The day my mother pushed me off the edge over a fifteen-foot drop was the best day of my life. Well, the drop itself wasn't what was so great. It was what happened during the fall that amazed me. At a certain age, a brood mother is supposed to push her children out of the nest to get them flying. Almost all of her children had flown so my mother had no worries.
I was examining the edge of out finely woven nest when my mother acted. It was a swift thought process of, "Are they old enough? Yes," and then her large snout shoved me roughly overboard. There was no warning or discussion of expectation, just that. I panicked, trying to grab onto thin branches during my descent but they all came off in my claws. Man, it had to be one of the scariest moments of my life.
I didn't blame my mother for her decision. It was her duty, after all. Plus, she did not care much for our emotional health, just our actual health, safety, education, and eventual absence once we have reached the right age. She was more of a mother or guardian than an actual "mom."
As I fell to what I though was my death, my wings happened to catch the air at the right angle and I glided for a moment. Unfortunately, it was at an odd angle so I collided with a tree and fell to the ground. Thank goodness it was a lot closer to the ground than the original fall.
I collapsed in a heap to the ground, dizzy, scared, and in shock over the amazing feeling of flying. The experience can be simply put as marvelous. It was beautiful to experience, but probably not to watch.
Speaking of watching, my mother hadn't been, so she didn't see my flight. She peered over the edge and saw me in a heap. She quickly threw the others out of the nest and watched as they all flew. I suppose they had seen me get thrown out and knew somewhat the task at hand. It was after they had all touched down on the ground a lot more gracefully did I realize that I was about to lose any chance of flying.
When a brood mother discovers that one of her dragonets cannot fly, she eats his or her wings. It's rather traumatizing for the dragonet but it's for their good. The dragonet does not need his or her wings and they weigh a lot. No point in having them if they don't do anything, right? I'm sure that the dragonet could find a use, but the mother does not care at that point. Plus, I hear that they are highly nutritious.
My own mother came crashing down in a dive from the nest at me. I knew what was on her mind so I turned and ran as quickly as I could. I zipped through the forest with my mother hot in pursuit. She couldn't fly without getting her wings hurt, so she chased on foot.
Over a stream, through a tunnel, across a short rocky terrain, and into a grassy field we ran. The field was open enough for my mother to spread her wings so she nearly overcame me. I took a sharp turn into a thicket running parallel to the field before she caught me.
I hid in the thicket but not too deeply into it so I could find my way out. My mother did not fit. She growled at me, clearly irritated. I stayed silently where I was. Her grabbing claw shot into the small area that I barely had fit into. Her claw grazed my leg but I moved out of her reach.
Just then, a sharp, piercing scream, clearly a dragonet's, erupted from afar. My mother perked up, recognizing her child's scream and shot off to rescue him or her. I sighed. Two super scary experiences in a row are not healthy. The stress and exertion hit me like a rock and I passed out.
I awoke with the moon shining gently down into my eyes. It was very beautiful. I loved to watch the moon from the nest every night, but my mother would always block it out with her wings when we lay down to sleep. I greeted the kind light with a smile and stretched. Holy crow, I was stiff from the run. I enjoyed the exercise immensely. I shook of the heavy feeling in my joints and poked my head out of the thicket. The coast was clear, so I exited my hideout.
I gazed up at the stars. Where will I go next? I had been kicked out of the only place I knew. I didn't even know how to hunt! I watch as a shooting star blinked in and out of my view. It had to be a sign. I smiled again, knowing that everything would be okay. I suppose that I was very positive then, and I still may be now.
It has been two years since that incident. My wings have still been developing so I have tried to fly, but no success yet. Of course, the other dragonets can fly because their mothers fed them the correct nourishment for their wings to develop quickly. I learned to scavenge whatever I could. I was shunned by the other mothers because they thought that I had simply strayed too far from home and my mother would collect me at any minute.
I do not live in a permanent home. I travel a lot. I hope to one day exit the dragon territory someday soon so that I can continue my travels without being so shunned, but I do not know much about what is out there. I can only hope that whoever is out there is less stiff and strict to the rules and more approachable.
The moon greeted me well that night. I opened my eyes to see it full and as beautiful as always. I smiled up at it and nodded as I always had. I travel at night because the moon is the kindest thing I know. There is only shuns from the day creatures and burns from the sun during day.
I stood up, brushing the leaves that were piled around me away. What a lovely night, I thought. I stood up and started walking. I sniffed. Is there food nearby? I spotted a large grub inching up the trunk of a tree. It was the length of my snout. I seized it in my teeth, chewing it thoroughly before swallowing. It was nasty and bitter, but at least it filled my belly somewhat.
I noticed something. The trees were becoming further apart and fewer in number around the area that I was walking through. Maybe there's a clearing ahead, I hoped, grinning at the possibility of fruit trees ahead. I hurried as quickly as I could. A clearing appeared.
I shot out of the forest and nearly off the edge of a cliff. I stopped short before going over. I glanced around and realized that not only had I found a treeless spot, I had exited the forest itself. I smiled and crowed in triumph. The dragons were all behind me now!
I smell wafted into my nose. Was it the scent of freedom? I sniffed. No, it was some form of food! I leaped off the ledge and dove towards the rocks below. Just before I collided, I twisted myself around and caught ahold of the rock. I quickly climbed down and followed my nose more.
I tracked the delicious perfume to an odd structure hidden by a rock. It appeared to be made of large, red rocks and some mixture of a once-liquid substance. The structure was erected in a square-ish figure and a long protrusion stuck up from the top. Flat plates lined and covered the other parts of the top of the building.
The scent wafted from the tall protrusion. It would be tricky, but I think I could manage to climb it. I glanced back at my wings. Maybe they could help? I spread them out and flapped them twice, thinking of nothing but following the luscious smell to its source. The flapping lifted me once and upended me the second time. Well, that went well. I resorted to my good 'ole fashioned claws.
The climb itself was tricky. The red rocks were tough to find purchase on and the flatter squares were just out of my reach. I barely managed to reach the top by first climbing atop an oddly neat stack of logs and leaping up to grip the odd metal rim on the edge of the top. I pulled myself up and had to use my claws to climb as well because of the slope the top was at.
I inspected the tall protrusion. It had a tunnel in it that went directly downward and the scent grew stronger within. My stomach grumbled and my mouth watered. I had to reach the source. I positioned my paws pushing on the sides of the square tunnel from the inside to keep me from dropping down. I lowered myself in that way and began my descent.
Robin was an ordinary girl. Well, at least, she had always thought so. She lived in Utah and came to visit her grandma every summer with her younger sister, Cardinal. Granny lived on the edge of a creepy forest. Her small home rested in a spot that was blocked from the sun by a large boulder.
Last fall, Robin had been enrolled in a baking class. She wasn't top-of-class, but she was up there still. She had learned a few nifty tricks from her mother and had eventually developed a secret recipe of her own. She called her new creations "Muckies" because they were a combination of cookies and muffins. She hadn't shared her treats with anyone yet so no one else knew they existed. She had planned to surprise Granny and Cardin with a delicious breakfast of muckies. She had to bake them at night so that they had sufficient cool time.
The muckies were in the oven. It was roughly four in the morning. Robin had dozed off while she was waiting for her treats to finish. She was jolted awake by a random noise. It sounded like scratching... Robin checked the oven and saw that the muckies still weren't done. She closed the baking oven and latched it again. An odd sizzling noise came from the oven after a few minutes. Robin opened the oven and inspected for the source of the sound.
Nothing odd was to be found except that one of the muckies had finished cooking. How odd... The others were still the same, so Robin used the cooking tongs to remove the finished muckie. It looked a little bit off from the others, but still very good.
Robin's stomach gurgled. There were still very many other muckies, so Robin calmed her upset innards with her finished muckie. It'd be stale by morning anyway... This muckie tasted fantastic! It was so much better than all the others that Robin had made which were all above average anyway. It made Robin smile as she finished it. She licked her fingers and was a little saddened that there wasn't any more of that exact muckie.
The tunnel had become increasingly hot as I descended. If I could sweat, I would have. Instead, I panted. Funny thing was that the more dehydrated I should have been, the more my mouth filled with drool. I believe that a few missed droplets fell into the scented depths below.
I was so close to the scent's owner that I refused to turn back. I don't care how hot it was, I was hungry! I became itchy from the heat. I bet the mites on me couldn't take the heat and abandoned ship. Probably to their own deaths. I used on of my back paws to scratch the constant itch on the left side of my neck. Some of my scaly skin broke free and drifted down into the tunnel. I squinted my eyes to see what was down there. It looked like a fire of some sort...
My claws slipped suddenly and I hurtled towards the heated glow. I barely caught myself before the tunnel widened. A metal rack stood above the source of heat. Upon it rested an odd plate of metal with dips in them. Each dip had a curious creation in it that appeared to be giving of the original smell. If only I could reach them...
One of the walls adjacent to the rack opened up and two metal sticks appeared. They pinched one of the treats between them and lifted it out. The wall closed again and the heat began to build once more. I decided to hurry and retrieve the food before I melted.
Both of my front paws were occupied with supporting my body, so I resorted to my tongue. I stretched the long, slender muscle out as far as I could and poked one of the treats. It tasted wonderful, but hot! I tried to wrap my tongue around one and lift it, but the metal plate underneath burned my tongue. I stabbed the pointed tip of my tongue through the treat and lifted it to my mouth.
The treat was a little weak in structure, but I managed to remove it. It was so much tastier in my mouth. I wished that I could have savored the treat but it scorched my mouth and I swallowed it instinctively. I burped and my stomach cooled the heated treat. It was lovely. I stretched my tongue out once again and reached for another treat.
Robin was startled by another odd noise. It sounded like it was coming from the oven. Could it be her muckies? Robin whipped open the door and gasped in surprise. A red, pointed worm reached towards the muckies. One other than the one she had taken out was missing. How did that thing get down through the chimney?
Robin used the tongs to stop the thin thief. She pinched the worm hard on the middle of its body, well, what was visible. An audible choking sound could be heard. Did the worm have vocal cords? Robin tugged on the worm but it tugged back. She felt that she had the upper hand, though and pulled harder. The lower part of the worm squirmed and coiled. Oddly flexible for a worm...
The worm slowly began to slip from the tongs throughout the tug-o-war. The pinched areas on the tough worm were whitened from the lack of blood. Robin steeled herself, determined not to lose to a simple bug. Well, a very strong, simple bug for that matter. She abandoned all precaution to keep a broken worm out of her muckies and pulled with all her might.
Crumbling noises came from in the chimney. Scratching was heard and suddenly the worm had an owner. It was actually a tongue. An odd-looking dog appeared and Robin realized she was pulling on its tongue. How on Earth had that dog...?
My claws slipped on the bricks and I crashed head-over-paws into the room through the furnace. The treats were knocked out with my fall and my paws were scorched by the heat in the oven. I yelped out in pain and Robin gasped.