Average Brother

Richard was always the special one. My father—mine! Not his!—always took his side. Once Richard snuck out at night to save a baby bird from the river—I guess it got caught in some tree branches or something, but we were in a hurry, so I didn't let Richard stop and get all dirty just before school—and when he came back he had the worst fever—!

We all caught it. I was miserable for weeks. But my father could only praise Richard. What a good boy, saving a baby bird—and then he had to keep it in the house, of course…What a nuisance. The cat ate it one day while he was out, and he made such a fuss…

Richard wasn't even my parents' own son. But he always got all the attention.

"He's the baby, Michael," my mother used to say.

Why don't I ever get the chance to be the special one? The baby? I'm their only baby.

Richard is just some foundling. What's so special about that?

So when he's around, why do I feel like an extra? The average one. Boring. Richard's (Creator forfend) sidekick.