Marlo was proud of his ability to bring birds into existence with nothing but his words. The town people admired him, though he refused to reveal how exactly he discovered this unusual talent.
Marlo would speak birds for every day of the week, and they lived in the town being rather pretty, scratching around for raisins. No one else could make birds really, or had ever spoken anything into reality, really, until one day a stranger wondered into town and spoke birds of his own. Marlo was confident, not at all threatened. Then the stranger spoke out an elephant. Marlo clicked his teeth, jealous. He swore loudly – his speech materializing in a way that upset the children.
Within days of the visitors arrival, children began to speak out crude dogs with too few legs, rug-like cats and even, to Marlo’s horror, his own birds. They made many things. Marlo mocked the visitor for revealing their secrets to the children, believing they would now inevitably steal all the tricks and secrets and make himself and Marlo look like fools.
This puzzled the visitor, but drove Marlo to madness, who in a fit of defiance spoke his own mouth permanently shut and never shared an idea again.