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Apr 20, 2024

A prideful swallow is cursed and changed into the form that she finds most abhorrent, a tree.

Genre: Fable


The swallow was a happy bird, but also somewhat superior. Nothing brought her joy the way flying did. Slicing through the clouds and flicking the air with the perfect points of her tail. She believed that birds were the supreme creatures of the world. Because they could fly. Some insects could fly as well, of course. But birds could fly higher, faster, and farther than any insect.

The happy swallow pitied any creature who could not fly.


What’s the Writing Prompt that inspired the story?
EXERCISE: Grab a book off the shelf—any book!  Don’t bother searching for anything in particular.  Open it at random and begin reading.  Write down every idea you get from reading what is on that single page. Now turn to another page and do the same thing. Later, scroll down the aisle, pick another book whose title arouses your curiosity; once again open the book at random, and record any ideas that come to mind.

Source: The Daily Writer: 366 meditations to cultivate a productive and meaningful writing life. Fred White. Writer’s Digest Books. 2008.

20 Master Plots and How to Build Them (And How to Build Them). Ronald B. Tobias. Writer’s Digest Books. 1993. I landed on page 151, the chapter on metamorphosis plot.


Faster Fictioneer
Ever wonder how I’ve gotten all these hundreds of stories written?  I have a method.  You can learn more about it right here: FASTER FICTIONEER


I’ve Got Issues For You
The Storyfeather Gazette is a monthly round-up of my recent podcast episodes, short stories, trailers, news, recommendations, and more that I send by email. Follow the link to look through old issues and to Sign Up: STORYFEATHER GAZETTE


Storyfeather-themed merchandise
T-shirts, mugs, stickers, notebooks, baby onesies, and more featuring artwork from stories and art challenges


Story: “The Swallow Who Was a Willow” Copyright © 2019 by Nila L. Patel
Narration, Episode Art, Editing, and Production:  Nila L. Patel

Trip-Hop Lounge Abstract Background” by Digital Emotions (Intro/Outro)


“Checking Inventory”
“Cold Sanctuary”
“In Tranquil Spring”
“Visions of Freedom”
“A Bitter Hope”
“Heated Lands”
“Afternoon Chat”
“A Dream of First Flight”


*These tracks were part of a music and sound effects bundles I purchased from Humble Bundle and sourced from GameDev Market.

Music by Jonathan Shaw licensed from GameDev Market
Sound effects from AudioJungle and GameDevMarket
Changes made to the musical tracks?  Just cropping to align with my narration.


Find more music by Digital_Emotions at
Find more music by Jonathan Shaw at
Find more music by Jonathan Shaw at
Find more stories by Nila at


Episode Art Description: Digital drawing. At center a tree that splits off to two main branches close to the base, and splits further out into gnarled bare branches that extend across the top half of the image. Under the right side of the tree is a swallow in flight, seen from the top.  The shadowy silhouette of another swallow appears in the background on the left side. Patterned and color-matched borders added at top and bottom to make the rectangular image a square. Watermark of “Storyfeather” at bottom right.

This is episode #333. Gasp! What does that mean?