Warbler's wings hurt from flying, the crisp air stinging her wings. She shot her beady eyes to the cold, white landscape stretching below. The snow was beginning to melt, leaving trees without leaves in it's hard wake. She desired food, using this desperation to power her faster, closer..

She flew to take the lead, feeling the air beat behind her as the other birds followed. The moon light illuminated the distant lakes, reflecting all the stars. Behind her another bird swayed, smacking into her tail feathers. She clacked her beak as a warning, flying a little faster to take more of a lead.

Warbler swooped lower, snatching a small fly mid-air. It wasn't fulfilling, but it was better than nothing. She lowered her speed, coming in at the back of the V shaped formation.

Her wings ached, tired from flying for so long. They weren't even close to their final destination, though, and she didn't know how they would reach it in time. The flock swooped down to perch in a tree, sitting among the branches, calling to each other as they took a break.

None of them were good flyers, as they all got tired out so quickly because of their size. Warbler nipped at her bright yellow under wing feathers, soon hopping from branch to branch until she was on the cold, hard ground. Ivy reached it's frost covered leaves from beneath a brown bush, curling around everything. She lowered her head to the ground, hopping around as she searched for bugs- or fruit- or anything to sustain her until they found a good food source.

There was a soft hop behind her as a fellow bird joined the search. She herself got rather competitive in situations like this. Warbler hopped faster, poking her beak in bushes and shrubs, in the ivy, in the ground.. There was a soft "click", as the bird behind her sloppily swallowed a worm.

Warbler shook her tail feathers, reaching down into the ground. Nothing. Flying to perch on a small blossom tree that was of lose of it's blossoms, she accepted the failed search. The other bird was searching for more food, and she couldn't help but feel a flash of jealousy.

The birds flew the rest of the night, faltering as the morning bore on them. The heart persisted through the day, and they stopped once more at a lake. Warbler shot down like an arrow to the edge of the sapphire blue waters, dipping her beak in the liquid and drinking ravenously.

Her belly still cried for food, but water would keep her alive for a while longer. Patches of wonderful green grass dappled the ground that was beginning to soften. They had traveled for days now- surely they were close.

She hopped to a tree with a few leaves, snatching a small green caterpillar and eating it gratefully. She crouched down under a green bush, resting in the shade.

Her belly felt full, though she knew it wasn't close. The flock lifted off soon after, winging to a glorious green meadow. They were here- dew rested open the thin stalks of green grass, sounds of life louder than usual.

Warbler spotted bugs quickly, soon filling her belly. The lovely, earthy taste of the worm filled her heart, warming her from the tip of her beak to the last feather in her tail. She fluffed her glorious yellow feathers, hopping through the grass with pure happiness.

Black ears bobbed above the grass, and she almost dismissed it before lifting off. Even flying felt more free in the green land. It was still hot, but in a better way. The day was beginning to cool as night approached.

A few stars littered the darkening sky, a coyote howled nearby, and she flew until she reached a small forest. The flock followed slowly, landing in the trees. She now needed to set up a nest..

Warbler flew into the trees, picking up small cotton pieces and litter from humans. Intertwining pieces of grass and hay from the nearby barn. She settled in it, tucking her chin into her wing. Perfect.

She awoke the next morning to scratching on the tree she had chosen. Warbler glanced down. The black beast from earlier was sitting at the base, eyes gleaming as if choosing to climb up and kill her now.

It's ears flicked, tail swishing slowly across the fallen leaves. The black mammal had fluffy fur, face bored as it decided what to do. A cat. She stood, making a loud warning call to it. She hadn't any eggs yet, so she could just lift off and leave for the day and come back to an unharmed nest.

And yet, this beast must live here in the barn near the meadow. Warbler needed to set up somewhere further in the tree, where leaves covered the nest. She picked up a thick piece of cotton that had served as bedding, flying up into the leaves. She could still see the cat's ugly snout. She needed to go further.

Warbler chose a spot thick in the leaves, where she could no longer see the black blood sucking monster. She wrapped the cotton around a piece of sticking out branch. She would be back with the rest of the nest, but she didn't want her bedding to fly away.

The bird narrowed her wings to fling herself on her nest, grabbing the majority of the structure and flying back up to set it up. She continued this until her whole nest was up in the leaves, away from the cat.

As she flew back down to where her nest had once been, she watched the cat. The odds were in Warbler's favor. She could easily fly out of reach of it's black paws. But still, she wanted to make sure the cat hadn't known where she went.

She flapped off, flying away to lure the beast away. The cat followed eagerly, prancing to follow her as she led it through the meadow and back into the barn. She narrowed out, flying high into the sky before rounding back to her nest.

October 14, 2020 19:19

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

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