The Red Fruits

 

By Columba and Palumbus

 

 

Midsummer.

 

We fly low over the village.

 

Specks of red catch the eye.

We fly down to investigate.

We land on the bush.

The Red Fruits are back!

 

 

We peck at the succulent small round red fruits. Sweet, juicy, with an astringent tang.

 

Tall Two-Legged emerges from its nest in the red rock. CLAP! CLAP!

Startled, we fly to the lilac tree.

Two-Legged runs after us, gesticulating wildly. CLAP! CLAP!

We fly away.

 

We will return.

 

 

Morning.

Daybreak.

Shades of darkness lighten to grey.

Sunrise!

Sunbeams bring colours to life again.

The sky is filled with light.

The world awakens.

Cockerels crow.

The Speckled Songster perches on a high bough in the birch tree.

He confidently shouts his verse to the world, and then repeats it.

Then a different tune, and repeats that one.

The sun rises in the sky.

 

We take flight, and swoop low over the village.

We descend to the Bush of the Red Fruits.

Soft shoots bend and break under our weight.

The Red Fruits glisten temptingly. We eat greedily.

 

CLAP! CLAP! Tall Two-Legged runs out, enraged.

CLAP! CLAP! We take off, and flee.

 

We will return.

 

From afar, we espy the Silver-Topped Two-Legged placing food on the Offering Table.

We approach cautiously.

Silver-Topped disappears into the red rock.

We pause at the holly bush.

We land on the Offering Table and devour the soft white crumbs.

We eat our fill.

Red Vest hops around below, pecking up the spillage.

He makes no sound.

The Red-Vested Singer is silent in the Summer.

 

 

We journey to the Wide Green Spaces to forage.

The Soaring Songster ascends skywards, hovering high in the heavens, singing to to all the world.

Eventually he descends to his nest in the tall grass.

 

Evening.

The speckled Songster sings his last, and flies off to his nest.

Shadows lengthen.

We retreat to our favourite roost in the Pine Tree.

The sun slowly sinks down and silhouettes the trees in a defiant blaze of red.

Colours fade.

Dusk.

Darkness falls.

Night-time.

Silence.

 

The Silent Hunters emerge, swooping past like ghostly spectres: swift shadows in the gloom.

Small animals are their prey.

When far asunder, the Silent Hunters call and shriek each to the other, their eerie sounds now belying their name.

 

Darkness.

Silence.

 

 

Morning.

Daybreak.

Shades of darkness lighten to grey.

Sunrise!

Sunbeams bring colours to life again.

The sky is filled with light.

The world awakens.

Cockerels crow.

The Speckled Songster perches on a high bough in the birch tree.

He confidently shouts his verse to the world, and then repeats it.

Then a different tune, and repeats that one.

The sun rises in the sky.

 

Hunger pangs!

We fly to the Bush of the Red Fruits.

We land clumsily, flapping wings and swaying around on the flexible shoots.

CLAP! CLAP! Tall Two-Legged is waiting.

CLAP! CLAP! In hot pursuit.

 

We will return.

 


Tall Two-Legged emerges, and is engulfed by the Shiny Red Module.

It glides off along the Black Way.

 

Now we may feast on the Red Fruits.

Life is good.

 

Noon. The bright sun is high overhead.

 

We roost in the Bush of the Red Fruits.

Small Furry sleeps curled up in the shade.

She does not trouble us.

 

The sun continues on its arc.

 

The Speckled Songster pokes around in the undergrowth.

He finds a snail, and smashes it on a stone.

Tap, tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap.

 

Large Striped Jerseys bumble around the foxgloves, sipping sweet nectar with their long tongues.

 

Small Brown Bumbles buzz around below, working the white clover flowers.

 

We feast again on the Red Fruits.

 

The Shiny Red Module returns. Tall Two-Legged is disgorged.

CLAP! CLAP! It is enraged.

CLAP! CLAP!

Rapid retreat.

 

We journey to the Variegated Plots.

Many types of tasty plants grow here.

We sample different ones.

CLATTER! FLASH!

We fly up into the hedge, then drop down to sample more plants.

 

 

CLATTER! FLASH!

We retreat to the hedge again.

Two-leggeds approach, armed with strange implements.

They attack the earth industriously, then shout at us.

 

We fly away.

 

Evening.

 

Night.

 

Morning.

 

Today we fly further afield. A delicate shade of light green catches the eye.

We circle round to investigate.

 

We land at the Field of the Light Green Leaves.

Succulent young salad leaves abound.

We eat our fill.

Two-Leggeds cut the leaves and pack them into bunches. They do not see us.

 

BANG!!

BANG!

 

Terrified, we take to the air and circle around. There is no cover.

Then we descend, intending to land.

 

BANG!!

BANG!!

 

Terrified, we fly far from the field of the Light Green Leaves.

 

 

The village appears reassuringly in the distance.

 

We land on the Bush of the Red Fruits.

 

We feed desultorily.

The atmosphere is heavy.

The heat is oppressive.

Ugly black clouds roll across the sky.

A sudden wind ripples the leaves.

FLASH!!! A blinding light darts from clouds to ground.

BOOM!!! A deafening thunderclap follows.

 

 

The wind turns violent and shakes the trees and bushes.

Huge raindrops hammer down as we hang on grimly to our perch.

The gale buffets us and disarranges our plumage.

 

FLASH!! BOOM!! Wind!! Rain!!

 

 

 

Soon, the black clouds roll away.

The sky turns blue again .

The flashes and noise recede.

 

We shake off the raindrops from our ruffled feathers, and spend much time oiling and preening our plumage.

 

This is a bad way to end the day.

 

 

Evening.

 

Night.

 

Morning.

 

 

Midsummer.

 

Every day brings a cornucopia of delights.

 

We feast on the Red Fruits.

 

We devour crumbs on the Offering Table.

 

We forage in the Wide Green Spaces.

 

We sample the Variegated Plots.

 

We eat the young Light Green Leaves.

 

Life is good.

 

 

 

Evening.

The speckled Songster sings his last, and flies off to his nest.

Shadows lengthen.

We retreat to our favourite roost in the Pine Tree.

The sun slowly sinks down and silhouettes the trees in a defiant blaze of red.

Colours fade.

Dusk.

Darkness falls.

Night-time.

Silence.

 

Night.

 

Morning.

 

Daybreak.

Shades of darkness lighten to grey.

Sunrise!

Sunbeams bring colours to life again.

The sky is filled with light.

The world awakens.

Cockerels crow.

The Speckled Songster perches on a high bough in the birch tree.

He confidently shouts his verse to the world, and then repeats it.

Then a different tune, and repeats that one.

The sun rises in the sky.

 

Hunger pangs!

 

We fly low over the village.

 

Disappointment.

 

The Offering Table is bare.

 

We land on the Bush of the Red Fruits.

 

We search vainly through the branches.

Of the Red Fruits there is no sign.

 

We trash the bush, breaking shoots and branches, bending them to the ground.

 

Nothing.

 

Only bunches of bare stalks hang from the bent and broken branches.

 

The Red Fruits are finished.

 

 

Ended.

 

 

Gone.

 

 

 

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28 June 2012