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. McGregor’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 say with Sergeant O’Quail keeping watch on the garden fence.
First baby quail of the season
On 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 her 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.
Quail with babies
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.
They arrived at the family hovel, just before dark. They were lucky to find this large sagebrush, big enough to accommodate everybody. They shuffled inside and tried to find a place to tuck in for the night. The bush was overflowing with the family and visiting relatives who lost their sagebrush during a windstorm. Life in the desert could be treacherous. Besides the predators, there was always nature to put up with and it wasn’t always kind.
Quail with teenager babies
“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's 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.”
“Yes, that's true, but you survived and you’re the wiser for it now. Isn’t that right, Quincy?”
“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 stomped 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 in the sagebrush. They were only silhouettes and soon he was fast asleep. He began to dream.
Here are some small babies with mama at the water dish.
I hope you like my short story for Q. This is reblogged from my post 10-7-2012