While on one of our daily hikes, several red-tailed hawks flew over the treetops. This story came to me, which may turn into a children’s book. There will need to be a least three before I will spend time working out the artwork. For now, here is Soaring High.
Trees were still budding as days were getting warmer. Hank, a red-tailed hawk, watched the ground below searching for food. Riding air currents off the lake he soared above the trees as he swung over the land. Maybe he would spot a mouse, a squirrel, or another snake would be nice.
Two days ago, a snake was sunning on a rock in the early morning hours. Hank felt lucky to find sure a treat. What a nice break from the mice he dined on so often. Swoop, Hank's friend was off hunting another part of the woods that day, but Hank wanted to stay close to the nest. Rumors around the forest was an owl had been spotted. Owls liked to disrupt hawk’s nests to take it for themselves.
Suzie, Hank’s mate, had just laid a second egg and Hank was feeling the pressure to bring home breakfast so she could eat. That’s when he spotted something that jumped from a tree to the ground heading across a grassy meadow. As Hank rode the breeze off the lake inland, he picked up speed while diving toward the ground.
There it was. A plump squirrel the perfect size for Suzie and him. Swinging low over the grassy meadow to keep his shadow from alerting his prey, he extended his talons out embracing the squirrel as he turned toward the trees. In one swift motion, the squirrel was secure within his grasp as they reached skyward.
When Suzie saw Hank coming, she perked up. Fatigue from laying eggs had caused her to stay in the nest. Now she could build her strength before going on a hunt herself. Worry over the news of an owl in the area concerned her as much as it did Hank.
When Hank reached the nest, Suzie and Hank had just begun to eat when Swoop called out a warning, “Owl.” Immediately, Hank left the nest and joined Swoop.
Mr. Owl had used the trees for cover looking for hawk nests. He planned was to disrupt a few hawk nests and take the best one for his very own. Hank and Swoop had other ideas and they chased Mr. Owl between the trees. It was a dangerous game swinging back and forth. Striking a tree limb with a wing would most likely result in a broken wing.
Mr. Owl was swift and a great flier skillfully maneuvering between the trees and limbs always heading further away from the hawks nesting ground. The chase went on for a long time before Hank began to worry about Suzie. Was she okay? Was there any squirrel left for him? He hadn’t eaten in two days.
“I’m turning back,” Hank called out the Swoop. “I think Mr. Owl knows not to come back.”
“You’re right. He’s still running for it.” The two hawks headed back to their nesting ground.
When Hank reached the nest, Suzie had finished eating leaving more than enough for Hank. Today, they had secured their nest and the two eggs Suzie had given them.
I hope you enjoyed the short story of Hank, Suzie, and their friend Swoop. Hiking is a passion of mine. A trail by the lake is filled with wildlife. Red-tailed hawks are always riding air currents overhead swooping down sometimes within a few feet away from us. Nature is a wonder I hope to inspire you to take in. Take time to see what wonders God has placed in your area. For me, it can be breathtaking.
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