Dori Gronich

Departure

Suddenly I felt the earth beneath my webbed feet tremble. It was getting dark and there were two tiny lights heading towards us. The lump of good smelling food made me want to stay. However, as the vibrations grew closer I flapped my wings and headed towards the grass. I honked out a warning to my mate, but by then it was too late. There was a large blur and then a screeching thud. Everything went quiet. The lights continued past us, but all I noticed was the horrific scene in front of me.

 
She lay motionless. Her neck was twisted. Her blood and feathers were scattered everywhere. I kept honking at her hoping she would wake up. I laid down next to her once beautiful body. Closing my eyes, I hoped this nightmare would end. It was early morning when I awoke, and her body was no longer warm. Little bugs were eating away at the love of my life. I got angry at them and started honking. I tried to eat them, but there were just too many. They were crawling on me as well, but I didn’t care.  Living wouldn’t be the same without her.

 
I was thinking, and everything went black. I thrashed around trying to escape from this dark tiny place. There was a loud thud and there were strange voices. 
If I had things my way, I would have stayed by her side. It didn’t seem fair that I was being taken away by force. 

Eventually, I was let out and my eyes slowly adjusted to the bright light. There were tall, two legged creatures staring at me from a distance. I glared at them hoping they would leave me alone and they did.

I turned around and to my surprise there was a dozen or so of my kind. Some were fledglings and others were older, but none could replace her. 

I didn’t eat the food they provided. I watched the others devour all of it. One of the females came over to me and dropped her share of food. I looked at it and then at her. She flapped her wings in delight. She was trying to cheer me up. Before I could even react, one of the older males strutted up to me and honked. He did not look thrilled. 

He glared at me and honked aggressively. I didn’t react to the commotion. I just stayed motionless. This seemed to aggravate him further. I felt immense pain as he bit me on the neck. I didn’t fight back as I took blow after blow. It hurt, but I could see something beautiful.

It was her. My love.
 

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