General Flash Fiction posted October 19, 2019


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He gave me a leg up. (50 words)

I'm Feeling In The Pink

by LisaMay


We listened to Placido Flamingo – his favourite opera singer – while dining on shrimp cocktails. He was a well-balanced guy, but he blushed when I praised his one-legged skill. It was another failed romance, however. Without feather ado, he put his foot down – said my solo Flamingco dancing was flocking shellfish.


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Author's Note:
This is number 21 in the series of my hypothetical 'new boyfriends'. Just another 10 days to go before the final 'boyfriend' is revealed!

1. Flamingos are born with grey feathers, which gradually turn pink in the wild because of a natural pink dye called canthaxanthin that they obtain from their diet of crustaceans and algae. The flamingos' feathers, legs, and face are coloured by this diet, which is rich in alpha and beta carotenoid pigments. Carotenoids in crustaceans such as those in the flamingo diet are frequently linked to protein molecules, and may be blue or green... the same effect is seen when shrimp change colour during cooking. In the wild, flamingos eat algae and crustaceans. To preserve their rosy colour at the zoo, flamingos are fed a commercially prepared diet high in carotenoids, adding synthetic canthaxanthin.

2. Flamingos stand on one leg to save energy and to conserve body heat by regulating the temperature. Standing on one leg is a challenging yoga posture, and a test of coordination that people use, constantly flexing our muscles to make tiny adjustments to our posture. Flamingos have no such problem. When they raise a leg, their body weight shifts in a way that naturally stabilizes the joints of their standing limb, so they can remain upright without any muscular activity. They can sleep like that. And as has been found, they can even keep balance when dead. A flamingo corpse could be placed on one leg and it would remain standing. But you probably didn't need to know that.
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© Copyright 2019. LisaMay All rights reserved.
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