Today started like any other day. Mom left early. After a while, the whole brood started calling her back. She puked breakfast. We slept soundly, dreaming big dreams. I woke up feeling uneasy. Robert had disappeared; mother looked stern. She pushed Anita out of the nest. Anita did not make a sound as she frantically flapped her wings. Mother was methodical, cold. I was her favourite and I was next. There was to be no exception. She did not hesitate as she heaved me over the rim. And pushed.
Time slowed – I saw my life stream past me – family dinners, communal sleep, then itchy wings and discomfort as feathers grew. And now this. Before realizing it, I was frantically flapping my wings and uneasily stopping my fall. I landed on a low branch from where I could see Robert and Anita, both visibly shaken but safe. We looked up as a terrified Olivia seemed to bomb down toward us, only to stabilize as she flapped her wings like she was possessed. She landed a few branches away, shaken not stirred. I leaped to her rescue flapping like a madman and almost knocked her off her perch. We huddled and looked up. Mom was staring down at us.
“You left quite a mess,” she said, a satisfied note in her tone. She started cleaning out our home, throwing all our stuff overboard. A lucky pebble, my Elvis stamp. “I guess it’s graduation day,” shouted Robert. With outstretched wings, he flew away.