Spittin' Birds- Digital Collage 4" x 4"

Toby stopped speaking that February. He sat in the back of class perfectly silent. His change in behavior concerned Miss Evers. She went to the Principal and a few days later Toby was called from class to meet a woman from the county. She administered a bunch of written tests all of which Toby completed in record time. When she returned to the classroom, she took Miss Evers aside and whispered something to her. After that Miss Evers stopped trying to get Toby to speak.

In April, the warm weather liberated us from our heavy winter coats and we resumed our kickballs games. One Friday afternoon, standing out in centerfield Toby looked as though he was going to vomit. He heaved, opened his mouth and out flew a fully-grown bluebird. A second emerged and then a third. When the last bird was circling high above, Toby cleared his throat. "Phew! I'm done spittin' birds," he said.

Now, we were the silent ones. "What?" he asked looking at us. "I found these eggs in the snow. I knew them baby birds would die if just left there. I figured I could keep 'em warm in my mouth. It seemed like the neighborly thing to do. Come on. Let's play ball."

We resumed the game, but we all remained speechless. That is, all except for Toby.