Sometimes You Just Need One More Day!

Posted: February 3, 2014 in Writing

swallow

 

It was a beautiful spring morning. Hugo was becoming accustomed to the routine. His mother, a very stylish and dedicated young swallow, had  just left the nest to gather breakfast for Hugo and his two sisters, Alisa and June. Their father, Joseph, had left earlier that morning as had become his habit. They never seemed to search for food together. Often one of them would stay behind, guarding their babies with diligent observation. But now that their babies were almost grown and nearing the time that they would be leaving their parents’ nest, they would often both fly away from the nest on the hunt for the families food.

Joseph was a dedicated family man, even more so than most dad swallows. Small in stature, his brown and black tufts made him look much larger than he was. His short bill had a small chip off the end, a remnant from a fight with a predator when he was a young man. His principle concern in this life was his family; his wife Vanessa, and his three babies, June, Alisa and Hugo. He had left the nest earlier this morning. The kids were getting big and the amount of food needed to sustain their lives was growing larger and larger every day. They would soon be ready to go off on their own.

“What a glorious day!” June chirped as she awoke from a restful night of sleeping. She was not an early riser like Hugo, but she did enjoy watching the sun peak from behind the horizon. She just didn’t get to see it very often!

“I’m hungry,” moaned Alisa as she stretched her wings behind her, her eyes still heavy with sleep. “When did mom leave?”

“You’re always hungry!” June laughed as she watched Alisa open her bill and crane her neck to the sky. “You know mom will be back soon! It never takes her very long. Stop complaining.”

Hugo never took part in this early morning banter that made up their morning each day. He flapped his wings and began to shake beginning with his head and gurgling down his body till it reach his very tail! He so enjoyed the morning sun and the soft sweet breeze that swirled through the barn aisle and just below where they were nestled.

“I’m not complaining, Alisa sulked as she continued her routine dialogue. “It’s just that it’s been such a very long time since dinner and my tummy is making noises. I just know mom is not coming back, she has been gone a very long time!”

Alisa was a bit of a worry-wart. She was what the little girl who lived in the house would call a “Phessimiste”. Hugo often wondered to himself, “Why is Alisa always so sure something bad will happen?” Every morning it was the same thing. Natalie, the girl from the house, came to the barn every morning to visit the horses. Sometimes she was with her mother, and sometimes she would come alone.  She would always glance upwards to the gable of the barn aisle where our mudded home nestles in a small corner just above the eve the spanned the width of the barn aisle.

Hugo was sure that mom would return with a mouth full of freshly gathered insects, ready to drop into the mouths of her eagerly waiting brood; bills clambering and flapping their wings, their cries begging for the food she carried. It was dangerous out their, Hugo knew that. Many times in his short life, he had seen other nests apparently abandoned by their previous occupants. Alisa had once told him that she could see  evidence of the family that had lived there. Hugo did not know what had happened to them, and when he had asked his mother, she had told him that sometimes bad things can happen to good swallows. He hadn’t pressed his mother for more information, he hadn’t wanted to know. Alisa had told him that she had seen small bit of egg shell fall to the ground.

“Here they come!” June cried!

Through the back-lit opening that was the entrance to the barn, Hugo could see the darkened figure of what he knew was his parents. They were returning with the mornings rations.

“See I told you Alisa, they always return!”

Alisa puffed up her chest, shook the tufts at the top of her head and began the begging cries that would let her parent know she was ready for the food they were bringing.

© 2014 Kitti McMeel
photo courtesy of  Wikipedia Commons

 

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