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The Gift of Tongues

by Annaliese Lemmon I have a gift of tongues. Unfortunately, it’s useless to me on my mission. I throw the Spanish flashcards down on the bed in our small Chilean apartment. “I’m never going to get this. Why does Spanish have to be so hard?” My trainer, Sister Helm, puts her hand on my shoulder. “Why don’t we take a break? Would you like me to get you something to drink?” “Sure.” I rub my forehead. A break sounds really good. She smiles at me sympathetically, then slips out of the room. I flop back on the bed. Through the open window, a bird trills, its calls sounding like perfect English in my ears. “This is my tree, and I will boldly defend it from whoever wishes to challenge me.” I glare out the window. I’ve been able to understand animals my whole life. I’d daydreamed that they would be able to translate for me on my mission. But no, they were more interested in talking about things like food. I spot the sparrow declaring its territory and sit up. What could be agitating it? M

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