The Beginning p1


Eagle and Dove - The Beginning:

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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 more successful hunts. Although warm and safe, the eaglets were feeling extremely hungry.Of the two young eaglets huddled together in their nest, the male Canana was by some way the largest and more developed of the two.
  Canana's mother was very proud of her offspring and was forever praising his size and beauty to such an extent that she tended to over indulge him with both food and attention. She knew instinctively and did not tire of telling her offspring that one day he would certainly be the greatest flyer and the largest Eagle ever to fly in the valley.
  In the eyrie, Canana cared little for praise at this moment, being both hungry and impatient for some decent food to eat. As he waited for the return of his mother, his hunger and the empty feeling in his stomach was gnawing away on his impatience.
  With a great effort, the eaglet tried to counter his impatience. He turned his thoughts to the day (which he knew would be coming soon) that his mother would allow him to leave the nest and teach him the magical arts of flying and hunting. He often pictured himself soaring above the valley, dancing on the air waves, scanning the land below him before plunging down on hisgoldnest1sm prey. Unfortunately for the young eaglet, these images soon faded only to be replaced once more by the pangs of hunger that were once again making themselves felt in his stomach.
  Canana stood up and slowly stretched, allowing the chill mountain air to ruffle through his already well formed coat of feathers. With two quick skips, he moved closer to the edge of the eyrie. After a brief hopeful glance in all directions, he spread his wings and began once again to prune himself. After a few moments lost in this self-indulgence, he once more lifted his head, looking to the far horizons for some sign of his long-overdue mother.
  Like all young children, regardless of species, if they receive too much praise and attention, then vanity will start to grow within them. Canana was no exception. Spoilt and over indulged by his mother his vanity had indeed grown. Unfortunately, with vanity will come other small defects of the character such as stubbornness, over-confidence, and most of all arrogance.
   Turning to his smaller sibling, Sabino, his glands had started to omit a smell of anger and recklessness. He then began to make intermittent clicking sounds by flicking his tongue on the inside of his beak. It has to be said, one of the greatest mistakes made by man is to underestimate the intelligence of all life forms, including his fellow man.
  From the smallest ant to the great bear, all animals have developed their own mode of communication. To them, it is one of the most important tools that they need for survival in the wild.
  The communications used among the beast, and the birds is as varied as the creatures themselves. It can take numerous forms and consist of many different body combinations. It can be a rhythm of movements, a particular sound or signal, a combination of both sound and movement. With some creatures, it is a form of telepathy or, with many, a mixture of all these things.
  The Great Eagles, like all other creatures had a need to communicate with each other and Canana now wanted to convey a message to his sibling. Clicking his beak and the simultaneous movement of his body was the method used.
His sister Sabino, watching her brother movements felt a surge of panic flow through her as she comprehended the message Canana was conveying to her.
  "If mother does not return soon," he had indicated, "I shall try and hunt some food myself."
  Sabino scrutinised Canana carefully and her panic slowly evaporated and became replaced first by one of disbelief, then finally by open mirth. When she decided to reply, her response was both truthful and cutting.
  "You think yourself capable of that task Canana? You think because you're so well fed that you're grown up already?  There's a lot more to flying then flapping your wings and staying in the air. And as for you trying to hunt, forget it! You wouldn't catch a sparrow sleeping in a tree without breaking every bone in your body.''
  Softening her tone slightly, she continued, "No Canana, wait until mother arrives, she'll have food. She promised that she will let you fly alone in a few days." Knowing her brother's tendency to vanity, she thought it better to try and placate him further.
  "You will be a great flyer Canana that is already certain, but you have to allow time and teaching to be your guide, not your impatience as that will only lead to mistakes, and as mother is always telling us, if we make a mistake in the wild, we will be lucky if we live to remember them."
banded eagles in nest Ian Drew  Although good advice and it had been well intended (for despite his arrogant and overbearing manner, she really did love him), it only succeeded in stoking his already aroused temper.
  "I would expect that sort of comment from you," he retorted angrily. "It seems your jealousy of me is a lot greater than I thought. I will fly alone now, and when I catch some food, I'll come back to show it to you, then you can swallow some of it along with your harsh words."
  Sabino was having none of it. Although much smaller in stature than her brother she was still a very intelligent and logical creature, and in her way, just as stubborn as her brother.
  "No Canana," she retorted sharply, her own anger beginning to get the better of her. "It seems your vanity and arrogance is greater than your natural given senses. If you try and fly alone it will most probably mean your death."  


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