The Diricrawl in the
The sound of leaves crunching on the ground awakens me. I can feel my body become tense, then it
becomes cold and I feel as if air is passing through me. I open my eyes and look out into the
darkness. A shadow creeping over the
ground shows evidence of something hiding the moon’s soft light. I stare closely at the shadow, then my body
relaxes and I close my eyes once more.
It is only children—three children that I know, though they know nothing
They are coming to see Hagrid, with whom I am well
acquainted. Hagrid is a dear friend of
mine—the one who found me so many years ago.
I had been fleeing from my home, which was destroyed, slowly, gradually,
by the muggles who came in and chopped it down with loud, buzzing machines and
awful, shiny blades. I left when the
last tree fell, in search of safety—in search of the fabled forests tended by
wizards where no person cut down any tree.
I fly slowly and awkwardly because of my heavy weight. I walk easier than I glide. I struggled to find safe haven. My kind
needs thick branches and sturdy bows. I
could find only concrete ground, skinny, steel trees with funny lights on top
that were no good for nesting, and forests crowded with houses and people. At last, weary from my long search, I
collapsed on the strange, hard ground and waited to die.
I am a Diricrawl, or, as the muggles call me, a Dodo
Bird. The muggles all think I am
extinct. They don’t realize that there
is more to their silly, fat, beloved dodo birds of myth than meets they
eye. Usually, we Diricrawl do not meet
the muggle eye at all. We possess the
ability to become invisible. Lucky for
us. Or not. As the forests began to disappear ages ago, we realized what a
threat the muggles really were, and we tried to use our invisibility to our
advantage. But even though we can turn
invisible at will and thus escape the muggle invasion of our forests, we cannot
recreate forests at will. There are
thousands less Diricrawl today than there were a hundred years ago. I can run and even hide from the muggles’
harsh destruction of my home, but with no home to run to, I will die.
I would have died, in fact, if Hagrid had not found me lying
there on the pavement near Diagon Alley.
In what I thought were my last moments of strength, I had turned visible
again, conserving the energy it took to hide myself from the human eye in order
to prolong my last breaths. Hagrid took
me up, nursed me back to health, and brought me here, to Hogwarts, to live in
the Forbidden Forrest. I am the only
Diricrawl living here, though I have heard that some of my fellow Diricrawl
have found shelter in other wizard forests.
We are not extinct, but I fear we may soon become extinct if the muggles
continue to cut down our forests.
The children are in Hagrid’s hut now. They are here to see Hagrid’s Hippogriff for
the last time—he is being executed. The
thought makes my throat dry. The
children are Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, who have been working to help
Hagrid to save his Hippogriff, and their friend, Harry Potter—the famous Harry
Potter, who, like me, has no real home except for Hogwarts. The Dark Lord, Voldemort, killed his
parents. It seems that even amongst the
wizards, whom I usually think are much smarter than the muggles, there are some
humans who are prone to waste and recklessness. If only they could understand what a loss of energy and life it
is to destroy human, beast, tree, bird, river or anything with such vitality as
these beings possess.
The children have left the cabin, and they are creeping back
under their cloak of invisibility. I
can see that they are walking slower now.
They have been forced to leave.
I hear another noise nearby, and I am startled to realize that the
children must have somehow played with time.
There is a second Harry Potter and Hermione Granger, and another
Hippogriff. I hear a thud and a cry
from Hagrid’s hut, and as I look at the second Hippogriff, I realize in a flash
what has happened. These are good
children. They respect life. They have saved Hagrid’s Hippogriff. I coo softly, and I forget that my call is
now strange and lonely—the call of a creature who has lost its home and its
family, and who cannot stand to see anything else taken from it. The children walking from Hagrid’s hut hear
my call, and they stop for a brief moment, startled. The one named Harry Potter turns, looks out of the cloak, and
sees my eyes in the dark. We are locked
in a stare for a second. I can tell by
the shadows in the boy’s eyes that Harry Potter and I are bonded in loss, past
loss, and loss that is yet to come. He
pulls the cloak back around him quickly, and I see the shadow of the cloak
become smaller as the children huddle together a little closer and then
continue on, hidden and protected from the world for the time being. I remember a time when I, too, felt that my
invisibility could protect me, and I coo once more, my call a warning cry to
the children, who are still so young and unaware of the tragedy they have left
to face. If only there was no
destruction of life, they would never feel such tragedy. I feel a tear drip down my beak. Then, I set off an explosion of feathers as
I lift heavily into flight, invisible again, and I soar above the Forbidden