Sunday Photo Fiction: Eat or Be Eaten #amwriting #nature #flashfiction


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF.

——

A Mixed Bag

——-

A handsome hawk watched as a sparrow spreading its impressively small wings, approached the birdfeeder. This fellow was piggish and fed on the seed a while. His red-brown back and tail with dark black mixed in with red-brown, made him highly visible. 

After a while, the male sparrow flew away from the feeder back to his nest, and his mate appeared to come eat. She also ate an amazing amount of birdseed before flying back to her nest. The mama sparrow was plump but her feathers in comparison to the male, were dull to keep her and her chicks hidden. If his eyes weren’t so sharp, he would have barely noticed her. 

The hawk watched the couple from far above, his eyes sensing and studying their every momevement at their nest. He knew there were baby sparrows in the nest. Mostly, he was concerned about the fat sparrows. The babes he heard peeping were too tiny and shrivelly to eat. 

The hawk screeched, his loud cry deafening as he swooped down, his reddish feathers gleaming, a nightmare on wings. When the plump sparrows each returned to the feeder to eat more seed, the hawk mercilessly crunched them between his sharp razor beek and ate them one at a time. How they never suspected he was close, he didn’t understand. 

This was the natural world taking place, the food chain in action; though it might seem unfair and harsh it was how it was. But as the daylight darkened into night and the well fed hawk flew back to his own nest, a great horned owl swooped in for his own dinner. 

In the morning, a mother sparrow, having lost her own brood, landed near the nest where she heard the tiny birds chirping. She looked into the nest and chirped back and then sat among the chicks; she realized they were abandoned. 

Wary of of predators from her own past experiences, she waited to gather food until when she was sure it was safe. Perhaps nature sometimes made up for its treachery, even if the truth if the food chain was ‘eat or be eaten.’ 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.