A/N: Yes, I know, it's been forever since I posted a new chapter of this story. Excuses: Writer's block, laziness, focusing on Metal Hearts, being at camp. Anyway... I'd like this chapter to be called The Words You Say In Your Head vs. The Words You Say Out Loud, but it's too long, and it only applies to a small portion of the chapter anyway. I changed Amayzing Mayzie a little bit, to make it a little more conversation-y. Anyway, here you go. Enjoy! (I want to post All For You. But this isn't over. XD)

There were so many words I said inside my head whenever Horton and I passed by each other- which was pretty often, us living next door to each other and all. They were all really straightforward, expressing-my-feelings kinds of things. But of course, I never really said them out loud.

Why was it so easy to think these things, and so hard to actually say them? Well, I knew we weren't there yet. We weren't even friends, really, just neighbors… Our conversations consisted of nothing but the occasional simple greeting. This was getting absolutely nowhere.

Well, no matter how hopeless my cause seemed, it was still too soon to give up.

I decided I had to stand out from the crowd a little more. If I did, he'd have to notice, say something, and then…. I didn't know what then. But I'd work that part out when I got there. I figured a good start was doing something about my tail.

I tried everything I could think of. No matter what I did, though, nothing changed. It was always small and unimpressive, and I always remained distinctly plain. I was just a nothing-but-me, blend-into-the-woodwork bird by nature, it seemed. How would I ever catch his eye?

I apparently hadn't noticed I'd been saying all this out loud- great, now even I didn't notice me- because just then, Mayzie appeared.

"Poor little Gertrude," she said. "A sorry sight. Well, I'm gonna take you under my wing, and baby, you'll be all right!"

I looked at her, puzzled- especially because she usually didn't speak to me much. Now suddenly she was acting like we were best friends.

"Lemme tell you a story," she began. "If you can believe it… I was once a plain little bird like you, kid!"

"Really?" I asked. Mayzie? Like me? It seemed impossible.

She nodded. "One pathetic feather was all I grew… I had nothing show-offish- what's a plain bird to do?" She struck a dramatically woeful pose. "And there's certainly nothing show-offish on you," she added.

"Thank you, Mayzie," I said a little sarcastically. I thought that addition was rather unnecessary. Still, though, she was so charismatic. She could make anyone believe anything. She practically had me under her spell- I was hanging on every word she said. I didn't know where she got that power, but it sure would be nice to have sometimes…

"Yep, that's right. There was a time when I was just like you. Plain as a wall. There was a time when I couldn't just have any guy I wanted."

"Go on."

"But then I made a plan for my self-improvement! No more crumbs, I vowed- I would have the cake! Yes, I went to the doctor."

"Dr. Dake by the lake!" the Bird Girls chimed in. Honestly, I didn't know their names. They never said them. I sometimes wondered if you had to abandon your name to be a part of Mayzie's group.

"And he told me what sort of a pill I should take!" Mayzie continued. "Now, I'm…. Amayzing Mayzie, as feathered as feather can be now! Amayzing Mayzie- it was all for sale!"

"Amayzing Mayzie!" the Bird Girls sang.

"The birds are all whistlin' at me now!"

"Amayzing Mayzie!"

"Baby, that's my tail!" She danced all around me, showing off her tail.

"I wish I had one like it," I said sincerely. Horton would have to notice me then.

"Then just get those pills, and you can have frills for all the world to see!" she told me. "And you can be amayzing… well, almost as amayzing as me!"

She and her friends sauntered off. They didn't go far, though- I ended up overhearing this conversation.

"But you were born fabulous, Mayzie," one of the Bird Girls said. "Why'd you tell her you were like her?"

"Sometimes the common people need to feel close to someone important. Makes 'em feel special. Besides, it wasn't all a lie. I know a bird whose friend's sister went to Dr. Dake. He's supposed to be good. She used to look like Gertrude there, now she's pretty stunning. I just tweaked the story a bit."

"Well, if Dr. Dake's that good, you'd better make sure she doesn't outshine you!" another one of the girls said.

"Outshine me? Impossible," Mayzie responded with a laugh. "Besides, she hasn't got it in her."

I had found that part of Mayzie's story a little unbelievable. But still, this Dr. Dake was apparently the real deal… Besides, I had nothing to lose. It was worth a try. I was going to go