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He flew as fast as he could, as bullets cut through the sky around him. They whizzed past just inches away from his wings. Just one could take him out of sky.

But he flew on.

He was no rookie; he had already flown over fifty missions, each one as dangerous as the next, but the German bullets did not deter him. He had only one goal; to complete his mission, to fly home and make a safe landing.

Men were depending upon him.

But he couldn’t dodge every bullet.

It was a lucky shot, to be sure. It had hit him right in the head and he reeled, half-blind,  through the sky. For a moment, he thought he was done for, that this was the end of his war, but then he caught sight of a familiar landmark. He was so close, he couldn’t give up now. He flew bravely onwards, crossing no-man’s land to come down back on friendly turf. He came in to land clumsily; he doubted his left eye could be saved. He wondered if he could be saved. Still, the message he carried was the most important thing.

He heard a bell ring as if at a great distance, and footsteps quickly followed.

“Sarge,” he heard a voice say, “It’s The Mocker- hurry, he’s badly hurt!”

He flapped his wings weakly as the soldier retrieved the message from the little silver canister attached to his leg.

“Don’t worry, old chap,” the soldier whispered to his heroic little pigeon pal, “We’ll get you fixed right up.”

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: My boyfriend suggested that I write something including a carrier pigeon today. I found a few mentions of The Mocker- a World War One pigeon who flew 52 missions, including one that brought a message pinpointing enemy artillery locations and enabled the capture of a town, despite losing his left eye along the way. He recovered from this injury and apparently lived until 1935. Brave little bird.)