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Airmail Episode 5 Wish Upon A Starling Cover Cover

Wish Upon A Starling

Solomon Hogg’s eyes and snout appeared above an eagle’s nest. His hooves held on tight to the high branches of the tree.

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“Here you go, ma’am,” Solly said to Ms Gold, an eagle. Her wing was in a cast. “Worm delivery for your babies.” 

Her baby eagles chirped with excitement. 

“Hope you feel better soon, Ms Gold,” Solly said.  

Solly reached into his vest pocket and pulled out a small tin of tuna. “I know you didn’t order this. But I figured you could use some food for yourself. At least until your wing heals.”

“Solly Hogg, you're an angel.” Ms Gold hugged the tin to her chest. Her baby eagles slurped the worms. 

“At your service!” Solly smiled. Then he carefully climbed down the tree, got on his flapicycle and rode off.

The next week at the FlapOn™ offices, Solly stood in front of the all-bird delivery team. His boss, Webster Pelican, announced, “And this month’s ‘Super Wings Award’ for most-improved delivery bird – I mean, pig – goes to Solomon Hogg!”

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Solly blushed. Webster continued, “Let’s all say it together...” The whole room of birds yelled in unison: “YOU’RE SUPER!”

All the birds clapped their feathery wings. Webster Pelican handed Solly a medal.

“Nice job, Solly!” Branston Crow cawed. 

“Sweet, sweet!” chirped Jenny Wren.

Other birds patted Solly on the back. And everyone ate their sunflower seed cupcakes. Everyone except...a pair of blue starlings. They huddled in the back by the office bird feeder. 

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“This stinks,” one starling grumbled to the other. “Super Wings Award? Pfft. His junky wings don’t even work.” They were making fun of Solly’s flapicycle.

“I know,” the other starling said. “He’s making fools of all of us.”

Over the next few days, Solly continued his great delivery service. Until...his trip to Old Tom Koala’s treehouse. Old Tom Koala’s package had to be there by 11:00. Solly looked at his watch. 

“It’s 10:56. Jeepers!” Solly pedalled faster on his flapicycle. But then he heard a whistling sound.  A corn cob flew out of a hedge. It jammed right in between the spokes of his wheel. *PRINK!* Solly lost his balance. Then *THUMP!* he crashed in the grass. 

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“Where did that corn cob come from?” Solly asked himself.  He looked towards the hedges. Then he glanced at his watch. “Oh, nuts! Now I’m really going to be late.”

Solly tried to fix his flapicycle’s wheel as quickly as he could. By the time he was finished, it was 11:15. The delivery was now late! Old Tom Koala was not happy. And he let Webster Pelican know it.

The next morning, Webster spoke to Solly. “Old Tom Koala was upset that their shoe delivery was late. It made them miss their tap dancing class.” 

The thought of Old Tom Koala tap dancing made Solly want to smile. But he still felt sad. 

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“You were on a good streak there, Solly,” Webster said.

“I know, sir. But yesterday was strange. A corn cob flew out of nowhere—” 

“Excuses are useless!” Webster said. “Just don’t let it happen again.” 

The blue starlings stood by the office bird feeder. They overheard Webster and Solly, and were now chuckling to themselves. “Yeah,” one of them said. “You gotta watch those flying corn cobs. Heh-heh.”

The next day, Solly was on his delivery route again. His backpack was full of small packages. He quickly pedalled along Pickle Street. There was no way he was going to be late to another delivery. 

His short pig legs pedalled uphill. Then, a whooshing sound came from above. *SPLOICH!* Solly was suddenly covered, helmet to hoof, in a thick liquid. It made him slip on the road and fall. His helmet bonked against the road. Solly was in a puddle of something brown. 

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He licked it. “Gravy?” Solly looked up, towards where the stuff had come from. “Sky-gravy? But how?” His packages had tumbled out of his backpack, so he began to gather them. They were also covered in gravy. The addresses were all smeared.

“Hoppin’ hazelnuts! I can’t read the labels anymore. I’ll have to go back to the office and label these again so I know where to take them. Oh, this is embarrassing.”

Back at the FlapOn™ office, Solly stood at Webster’s desk. His head was bowed. Webster had caught Solly sneaking in with the undelivered packages.

“You’ve gone from best to worst in just a week!” Webster said. He picked fish from his teeth with a long toothpick.

“But,” Solly shrugged, “I’m just having lots of bad luck, sir.” 

“Bad luck!” Webster yelled. “You’ve heard me say it before. We make our own luck in life, Solly! You’re a great nephew to me, but maybe this job is not the right one for—” 

*SQUAWK!*

The office door flung open. A kerfuffle of feathers, beaks and feet came flapping in. It was a large eagle carrying two blue starlings by the scruffs of their necks. 

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“Ms Gold!” Solly said with raised eyebrows. “Your wing is healed!” 

“It sure is,” said the eagle. “It healed even faster thanks to your extra care, Solly.” She dropped the blue starlings onto the office floor in front of Webster.

“What’s the meaning of this?” Webster said, stretching himself taller.

“You can decide a proper punishment for these two, Mr Pelican!” said Ms Gold.

The starlings hung their heads in shame. 

“I saw it all!” the eagle said. “These birds threw a corn cob into Solly’s wheel by Old Tom Koala’s treehouse. They even dropped a sack of gravy on Solly today!” The pelican boss looked shocked.

“Oh, Solly. I’m sorry for not believing you,” Webster said.  

Then the big boss waddled to the starlings. “And you two jealous birds! Maybe if you worried more about doing a good job, instead of trying to wreck Solly’s, you two might win an award one day!” 

Webster walked behind his desk and pulled something out of his drawer. “In fact, I’m going to let you two hand out this month’s award. Here!”

The starlings took the medal. They slunk over to Solly and pinned the Super Wings Award to his vest.

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“Now say it to him.” Webster said firmly.

“We’re sorry,” the starlings said.

“And...?” said Webster.

The blue birds gritted their teeth and said together, 

“You’re super.”

The End

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