When I was a child, I remember being about 12 years old. I couldn’t sleep, and I decided to go for a walk – I was relatively safe because between the adults in the neighbourhood, and the soldiers down the street, there wasn’t much many folks could do to get away with hurting kids unless we were at school or church. (go figure.)

I had several weird dreams that particular year, but this one was a night when I could have sworn that 2Pac and Biggie had snuck into my apartment and convinced me to go on “this” particular walk.

Mom had heard Snoop Dogg’s first album for the first time while cooking dinner that day and hadn’t known when she bought it, what Snoop was about. It was the last time we were allowed to listen to Snoop…while mom was around.

So this night I’m walking through Calgary Alberta at about two am in the morning, with two of the world’s most famous “gangsta rappers,”, it’s summer so it’s warm and it’s definitely one of those 90s “I’m in a book about witches and vampires,” kinds of vibes.

As I’m walking, I hear this voice whisper “Hello Lady Red Byrd,” and at first I thought the voice meant me, but the truth is, the voice meant the angel that was watching over me, rolling her eyes at a twelve-year-old walking out at two am by herself in the middle of the night. It was not my brightest move, but…it would lead to me enjoying my time at night by myself when the shadows take over the world.

Lady Red Byrd is a faerie who loves cannabis, like all faeries, but she also enjoys the occasional Ceaser with no spice, and extra pickles and olives. She is a Rainbow faerie which means she pulls from all of the various elements as she needs, but it also means that she spends a great deal of time replenishing what she takes with as much love as she is able.

Lady Red Byrd enjoys spending her days by the water and watching the stars fall from the sky, and while she doesn’t have wings like other faeries yet, she does have two feathers that she carries with her everywhere she goes.

One feather is for the Indigenous girls of Canada where she was born, and the other is for the Black women who are closely interconnected to the stories of struggle that Indigenous women specifically understand.

The feathers remind her that although she is neither Indigenous nor fully Black, she is a member of many beautiful cultures, and no matter what anyone thinks about her looks, they are the least of her weapons against a world filled with the desire to tell her she doesn’t deserve to exist.

They are also a reminder that although she is young, and has a lot to learn, one day her feathers, and those she spreads wherever she goes, will lead her to exactly where she needs to be, when she needs to be there.

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