#59 – The Tale of Three Early Birds

Once upon a time, in a tree tall enough for a tiny nest, there were three baby birds, Lilly, Milly and Tilly, who had woken up and were waiting impatiently for their breakfast. The three baby chicks were unique in the following ways: Lilly couldn’t hear, Milly couldn’t see and Tilly couldn’t speak. So, although Lilly couldn’t hear her mother arriving back to the nest, the sight of their mother flying towards the nest was always enough to get her crying out excitedly for food. Without knowing exactly what was going on, Milly would start copying Lilly immediately, making sure she wasn’t going to miss out on any food. Tilly would be able to see her mother coming, but wouldn’t be able to squawk at all and would just strut around the nest with her mouth silently opening and closing.

When their mother arrived home, the three sisters were shocked that she was not carrying a scrap of food in her mouth. She then broke the bad news to the chicks: Their time in the nest was over and they would now be forced to fend for themselves.

Through a series of chirps and wing gestures, their mother explained that there she saw many worms coming out of the ground this morning, so, today, the chicks would be expected to fly out of the nest and get their own breakfast. This news was met with a flurry of restless activity from the sisters and their mother had to wait patiently for them to calm themselves down. When the sisters eventually became quiet, she told them that all baby birds must go through this experience and that the first bird out of the nest would have a great deal of respect from the elder birds for being so brave. This information meant that Lilly immediately volunteered to be the first bird out of the nest.

The ground had never felt so far down as Lilly stared over the edge of the nest. She had promised herself she wouldn’t get too scared, so she gently placed one tiny claw on the edge, timidly followed by the other. Lilly looked at her mother who showed her once more what successful flying should look like. She braced herself and jumped from the nest.

Immediately, Lilly put her wings out like her mother had shown her and, for a moment, she thought she was flying. It quickly dawned on her, however, that she was not flying at all but hurtling at an incredible speed towards the ground. Lilly landed safely with only a small bounce and sat up to assess her surroundings. Even though she had never heard anything before, everything seemed quieter on the ground without her family there. Lilly forgot about the worm she was meant to be catching and started spinning around and around, searching in a panic for anything that might be coming from behind to eat her instead. She ended up, so dizzy that she was unable to walk straight and her mother flew down to take her back up to the nest.

Next, it was Milly’s turn. Milly needed some help finding the edge of the nest, but, because she couldn’t see the ground, she was nowhere near as scared as Tilly had been. She confidently took off from the nest and put her wings out just like her mother had explained to her. Well, that’s what she thought anyway. The truth was that it looked quite a sight when Milly put one wing straight above her head and the other wing directly below her body and was spinning around and around in circles directly towards the ground. Just like Tilly, Milly landed with a small bounce and sat up slightly dazed. Her mother watched from the nest as Milly walked into one too many tree stumps while attempting to find the worm, and she decided that it would be best to fly down and bring her back to the safety of the nest as well.

Finally, it was Tilly turn. In one swift movement, Tilly hopped up on to the edge of the nest, pushed herself off and started gliding seamlessly through the air. Tilly’s heart was filled with joy as she flew above the trees and, in another impressive move, she landed with both feet on the ground, shook the dust away from her wings and started searching for a worm. The other birds watched in awe from the nest, with their mother explaining to Milly what was happening. Back on the ground, Tilly had found a worm and was eyeing it off for her breakfast. She again impressed everyone by ducking her head low to the ground, running up to the worm and snatching it before it even had a chance to know what was happening.

Suddenly, a snake appeared in front of Tilly and she froze in shock. She had not been trained in how to deal with such a scary situation and was unable to call out for help. From the nest, Lilly could see what was happening and immediately sprang into action. She jumped out and rocketed towards the ground, she landed with enough force to distract the snake from Lilly and immediately started spinning around in circles to keep the snake confused. Milly really had no idea what was going on but jumped out of the nest as well and put one wing up and one wing down. She started spiralling towards the ground at an incredible speed and landed directly on the snake’s back, bouncing away just as the snake went to strike. The snake wanted to see what sort of creatures he was dealing with, and with Tilly walking around opening and closing her mouth, Lilly frantically spinning around in circles and Milly walking into trees, the snake thought it best to leave these unpredictable birdies alone.

As the morning became calmer, Tilly took the time to teach the others how to hunt for worms and the three sisters were able to confidently strut about, knowing that they could easily use their unique strengths to confuse any nasty animals that came their way.

THE END

My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.

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