Connie’s Flight


© Jean L. Hays

The courier taking Connie and the other birds from the lab to the observation center dropped her cage in the parking lot and she was the only one he didn’t catch. Now she was free.

“Hello little birdie,” said the young girl. “Are you hungry?”

The coturnix quail hadn’t eaten in a long time.

“I’ll get you some bird seed.” The seven year old ran off, and Connie stayed because of food and decided to live with Eloise.

The longevity researchers gave up on the serum experiments because Connie went missing. Both she and Eloise lived another seventy years.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.

I know the photo Rochelle posted isn’t a coturnix quail (commonly known as a Japanese Quail), but ten seconds of Googling didn’t reveal the species in question so I faked it.

I did discover that Japanese Quail have been a popular laboratory research animal since about 1957 and is used in the studies of aging and disease. The lifespan of this bird is about two to two-and-a-half years. Of course my experimental bird Connie lived a good deal longer and was a kind and loyal companion to Eloise all the days of her life.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit