Welcome to the 2nd edition of the Stirling Kid’s Chronicle! Each week through the summer we will be publishing the submissions we receive. To enter just send us a message on our Facebook page or email email@example.com. Please include your first name and age. Each submission gets entered into a draw to win a prize at the end of the summer!
This week’s prompt: I woke up one morning and I was a bird…
From William, age 5
From Alyssa, age 12
I woke up one morning and I was a bird. I wasn’t expecting it, of course. I had gone to bed normally, nothing different from my usual schedule. But the next day, I woke up in a little hollow in a pine tree. It was lined with down, and it felt comfortable, but it wasn’t home. I screeched wildly and darted backwards, only to find that my legs weren’t as sturdy as before. I flapped my arms about, but-no. Impossible. And yet, they were. My arms were wings.
I was a Barn Owl, Tyto Alba.
I took deep breaths and pulled myself together the best I could. But I started shaking with hysterical laughter. Me, an owl, my favourite bird? This was a large coincidence, one that could not be ignored.
And yet… how would it truly feel to fly? What noticeable changes would there be? I already had noticed that my hearing was much better than before, I could hear a mouse’s heart beating down on the forest floor. My night vision was better as well. I glanced down at my white chest, speckled with gray and black. My wings were a dark tawny colour, speckled with darker and lighter browns. Wings… wings that I could fly with.
I took a deep breath, and without a second thought, I jumped out of the hollow. I yelled out as I spiralled out of control, into the night. At the last second, I spread my wings out enough that they caught a gust of wind, and I glided along to safety.
Not safety though, I wasn’t a fully grown owl, and owlets have predators.
Oh great, so now I have to face raccoons and whatnot while I can scarcely control myself. I thought sarcastically.
I looked around, and sure enough, I saw two amber eyes staring at me through the darkness of the forest. I held my breath as they got closer, but there was no need.
“Hi!” Said a small Western Screech Owl, or Otus Kennicottii. “I’m Pine, what’s your name?”
Oh shoot, I thought, The name Avalynn will definitely not sound owlish…
“Um, Dusky.” I said thinking quickly.
“Hi Umdusky!” Pine said happily, his gray, white-streaked wings flapping excitedly.
“No, just Dusky.” I corrected, getting used to my owl name.
“Oh, okay.” The little owl said carelessly. “What are you doing here? You do realize that the hawks come here, right?”
“Hawks?” I said, alarm in my voice.
“Yeah, hawks.” Pine shrugged. “They’re looking for owlets like you and me…”
“Well what are you doing here then?” I said in shock at this owl’s calm, careless demeanour.
“Exploring!” Pine said excitedly. “I want to see the lake!”
“Lake?” I queried, cocking my head at him.
“Yes! I hear there are ot-” Whatever Pine was going to say next was drowned out by a fearsome screech. Two shadows, hawk shaped shadows, covered the little patch of sunlight that we were huddled in.
“Pine, fly!” I shrieked, flapping my wings desperately.
To my surprise, I was lifted into the air. I was flying. But Pine wasn’t.
“Dusky!” He screamed as talons sliced towards his delicate wings, tearing harmlessly through his gray plumage.
But if they got any closer, they would seriously injure the poor adventurous owlet.
I swooped downwards, only to be cut off by the other hawk. Suddenly, an idea formed in my head.
I swerved sideways. To my delight, the hawk followed me. I was smaller than he was, and although he was faster in open spaces, the forest was my domain.
He managed to keep up with me, just barely, as I squeezed in between branches and pine boughs.
As we were flying, I quickly ducked under a branch, narrowly missing it. The hawk was not so lucky. He dropped like a stone to the forest floor. He would be fine, I knew, he would just have a sizeable lump on his head when he woke up.
I hoped that Pine had been able to outmanoeuvre his opponent while I was gone, and to my immense relief, he had. He was darting back and forth between the branches of a juniper shrub as the hawk desperately jabbed, and missed.
“Pine! Grab onto me!” I shouted as I dove down, in between the hawk and Pine, and grabbed the owl in my talons.
I gasped at his weight. We wouldn’t be able to outrun the hawk like this. Or rather, outfly.
“Drop me! I’ll be fine!” Pine yelled to me.
“Just do it!”
Reluctantly, I dropped him. As he started falling, I got ready to dive, but there was no need. He started flying, gliding with the boost I had given him.
We dove around the trees until we lost our foe.
Eventually, Pine led us to a hollow, the same one I had awoken in.
“This is my hollow. I don’t know who my parents are, so… I live here alone.” He said nervously.
“Oh, that must have been so hard for you…” I murmured sympathetically. “But… why did those hawks want us?”
“I don’t know Dusky, but whatever happens now, we’re friends.” He said confidently, looking at me warmly.
“Yes, we’re family now. And a life or death experience is all it took.”
“We’ll find out together.”
Yes, together. I thought, feeling strong. As family…
For the next Kid’s Chronicle, submit your entries by Saturday, July 18th. Use the following writing prompt or write or draw about anything you like!
Next week’s writing prompt:
Describe or draw your dream house.