He tried to be as still as possible, peaking through the leaves, wondering if they were still out there. Never in his wildest fantasies did he think that bird watching would lead him to this. When he was just a child he begrudged his grandfather’s weekly ventures into nature’s unpopulated greenbelts, especially when grandfather insisted on dragging him along. It was boring, sitting quietly, looking through binoculars for hours at a time, waiting for that rare or unknown species to hop into their field of vision. He’d much preferred to be at home with Grandmother working on his numbers and letters, cooking, even doing chores would have been better than sitting around doing nothing. Sure, the outdoors were beautiful, the sounds relaxing and the feel of the breeze refreshing, but he wasn’t interested in birds, certainly not to the extent of wanting to hang around for hours waiting for a bird that might never show up.
But that was a long time ago. Being raised and homeschooled by his grandparents really wasn’t that bad and eventually he did grow to love spending those quiet moments with his grandfather, just the two of them, sitting quietly side-by-side. And over the years they seemed to develop a sort of telepathy, an unspoken language which allowed them to work effectively as a team. So when his grandfather passed away it seemed only natural that Alex would become an ornithologist. And now as he sits quietly watching, waiting for another glimpse to tell him that his tired eyes had not deceived him, he cannot help but wish Grandfather were there sitting beside him.
Grandfather would be believed. No one would discount the word of his grandfather, even when it came to the most unlikely of stories. How would he ever get the ornithology community to believe him — faeries, pixies, “What else,” they’d ask, “elves, brownies and giants? ” Alex would be laughed out of the profession. But, certainly the cryptozoologists would not debunk his claims, not if he could study these little creatures, document their diets, habits, routines, get photos or even hi-res video imaging before telling of his secret discovery. This was going to be expensive if it was true and if he was going to prove it.
He could become the most famous cryptozoologist-ornithologist in the world or he could lose everything! What was a man to do? What would his Grandfather have done? And what would happen to these little creatures if he were to reveal their existence? Would this area of forest be protected from development, fenced off from man, a protected haven or would these little creatures be subjected to busloads of people stomping through the undergrowth in the hopes of spying a faerie… maybe they’d be captured and sold as pets or made into jewelry or….
Alex set the binoculars down at his side and prayed that it had only been his imagination. He couldn’t live with himself if his actions hurt these beautiful little creatures, but then non-action would inevitably hurt them as well. He vowed to himself not to return to these woods again, ever. No, he’d give it all up. No more jaunts into the woods, no more binoculars and night vision goggles… maybe he’d take up cooking like his grandmother had done.
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The above short story was inspired by Author S B Mazing’s blog event Finish It, which began as a Blogging201 assignment meant to further expand our blogging experiences as well as our strength of community. Join her event to experiment with a story prompt and give your fingers a shot at short storytelling… every Wednesday she’ll provide a new prompt! This story came from Finish It prompt #5.
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