Category: Juju Birds

Juju Birds

On Hyneria the southern sky during summer solstice produced the most fabulous rainbow light shows. Brilliant primary colors filled the sky with such beauty the Hynerians gave the effect its own name—The Southern Juju. To witness the Southern Juju lights on the beaches of Valla became an annual holiday for the family. Only lasting for a couple days with peak intensity lasting just an hour or so at dusk and again the following dawn, the family made an annual holiday of the event at the Valla retreat. Canvas and paint became the order of the day. Just something about those colors made everyone want to play in pigment.

Found only in the southern regions, Pepegai minor, known commonly as the Juju bird for its dazzling color that mimicked the Southern Lights. But the name stuck for another reason. Juju birds were easy to domesticate and their subtle chirping at sixty to seventy beats per minute provided the most interesting biofeedback for Hynerians.

Scientists had discovered that school children who studied to the sound of Juju birds increased their retention of material by forty percent. Jujus were very popular with parents with young kids, and Papa was a huge fan since Ji had used them in Zing Tao training. Kyra never studied without her Juju birds.

Jujus were famous for one more reason. Their biological system processed ninety-eight percent of all food and water ingested. That is, they produced almost zero waste. Juju birds possessed perhaps the most efficient biological system known on Hyneria. As such, they became a favorite pet for space expeditions. For Kyra, Jujus were memories of better times, memories of Valla and memories of Papa.


Precious as jewels, Kyra had kept all her postcards, notes and letters from Papa. Some had come from distance lands and others he had drawn by hand in Valla. The way she guarded them one would have thought they were love letters from her soul mate. Wouldn’’t have been the first time an angry suitor had throw that accusation in her face to disguise the pain from his own delusions.

She often wondered if her expectations, to find a man like Papa, were unrealistic. Had she passed on happiness? Was no one good enough for her? As sure as her Juju birds chirped in the morning, these questions just as frequently bullied their way to the front of her consciousness.

Taking another warm slip of snizzle from her handmade off-white cup, the only way snizzle should and would be pleasured, she allowed the warmth to melt those vague doubts away. No need of a mate if one didn’’t have a world to call home. Perfect food was nice, the Golden Tree didn’’t hurt, but their supplies were limited and time moved on.

Slowly she held each postcard up to her nose, closed her eyes and with a deep breath and a little imagination he was right there. If only Papa was here now, he would know just what to say, just what to do. Spilling her snizzle with a snort, she knew exactly what he would do first. Slap her back into now and out of fantasy poor pitiful me land. Besides, Goldie didn’’t feed the Juju birds, and as beautiful as they sounded, they weren’’t singing for nothing.