The Coal Birds - James Michael Starr

The Coal Birds


WAR IS KINDLING in Europe, and before long we’ll get dragged into it. Still, we all sleep fitfully, even those on the day shift. No one gets any shut-eye, with rail cars jostling into Lindera every hour of the day and night.

Our only consolation is that there are things more important than sleep. We can’t begrudge these iron boxes bristling with scrap metal, bound for the open hearth furnaces inside the mill. Washing machines, engine blocks and tricycles–it will all be melted down to arm the Allies. Plowshares beaten back into swords, you might say.

We can’t begrudge them because we hear the trains over there, the German trains, are bearing another kind of cargo, and before long rumors will tell of how they were bound for another kind of fire.

Meanwhile, other rail cars roll into Lindera laden with coal. And running behind these you’ll see the coal birds. They carry gunnysacks to take home every chunk that bounces onto the tracks. If now it’s going to be against the law for them to work in the mill, they’ve got to do something to help the rest of the family keep body and soul together.


You’re reading individual installments of Lindera: A Butterfly Myths Photo Album, introducing you to the faces and places you’ll read about in more detail in my upcoming novels.
The Butterfly Myths, Books One, Two and Three will be published later in 2016. 




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