This story is part of the Food Fight Write Routine combined with Storied Impressions’ March Theme: NESTS
by Gretchen Fogelstrom
There were four of them. Two were strong and loud; Sarah and Sally. They reached higher, made more fuss, got more attention. They seemed to take up more nest space too.
Two were scrawny and more reserved; Ralph and Rusty. They let the girls bask in the attention of their parents. They sat back and took what was left. But it wasn’t enough. They were always hungry and the girls stepped all over them.
Then one spring morning after dropping a large worm into each of the girls’ mouths, Father pulled out another one, snipped it in half and dropped the pieces into each of the boys beaks. They swallowed. They coughed. They felt alive. Energy flowed and they stretched their wings. It felt good. They wanted more.
That evening as Father was flying over the river looking for food, he spotted a fisherman. He was lying on the bank, boots floating in the water. Seems odd for a fisherman to be lying down, thought Father. So he circled round to get a better look. As he swooped in he saw that the man’s hat was over his face and his belly was rising and falling in a rhythmic way.
Father landed and hopped over. Curious about this massive up and down, Father jumped up on to the man’s belly and rode the rise and fall. It was thrilling. As the belly rose, Father would get a better view of all the equipment, bags and poles the man had scattered about him. There was so much. At the fall of the belly, he could nearly see straight up the man’s nose and witnessed tiny little hairs quivering as he exhaled.
At the next rise of the belly, looking once again at all the scattered stuff, he spied a bucket. Hmmm, that could be interesting. He hopped over and peered inside.
His eyes widened and he jumped back. It couldn’t be. He shook his head and flapped his wings and took a deep breath. He jumped up to the rim and peered down. It was half full. Everything was moving. Little slimy, wriggling worms.
Goldmine! I have to get this home!
The bucket had a handle and he lifted it up with his beak. Not too heavy so far. He clutched the handle with his claws and he could get the bucket up a few feet. But this wasn’t going to work. Then he had an idea. Grab the jacket lying next to the guy, cover the bucket, fly home as fast as possible, grab Mother and get back here. Done.
He swooped in, told Mother of the amazing bounty and off they flew like lightning. The girls chirped their disappointment and the boys, feeling confidence due to their somewhat full bellies, shushed them.
Together Mother and Father were able to lift the bucket and within an hour, after a few rest stops, they slung the handle over their home branch and exhaled.
The smell of those wiggly worms was too much. Sally started an all-out tantrum, screaming at the top of her lungs for the food. Then Sarah chimed in. The noise was obnoxious. The boys, sniffing the air and feeling a bit more self-assured, reached there small necks as high into the air as they could stretch and let out a bawl of desire their parents had never heard.
The girls stopped their screaming and gawked. Mother and Father stared and then smiled. Their boys were energized.
With a great show of abundance, Father picked up a claw full of worms and flung them into the nest. The girls and boys went crazy. Flapping wings, hopping around, diving beak-first into the squirming. It was a mess of fun.
As Ralph was diving for a wiggling tail, it slipped through his beak and landed “slap” right on Sally’s face.
Everyone stopped. Sally peeled the worm off her face and glared with squinted eyes at Ralph. Rusty burst into laughter and Sarah, giggling, grabbed half a worm in her claw and squeezed.
Now You Help Me Finish It!
This post is part of FOOD FIGHT, the Onomatopoeia Appreciation Week. The idea: I start a story and take it right up to the point where a food fight ensues. Then stop. The story is then continued through YOUR individual comments. Each new comment has to add on to the story where the comment before left off. Also you have to add in as many ‘pows’, ‘zaps’, ‘zings’ – it is Onomatopoeia Appreciation Week after all.
Join me in this fun? Let’s make a great story together!
We only have until 3/8 – so comment today!