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A Siberian Story: Tag, You’re It

This one is for the fella on my palm

By emPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 1 min read
Top Story - February 2024
Image by author's soulmate: my hand and my new feathered friend

Snow shimmers in -24 degrees. Trees that usually wear their forest green coats are dusted by frost, looming tall and piercing the pastel coloured sky like sentinels for a citadel of silence. Finland is made of frozen moments, standing so still in between breaths of icy air. It’s serene. It’s like a dream. It’s the most enchanting thing I’ve ever seen.

How can anything possibly survive in this? I wondered.

But amidst all the snow, I pulled a packet of sun out of my pocket and sprinkled sunflower seeds into my palm. I turned to Ben, grinning, white eyelashes fluttering in determination. Extending my arm to the watercolour sky, I whispered, "wouldn't it be wonderful if --"

Not if, as it happened, but when. And when was the end of that unfinished sentence, as my mouth froze not from the minus temperatures, but from the tiny creature that had landed softly on my outstretched palm.

A Siberian Jay.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one landed on me, I was going to say.

As light as his own feathers, legs like branches bare of lichen, his black beak streamlined and carved, yet delicate as he grabbed seeds from my palm.

The night before Ben and I watched an arbitrary episode of Friends in our Kelo log cabin. It was the only English channel, showing The One With Rachel’s Assistant, the one where Rachel hires her new assistant and future lover Tag. Now, standing in a gentle snowfall, frozen still and barely breathing so as to not blow my fleeting friend away, his little feet clutching the edge of my palm, I noticed a small yellow tag clipped around his leg, just above them. To recognise him amongst his feathered family.

So, we decided to name him Tag.

Thank you, little friend, for turning my chilly fingers into a finite home for a while. I haven't washed them since.

Odesurreal poetrynature poetryHolidayGratitude

About the Creator


I’m a writer, a storyteller, a lunatic. I imagine in a parallel universe I might be a caricaturist or a botanist or somewhere asleep on the moon — but here, I am a writer, turning moments into multiverses and making homes out of them.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

Add your insights

Comments (14)

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  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    What a nice moment with Nature. Pam and I have always enjoyed feeding the Jays. Congratulations!

  • wonderful tale that captures the time and space and experience of being one with nature.

  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    How utterly charming.

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳

  • Manisha Dhalani2 months ago

    Congrats on top story!

  • Bijina Neupane2 months ago

    wow really reminded of friends surely i am gonna watch it again

  • Mackenzie Davis2 months ago

    Ooh my dream moment! I love this so much! Everything about this moment seemed like providence. :D Hello, Tag. You're a beautiful writer. 💜

  • A rare moment which shall continue to enchant the two of you for as long as there is time to remember.

  • Test2 months ago

    Fabulous work! Keep it up—congratulations!

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    I love, love, love this heartwarming story. Actually, add a million moves loves. Just fantastic, had me grinning from ear to ear. Congrats on the TS.

  • Gabriel Huizenga2 months ago

    This is FANTASTIC. An incredible moment, shared through the medium of really excellent writing. You've got a new subscriber! :)

  • Aw, what a lovely story! Congrats on the Top Story too!

  • Tracy Kreuzburg 2 months ago

    This was a delightful read. I could almost feel myself there, well done!

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