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Feathered Story For Kids

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Introduction To Feathered Friend

Feathered Friend by Arthur Clarke is a science fiction short story about a small canary and how her presence onboard the space station helped save lives. The narrator adds that he is unaware of any rules preventing pets on space stations and that Sven would ignore them anyway.

Feathered Friend Story

Feathered Friend Story

The narrative takes place in a future world in which mankind dwells on space stations. The narrator is a space station inhabitant who recounts an event involving a pet that one of his coworkers, Sven Olsen, elected to keep with him.

Feathered Friend Story

To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a rule prohibiting the keeping of pets on a space station. No one believed it was essential, and even if it had existed, I'm confident Sven Olsen would have disobeyed it.

With a name like that, you'll immediately imagine Sven as a six-foot-six Nordic behemoth, built like a bull and speaking in a bullish tone. If this had been the case, his prospects of landing a position in space would have been modest; he was a wiry little lad, like most of the early spacers, and qualified easily for the 150-pound bonus that kept so many of us on a calorie-restricted diet.

Sven was one of our best construction workers, and he excelled at the difficult and specialized task of collecting various girders as they floated around in free fall, forcing them to perform the slow-motion, three-dimensional ballet that would get them into their proper positions, and fusing the pieces together when they were precisely dovetailed into the intended pattern. I never got tired of seeing him and his crew build the station like a gigantic jigsaw piece; it was a skillful and challenging task since working in a spacesuit is not the most comfortable of attires. Sven's crew, on the other hand, had a significant edge over the construction gangs that you see on Earth erecting skyscrapers. They could take a step back and appreciate their work without being torn apart by gravity…

Please don't ask me why Sven wanted a pet or which one he selected. I'm not a psychologist, but I have to say that his choice was sound. Claribel weighed nearly little, had insignificant dietary requirements, and was unconcerned by the lack of gravity, as most animals would have been.

When I was seated in my small cubbyhole, jokingly dubbed my office, reading through my lists of technical shops to see what we'd be running out of next, I became aware that Claribel was onboard. When I heard a melodious whistle next to my ear, I believed it was coming from the station intercom and waited for an announcement. Instead, there was a long and complicated melody pattern that made me glance up with such a start that I completely forgot about the angle beam directly behind my head. When the stars stopped exploding in front of my eyes. Claribel was the first person I saw.

She had the appearance of a little yellow canary. hanging still in the air like a hummingbird, but with a lot less effort. Her wings were folded softly around her sides. We exchanged stares for a minute before moving on before I could regain my composure. She executed a strange reverse loop that no earthbound canary had ever done before and then flew away with a few leisurely flicks. She'd clearly learned how to function in the absence of gravity and didn't believe in wasting time.

Sven didn't admit to her own for several days, but it didn't matter because Claribel was a common pet at the time. When he returned from leave, he snuck her onto the final boat from Earth—partly, he maintained, out of pure scientific curiosity. He wanted to see how a bird would fly if it didn't have any weight but could still fly.

Claribel flourished and gained weight. When Earth's VIPs came to visit, we had minimal issue concealing our uninvited visitors. There are more hiding spots on a space station than you can count; the only difficulty was that Claribel was rather noisy when she was unhappy. We had to think quickly to explain the strange peeps and whistles coming from the ventilation shafts and storage bulkheads. There were a few close calls—but who'd think to hunt for a canary in a space station?

We were now on twelve-hour watches, which wasn't as horrible as it seemed since, in space, you don't require much sleep. When you're floating in constant brightness, there's no such thing as "day" or "night." It was nevertheless more convenient to follow the rules. It certainly seemed like 6:00 a.m. on Earth when I awoke that "morning." I was suffering from a persistent headache. and hazy recollections of restless, agitated dreams

It took me a long time to unhook my bunk straps, and I was only half-conscious when I went to the mess with the rest of the duty crew. Breakfast was surprisingly quiet, with only one empty seat.

"Where is Sven?" I inquired. There isn't much concern.

Someone said, "He's looking for Claribel." "He claims he hasn't been able to locate her. She is the one who generally wakes him up."

Before I could answer that she typically woke me up as well, she said something else. Sven entered through the back entrance. We could tell right away that something wasn't right. He carefully opened his palm, revealing a little bundle of yellow feathers, complete with two clenched claws protruding pitifully into the air.

"'What happened?' we all questioned, our faces flushed.

Sven sighed and answered, "I don't know." "I just happened across her in this state.'

"Let's have a look at her," Jock Duncan said. our chef, doctor, and dietician While he pressed Claribel near his ear in an attempt to detect any heartbeat, we all waited in silence. With a shake of his head, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the situation. "I'm not hearing anything, but it doesn't mean she's not alive. I've never paid attention to the heart of a canary, "he said sheepishly.

Someone said, "Give her a dose of oxygen." pointing to the green-banded emergency cylinder hidden in the door's recess This was a fantastic concept, everyone agreed. Claribel was snuggled securely inside a face mask that was large enough for her to use as an oxygen tent.

We were pleasantly surprised. She came back to life right away. I'm beaming a lot. Sven took off his mask. She hopped onto his finger and stayed there. She kneeled down again after her sequence of "Come to the cookhouse, lads" trills.

"I don't get it," Sven bemoaned. "What's the matter with her? She's never done anything like this before."

Minutes flashed by in the blink of an eye. Something had been tugging at my recollection for quite some time. That morning, my thoughts were sluggish, as if I couldn't manage to shake the effects of sleep. I felt like I could use some of that oxygen, but before I could get to the mask, my head exploded from the pressure. I spun around to face the duty engineer and said urgently: "Jim, it's you! There's a problem with the air quality! Claribel has passed out as a result of this. I suddenly remembered that miners used to bring down canaries to alert them of the presence of gas."

"That's nonsense!" Jim said. "The sirens would have been triggered. We have duplicate circuits that work separately."

His aide informed him, "Er-the second alarm circuit isn't wired up yet."

That jolted Jim, and he walked away silently, while we argued and passed the oxygen bottle around like a peace pipe. He reappeared five minutes later, a sheepish grin on his face. It was one of those unthinkable accidents: we'd had one of our rare earthquakes eclipsed by Earth's shadow that night; part of the air purifier had frozen up, and the circuit's lone warning had failed to go off. Chemical and electronic engineering costing half a million dollars had utterly failed us. We should have been slightly dead by now if it hadn't been for Claribel.

So don't be astonished if you hear an odd snip of birds singing if you visit any space station. There's no reason to be concerned; in fact, the opposite is true. It will mean that you will be doubly protected at virtually no additional cost.


Arthur Clarke's science fiction short tale Feathered Friend is about a little canary and how her presence aboard the space station helped save lives. The narrator claims that he is ignorant of any regulations prohibiting pets on space stations and that Sven would disregard them regardless.

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FAQs on Feathered Story For Kids

1.  What was Claribel's name, and how did the narrator meet her?

Claribel was a little yellow canary who was the pet of astronaut Sven Olsen. The narrator was sitting in his cubbyhole one day when he heard a melodious whistle near his ear. He initially mistook the sound of the intercom for an announcement, but a lengthy pattern of music caused him to glance up, and there he beheld Claribel for the first time.

2.  What was Sven's motivation for bringing Claribel onto the spaceship?

Claribel weighed nearly little and ate almost nothing. She was likewise unconcerned by the lack of gravity. So Claribel had been taken on board the spaceship by Sven out of pure scientific curiosity. He wanted to see how a bird would fly if it didn't have any weight but could still fly.