The girl's small round face burst with excitement. She gave a big, toothy grin and tugged on her mother's shirt.

"Look, Ma," she pointed. "Look at the bird!"

"What? Honey, there's nothing there," her mother responded irritably.

She let go of the shirt and wandered over to the old wooden fence. The bird sitting on it cocked its head to the side and then chirped loudly. It seemed to be speaking to her, so she tried to whistle back at it, puffing out her cheeks and pursing her lips; only the noise of rushing air came out. It chirped again, as if mocking the attempt. She furrowed her brow and put her stubby arms on her hips.

"Bird?" she asked cautiously.

The bird chirped back once again and rearranged its wings impatiently. She stretched out her small arm and it fluttered briefly forward before settling on her palm.

The second they touched, it was as if a veil had lifted. Nothing else mattered, and nothing else ever would.

"Phaedre," she said, this time with confidence and awe.

"Anna," came the reply in her mind.

She couldn't remember if she ever had a name before that moment.

The End

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