Congratulations to Connor McKenzie (7M) who received a ‘Highly Commended’ Award for the story he submitted into the Short Story Category of the Greenleaf Sprouts Kids Writing Competition.
Birds of a Feather
Once upon a time, there were three young birds named Ivy, Rose and Lily. They were sisters – Rose was the oldest and most intelligent, Lily was reckless but determined and Ivy was always positive and had a smile on her face. Mother’s job was to collect the family’s food. Every day, she would fly out into the dangerous forest, looking for grubs, insects and grain to bring home for her family. But today was different.
The young birds woke to find mother limply lying in her nest with father at her side. He explained that their mother was sick and cannot fetch the food. “You will have to do it yourselves while I stay by her side”. The girls were shocked. They were worried about their mother and the dangerous task ahead but their hunger was intense and they flew from their nest with their father’s words “be careful” echoing in their heads, like a marble bouncing off a cathedral floor.
The three birds flew in silence, lost in their own thoughts. The morning sun gave way to cloud and rain and the wind started howling like a pack of werewolves with leaves and dust flying in the girls faces. They tried to move forward but struggled against the strong wind. They were a long way from home and their wings ached. Finally, Ivy spoke in a soft, low voice, “My wings are hurting. I need to rest”. Rose nodded and circled towards the ground, her sisters following her closely. The landing did not go well. Lily hit the ground hard and was knocked unconscious. Her sisters gathered around her, worried by her fall. They could see a large cut on the underside of her wing and wondered if it was broken. Slowly, Lily opened her eyes, blinking while weakly coughing.
“Ouch” Lily whimpered, cradling her wing. “I can’t fly. My wing is badly injured”.
“It was a nasty fall,” Rose said, comforting her.
Rose and Ivy helped their sister to her feet. “The first thing we need to do is get the food” Rose said, taking control. “Mother is unwell and is counting on us to get it, however, Lily cannot fly and we dare not separate”. There was no choice but to walk home and the three sisters began the long journey through the forest. A long time had passed and the girls heard rustling in the bushes. They stopped, still. Rose stepped forward and moved a large branch, revealing an abundance of food. With a gasp, she ran towards the mound but was trapped by a huge, ugly creature with black, piercing eyes and long, sharp fangs.
“Step away from my food or I’ll have you for dinner!” the creature growled. Rose screamed, frightened by the terrifying monster – her mind racing.
“RUN” she shrieked, warning her sisters of the great danger! They followed her instructions and hid under a nearby bush watching nervously as their sister tried to escape the danger. The creature moved forward threatening to pounce. Rose’s heart raced as she tried to think of a way to escape the peril, quickly realising that there was no way out. Suddenly, thunder clapped and lightening flashed. Rose cowered as the creature prepared for attack.
“Leave my daughter alone,” the sound bellowed from behind the young bird. Father appeared. The creature looked at father and laughed and he picked the bird up like a piece of rubbish, but father was too quick and flew from the creature’s grasp. The monster swooped a second time but father was ready and struck out at the eyes, blinding him and sending him scampering deep into the forest. The girls reunited with their father, crying with relief but they were not out of danger and still a long way from home.
Father voiced his thoughts, “We need to split up. Mother needs nourishment, so one of us should fly back whilst the others walk”. There was silence for a few moments as they all pondered the dilemma. It was Rose who spoke. “I’ll go” she said and turned to pick up the food. She said good-bye to her family and flew away with a heavy heart. The wind was on her side which made flying easy and she was determined to reach her mother quickly. She flew on through the forest for what seemed like hours when suddenly a familiar tree emerged in front of her. She sailed to the family’s nest and into her mother’s arms. “I am so glad you’re safe but where are your sisters? Your father has gone to look for you all,” her worried mother exclaimed. “Mother, I have a story for you. Here is the food. Please eat and regain your strength while I tell you about our adventure”.