just a bit of personal drivel I've had on my mind for about a month. I really don't 'do' poetry, and, I'm really not 100% sure whether this would count as poetry or prose, but, I'm just relieved to have gotten it down, somewhere.

Preview image is by Nicholas Laughlin on Flickr:…
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SquidlikeTeacher Featured By Owner May 7, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I really like the metaphor you used. I don't know much about birds, but I can imagine the pain they go through when sharpening their quills like that. I've heard that quill's are like their nails and... Yep, that's gotta hurt.

I'm glad you're flying now.
shadowfire-x Featured By Owner May 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I wish the one that raised me wasn't still dancing on the ground, but, I'm not going to give up my wings.
SquidlikeTeacher Featured By Owner May 8, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
That seems like a very healthy descision for you. I don't know your situation, but I support you and wish you the best of luck!
wyvernskyes Featured By Owner May 6, 2015  Student General Artist
This is very beautiful, and it was very amazing to read. This is a wonderful job, and even though you say you don't "do" poetry, I hope you continue to develop your writing, because this is simply stunning(: amazing job!!:D
shadowfire-x Featured By Owner May 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I've written plenty of prose, and published a novella awhile back (granted, it was self-published, and, any schmuck can do that ='D), I just hadn't written much of anything in... a long time.
wyvernskyes Featured By Owner May 8, 2015  Student General Artist
That's awesome!!(: you should definitely get back into it, at least from an audience opinion!😉😊
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May 6, 2015
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