Never Trust Birds

Once upon a time there was a young shepherd watching his flock. This boy was diligent, but youth made him fanciful and he longed for adventure. The hillside bored him, and he would while away the long hours doing little more than eating the sweet berries that grew there.

One day while looking for food, the boy was startled by a sudden rustling from the bushes. A berry tumbles from his hands as he snatched up his staff, worried that some beast was about to pounce on the lambs or, worse, him. He soon relaxed when a tiny bird flutters from the brush.

The bird was beautiful, its plumage smooth and patterned with all the colors of the storms. It fluttered down in front of the dropped berry, looking from it to the awed boy with fearless eyes..

'Won't you give this to me human?' It trilled sweetly. 'One would fill my belly, and be no loss to you.'

Now the boy had been told birds were not to be trusted, but this was such a small and beautiful creature, and it sang so sweetly, that the boy smiled and said. 'Go ahead little bird.'

Without a moments hesitation the bird snatched up the berry, gulped it down, and launched itself into the air singing happily. The boy smiled at the noise, and watched its brilliant colors fade away. He thought no more of it.

But the next day, again while the boy was again scavenging, he encountered the bird once more. This time however, it was not alone.

'Hello again sweet human.' the birds chorused 'Won't you let us take more berries? We would be full and glad if you did'.

The boy was worried for a moment at what he may have started, but the tiny birds were so pleasing to his eye that he soon smiled again. 'Fill your bellies little birds. There are more than enough berries for all of us'.

The words were hardly out of the boys mouth before the birds descended on the bushes, gulping down a handful of berries each. The moment their hunger was sated, they each leaped up into the sky. They flew around the boy, singing happily, before flying away. The boy laughed at the splendor but, deep inside, his gut was worried at how bare that bush now looked.

This went on for several days. Each day even more birds would come, and each day the boy would be even more reluctantly permit the birds to eat. On the fifth day, the boy found himself so surrounded by birds that he would be unable to step away. The boy was even more alarmed when the birds trilled in unison:

'Sweet human, there are no berries left for us to eat! Won't you let us eat one of your lambs? It would make us so happy!'

This rightly alarmed the child, who was already imagine the face of his father contorted with fury 'Little birds, I cannot give you a lamb! they are not mine to give, and my father would beat me!'.

'But we are hungry! Why won't you give us what we want?' The birds trilled, as sweet as ever. 'But one lamb would be more than enough. Won't you let us eat?.

The boy, whose belly was empty also, had had enough now, and cared no longer for the birdsong. 'No! You wicked birds wont take anything more from me. Go away and don't come back!' With that he swung his crook at them, but they deftly fluttered aside, crying angrily.

'If you won't give us what we want, then we shall take it, human!' They cawed.

As one they rose into the air, and their plumage took on even brighter colors. The reds burned with flame, the greens bubbled with acids and the yellows crackled with thunder. As the birds flew past the child, their storm hue burned the child badly, who cried out in pain.

The boy could do no more than watch as the fiery birds descended on his flock, landing on one poor creature after another, charring, burning and melting each in turn. For each sheep the birds killed, they took hardly a bite to eat, seeming to delight more in the tortured yelp as the animals died. Not one sheep was left when the birds finally flew away into the storms, singing as sweetly as they ever had.

The boy looked at the destruction before him, and cried himself to death.

game2/fiction_nevertrustbirds.txt · Last modified: 2008/10/10 00:17 by gm_tony