Tiny Coronavirus Stories: ‘A tiny laughing dove’

Reader-submitted stories of the COVID-19 pandemic, in no more than 100 words. Read past stories hereSubmit your own here.

Playground Waits Patiently

These spring days whisper come,
come invent a new game, one that has
never been played,
come find a family of leaves in the shade
and roll them around in your palm as you
brace yourself for an ascent up to the
top of the slide,
dangle your toes from the monkey bars
and feel your belly drop into your ribs,
come chase someone, anyone,
reposition your scrunchy on your
wispy dirt-glazed hair,
oh to be innocent to the secret magic of touch.

— Rebecca Cohen (New York, New York)

The construction site across from the playground reads: “LET THE NATURE LOOK AFTER YOU.”

* * *


Seemingly every aspect of what was once our normal has been flipped utterly backwards. Confusion and conflict struck me. Backwards. The way to help people is to not go out and help them? The way to keep people safe and healthy is to keep yourself safe and healthy? Backwards selflessness, I suppose. Socialization has become smiles through a screen. Backwards. The tired and the brave on the frontlines are the very same people who are least protected and provided for. Utterly backwards. Realizing that reality is a hand-in-hand dance of both the miracles and the misery. Pray.

— Margo Clausen (Plymouth, Minnesota)

Parachuting in pandemics with poorly provided protection!

* * *

What Life Will Be Like Now

Maybe you can see it, maybe not. But right in the middle of that telephone wire, there’s this little hummingbird. At first I thought he might have been stuck there. I’d never seen a hummingbird sit still. But as I’ve gone for daily walks I’ve realized that the wire beside our home is his place, he likes it here. He leaves at night and comes back in the morning. He takes lunch breaks as well. It’s weird, what you notice when you’re forced to stop and look at things differently. I think this is what life will be like now.

— Madeline Humphrey (Orange, California)

Hummingbird on a wire.

* * *

Hope’s Conservatory

A tiny house in a tiny suburb of a city in a big country with big issues…

We have lived our tiny lives in our tiny home with big imaginations creating endless portraits of hope – painted and presented with pride. Now we have a tiny art gallery in our tiny conservatory where a tiny laughing dove struts boldly about collecting tiny sticks to build his tiny nest to raise his tiny chicks to fly freely into the big, blue sky.

Hope whispering to us that we will emerge from our tiny cocoon into a brave, new world… South Africa.

— Laurie Parsons (Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa)

The laughing dove of hope.


This series is edited by Thomas Peterson. One of the editors of Artists & Climate Change, he is also a theatre director and researcher whose work focuses on the climate crisis.

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