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Raven Vs. Gull

“AAAAAAAAA!”  The man went running by screaming as loudly as he could.  His bag was flapping against his hip.  The raven noticed that it wasn’t latched.

The bear went by a moment later.  Seeing opportunity, the raven flew into the air and followed the two creatures through the wilderness.

It was obvious that the bear was toying with the man – running leisurely, catching up to the man, taking a half-hearted swipe at the legs and falling back again.

The man, on the other hand, was terrified.  He didn’t noticed when his hat flew off.  He lost a shoe at the last turn, and it looked like his bag was about ready to dump its contents.  He, also, hadn’t stopped screaming since the raven first spotted him running down the trail.

The bear was gaining on the man again.  He took a swipe and snagged his claw on the bag.  Something silver tumbled out as the man ran faster than the raven thought men could run.  The bear was too busy to notice what he had knocked loose.  Bear and man continued down the trail; raven lit upon the top of a pine.

He looked down at the trail.  It was a…  No, it couldn’t be…  But it was – a FISH!  The raven called out his claim to the fish at the same time that another call came from the tree exactly opposite to him.  Raven recognized the call as that of a gull.  He called back to the gull in the gull’s language.  The gull responded with a threat.  The raven returned the threat.  They eyed each other.  Both left their trees at the same time and clashed in mid air.  Black, white and gray feathers fell from the sky and onto the trail.

The birds returned to opposite sides of the trail.  The raven knew he was smarter and more sophisticated than the gull, but the gull was cunning when it came to procuring food to satisfy its voracious appetite.  He called to the gull.  The gull ignored him – its mind was consumed with the thought of its next meal.

The gull darted out from its tree.  The raven intercepted him.  The gull shouted “MINE!  MINE!  MINE!” as the two birds fell to the ground, claws interlocked, beaks snapping.  They pecked, snapped, scrabbled and flapped.  They scratched and screamed.  They hopped on each other – neither gained a clear advantage.

Both tired, they stepped away from each other.  Black eyes stared into gold eyes.  Both squinted.  Their chests heaved as they tried to regain their breath.  Then, the raven heard something.  He cocked his head to keep one eye on the gull and to look at where the other sound was coming from.

There, where the fish had been, sat three bloated magpies – clattering away like some old hens.  The fish was no where to be seen.

Author’s Note: Living in Alaska gave me time to explore the wilderness and watch animal behavior in the wild. My time wandering the streets of Anchorage, where a gull attacked me, and through the woods near and far in the rest of the state gave me the experience I needed to write this story. What life experience have you used to further your creativity?

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