What a nice little quail he was with striking feathers and a black face topped by a crown that had just the right amount of tilt.
Quincy grew up in a large household and loved the fact he finally was old enough to go out on his own and not be under his parent’s constant supervision. He would venture down to Mr. Anderson’s garden because he knew the old man put fresh seed out for the birds several times everyday. So Quincy had a good time in the green grass and surrounding rocky areas. Of course, he learned to do the “chicken dance” from his parents when he was a tiny quail. Scratch, scratch, scratch, peck, peck, scratch, scratch, scratch, peck, peck… life went on day after day with Sergeant O’Quail keeping watch on the garden fence.
One day, Herbert decided he wanted to accompany his worldly brother, so he tagged along. Quincy told him to stay with Sergeant O’Quail because it wasn’t safe, but did he listen? No, of course not! Soon he was pecking on the lawn beside his brother.
“He doesn’t know of the dangers I face out here everyday,” thought Quincy. He couldn’t enjoy his feasting because he was very worried about Herbert. Even with Sergeant O’Quail on duty, it wasn’t always safe. The birds of prey liked to swoop in and catch them unaware and then there was always the roadrunner with his cunning smile and sharp teeth.
Bird of Prey
Herbert was happily eating away as he did the “chicken dance,” very unaware of any lurking dangers. Quincy found he couldn’t indulge in any pleasure at all because he was always watching for predators and keeping an eye out on his brother. He made up his mind he would talk to his parents that very evening after they got home.
Bush in the desert behind my house
“Mama, I have to talk to you,” Quincy tried to barge in, pushing his brothers and sisters out of the way. “It’s important Mama,” he said.
“Will you younguns’ go and find a place to roost?” She shooed them off and then turned to Quincy. “Okay, what is so important son?”
“Mama you have to keep Herbert with you. He wants to follow me and I can’t scrounge for food and watch after him at the same time. As you know there are lots of dangers we face here in the desert.”
“That is quite true Quincy, but he has to learn the same way you did.”
“Well Mama, I barely escaped with my life that time. You know the roadrunner almost got me when I was a child.”
“Well I think Herbert needs to learn as well.”
“But Mama, I don’t know if he can escape the attack the way I did. In fact, I wonder how I even did it when I go over it in my mind. I could very well not even be here today you know.”
“Yes I know that, but you got away and you are here. It’s your responsibility to teach the others; after all you were the first to hatch.”
“Well I refuse to be held accountable for the outcome of Herbert, if he tags along,” Quincy stamped his foot for emphasis.
“Try to get some rest Quincy. It’s a big job to be the older brother and a lot of responsibility.” His mother ruffled his feathers and gave him a peck on the cheek.
He found a spot in the corner under the sagebrush, finding it hard to squeeze into a place that another relative didn’t occupy. He tucked in to brood.
In the desert, night came on fast and it was getting quite dark already. Quincy could hardly make out his relatives. They were only silhouettes, soon he was fast asleep. He began to dream...