'Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative.'
H. G. Wells
Opening paragrapghs from 'The Beginning'
Winter still held the valley in its unrelenting icy grip. The sun that roasts and scorches the soil in summer was but a feeble pale yellow light, struggling to part the chilling veil that now covered the land.
Above this veil, the mountains that encircle the Guadalquivir valley were at their finest. Snow covered the caps and peaks, forming a ring of whiteness that surrounded the valley as if to isolate it away from the rest of Spain. On one of the higher peaks, just below the snow level, there jutted out a huge crag of rock, sticking upwards and outwards like an accusing finger pointing at the heavens. It was upon this crag that a great Eagle had built her eyrie.
Inside the eyrie, two young eaglets, a male and female were impatiently awaiting the return of their mother, who had flown in search of food many hours previously. This year an exceptionally hard winter had struck in the valley and game was scarce and difficult to come by.
Since the previous day, the eaglets had only eaten scraps left over from earlier hunts. Although warm and safe, the eaglets were feeling extremely hungry.
Closing paragrapghs from 'The Beginning'
Canana crashed into the solid ground with a sickening thud. A jolt of excruciating pain surged through his whole body, causing him to scream out in agony. As he lay there, his entire body seemed to be crying out with suffering and anguish. But he was alive and for that, he could at least be thankful. As he lay among the rocks, his broken body screaming its painful torment, his mind was telling him to find some form of warmth and shelter, out of this crippling cold and more importantly, away from any predator that may be skulking around. Twice he attempted to stand, and twice he fell, both falls sending fresh waves of agony through his already tortured frame.
Fighting off pain and an enveloping sense of darkness, Canana attempted to stand for the third time and succeeded only in toppling over a small embankment. Down he rolled into what many years ago had been a small river that teemed with fish and now was nothing but an empty ravine, sucked dry of water, due to the irrigation systems the farmers had made to water their fields. His injured pain-wracked body could take no more. Eventually, he stopped rolling and came to rest below an overhang of tree roots and earth where he finally fell into the welcoming arms of unconsciousness. There undoubtedly the Eaglet would have lain until his death, but fate is oft a cruel companion and it had other plans for Canana. His life was not ready to end there, among the rocks and stones in the Guadalquivir.