Flash Fiction

Bird’s-Eye View

     Third Male is bathing in the water cup. He knows it’s my time. As Second Male I go after First Male. But Third Male’s been pushy lately. He wants to be Second Male. I don’t want to fight. I’ll ignore him.

Five wing-beats away are the females in their own metal nest. I can see them and smell them but I can’t get to them. They lay dead eggs. Why do the Food-Bringers keep us apart?

     There’re the Food-Bringers now. They’re loud. They’re often loud, squawking and shrieking at each other. They should find other mates if they don’t like the ones they have.

      They’re close together, flying in circles below. Is this a mating dance? They don’t have fledglings. Maybe they’re working on making fledglings. I want to make fledglings too.

     They’ve gone around the corner where we can’t see them. The other males and the females start singing excitedly, because when the Food-Bringers go that way they often bring us back something good, like millet or sweet seeds. Not always, but often. I join in, because I want some millet, too.

     OH!

     A loud noise! Very loud, and long.

     All of us, the males and females, are crying out now in fright. Loud noises are not good!

     Nothing happens for a while. We begin to calm down, because nothing is happening to us. Where are the Food-Bringers?

     One Food-Bringer appears. It’s the male. Maybe he brought us millet! We start singing again.

     The Food-Bringer ignores us. He runs his feather-less wings over his head and sings low to himself. He walks to the door that lets him and his mate outside and opens it while he sings to something he’s holding in his wing.

     I hear a noise now. It’s a rising and falling sound, sharp, like a very big and angry bird coming toward us. I’ve heard this before, though, and it’s not a bird. It’s a large metal nest that will stop outside where we can’t go and other Food-Bringers will come in with objects and check the female Food-Bringer and then sometimes the female will leave with them. She always comes back, though.

     Where is she now?

     Other Food-Bringers are in the house now, chirping loudly and dragging things around with them. They go around the corner where the female Food-Bringer disappeared. Maybe they will bring her back, and maybe they will bring some millet with them.

     Third Male has gone back to the water cup and is loudly splashing water around.

     I think I will fight him.

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