Corben treated the seagull’s screech as a warning to find shelter behind the trunk of the nearest tree. Keeping his body as still as possible, he listened while the enormous bird landed and started stalking the smell. The seagull was nearly as tall as Corben and was so large, that Corben could hear its eyes blink. He dare not show his face by peeking out from his hiding place. If the bird saw him dash behind the tree then it would have come for him straight away, he reasoned. Instead, Corben was able to listen as the massive seagull stalked him. When it was so close that he could smell its feathers, Corben figured out what it was that was making his location so obvious: It was the chips.
Chips and gravy to be precise. But, once Corben realised that their smell must have been giving away his location, he threw the packet, chips, cup, gravy towards the water. In a flash, the enormous seagull sped down to collect the bounty. Corben used this moment to peek out from behind the tree, retreating back with a snap when he saw another seagull, this one slightly bigger than the first, swoop down, intercepting the first seagull to prove the point that, in a few short seconds, they were going to be his chips. A battle of epic proportions was about to take place, and Corben was sure that he wasn’t ready to witness a fight on this scale. The two of them fighting had the potential to bring his world crumbling to its knees.
Corben slid down and sat at the trunk of the tree, covering his ears in preparation for the types of sounds that could make a king worry for his kingdom. Instead, there was silence. He peeled his hands away from his ears and braved a glance towards his two gigantic foes. His eyes widened when he saw the two seagulls facing Corben’s sidekick and arch nemesis to birds everywhere, Shadow. Shadow was over fifty feet tall, intelligent and very, very hairy. The hairy beast, therefore, dwarfed the two birds in both stature and wit and he had decided that, if anybody was going to get the chips, it was him. A smile crept across Corben’s face. This was the benefit of having a sidekick. So, now, instead of hiding behind the tree trunk, he was ready to protect his land and chips in a battle of the likes of which the world had never seen.
Shadow made the first move, stepping forward ever-so-slightly, a deep look of concentration on his face as he stared the seagulls down. Feeling the sting of no longer being the largest animals, the seagulls couldn’t help but take three steps backwards. Shadow bared his teeth while growling. The seagulls looked at each other and, in one of the more ill-considered decisions made during a battle, nodded, leapt up off of the sand and attempted to peck Shadow on his snout. Shadow tilted his head sideways as the birds retreated back to their original positions and tension filled the air. For an instant, it looked as though Shadow was almost happy to let this slide, but that, too, was all part of the game. Shadow circled his gigantic, hairy body around itself before leaning back on his hind paws and pouncing towards the birds with a deep growl that sent shivers up Corben’s spine.
Corben made his way on to the battlefield designed for the giants, and let out a ferocious roar, just like Shadow had taught him. Finding some sense, the two seagulls flew away, the beat of their wings sending a breeze across the entire waterfront, causing the waves in front of them to increase in size. Shadow seized this opportunity, galloping down to the water to pick up the packet of chips and drop them back by his master’s side. Corben instructed Shadow to lie in front of him so that he could better scratch behind his ears. Shadow and Corben each took a chip for themselves and enjoyed a single bite before looking up into the sky and seeing a flock of giant seagulls, their numbers so dense that they blocked out the sun for a second or two.
Shadow and Corben swallowed their mouthful of chips and prepared themselves for the type of battle that only true heroes were willing to fight. Especially those heroes who have nothing to lose, except for one or two chips and a smothering of gravy.
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.
Illustrations by Alisha Towers: FACEBOOK
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