General Non-Fiction posted May 3, 2017

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A conversation with an eagle


by Cass Carlton

At the Zoo one afternoon, I sat beside a large bird aviary that I thought was empty.

I had leaned back against the bars in the warm sun when I felt something tug at my sleeve.

I turned to look and there was a large wedge tailed eagle. It looked up at me with a quizzical tilt to its head and made some soft bird noises as if it spoke to me.

I was intrigued and made some similar noises in response. He reached a taloned hand through the bars and clutched my sleeve, the claws piercing the material like a pin through newspaper.
The sleeve was a wide one and the claws missed my arm, although I could see their long, gnarled scythes clearly.

He sat alongside me, making soft noises in his throat, holding my sleeve in his vice like grip.

Enraptured I made noises back, twisting around so I could see him face to face.

His eyes were clear, wise and knowing. His feathers were beautiful, all golden, brown and bronze.

And so soft. I dared to stroke a feathered shoulder which evoked a little trill of pleasure.

I fished a piece of bun from my pocket and offered it to him. He took it gently and dropped it to his foot.

Then he let go of my sleeve so he could pick the morsel up to eat it.

A passing keeper smiled at my story of "talking" to the bird,but thought he might have been lonely and would be returned to the communal aviary, now a rival had been relocated.

Beautiful Creatures writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a short essay about an animal - maximum 300 words. It can be a beloved pet or a wild animal you admire. The photo you include should be of the animal, or type of animal, you are describing.

The eagle's name was Quill shortened from Aquila and he had a brother called Jax shortened from Ajax. The keeper who spoke to me said that the two of them used to ride around on his barrow until Ajax died in some mishap and Quill fretted for his nest mate. He was a very friendly bird, which is unusual for a wedge tailed eagle, and would often fly off to land next to a keeper and walk up to perch on the barrow. Quill lived until he was 12years old , but his descendants live still in the great aviary.
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