A Rainforest Adventure
Trees grew so high that it was hard to tell where they ended and where the sky began. Trees with large, bright green leaves were covered with orchids, their branches reaching toward the sky. The forest buzzed with so much activity every single day. Today was no exception.
The jungle had many animals, some of which were the Amazon parrots. They wore all the colors of the rainbow. Their cheeks were a mixture of red, yellow, and orange feathers, while on their forehead was a beautiful explosion of violet. Their bodies were as green as the grass in your backyard, and their tail feathers completed the masterpiece with colors from black to blue to red. These birds seemed to know just how magnificent they were by the way they flew around showing off.
Normally, there was nothing extraordinary about a hollow tree in the middle of the rainforest, yet this one had something special. Halfway up was a hole covered with leaves and twigs. Inside, there was the nest belonging to an Amazon parrot.
However, if you looked … really looked, you would see that eggs had been laid within that nest. Sally stood by, keeping her eggs warm. She watched and waited for that magical day. Inside the eggs, however, all was quiet and dark.
Soon, it was time for the eggs to hatch. Sally tapped on the eggs.
A curious tapping came from within one of them. As sunlight peeked through the leaves, the egg cracked down the middle. Slowly, the shell broke apart. A tiny beak appeared as the young one worked his way out.
Well … Jasper, that’s who. With his eyes closed and featherless body shaking, he fell onto his face, looking quite pitiful.
From behind, he heard, “Hi, Jasper. I’m your mama. I’ve been waiting for you.”
“Jasper? What’s a Jasper?”
“That’s you, silly,” she said. “Pretty soon your brother or sister will hatch, too.”
Suddenly, Jasper’s stomach made a loud rumbling noise.
Knowing how hungry he must be, Sally fed him.
As his tummy got full, Jasper got sleepy and slowly fell asleep. It had been a busy morning for the little bird.
* * *
The next day, movement broke the silence within the nest just enough to wake up Jasper. He heard his mama coaching the other egg to crack.
She nudged and nudged, but the egg remained uncracked.
Jasper watched his mama continue to stare at the egg.
“What’s wrong with it?” he asked his mama.
“I don’t know, son. There could be a few reasons. Maybe I didn’t sit on it enough to keep it warm. Maybe it doesn’t have a baby inside. I’m not sure,” she said.
Jasper didn’t know what to say to his mama. While he didn’t know what it would be like to have a brother or sister, having one would have given him company for the times his mama was out gathering food and supplies. What he did know was that she was sad. Maybe that was what he was feeling on the inside of his tiny body.
Mama came to where Jasper sat and gave him a big hug. “It wasn’t meant to be. A lesson we all learn as we grow older, Jasper.”
At that moment, Jasper’s tummy made a loud noise.
A smile found its way across his mama’s face. She left to find food for her little man. Quickly returning, she fed him until he was satisfied.
Soon, Jasper fell asleep.
Waking up the next day, he was startled to find the most curious sight staring back at him with its eyes blinking.
“Who are you?” Jasper asked, keeping his distance from the ugly thing.
“I’m Willie, your brother,” he said.
“But … you weren’t here when I went to bed. Where did you come from?”
“I hatched last night. Mama said I’m a late bloomer. I think that means I’m special,” Willie said.
The two young birds watched each other for a long time, each thinking how ugly the other was.
Secretly, Jasper thought he was prettier, but he kept that to himself. He wanted his feathers to start growing so that he could look like a real bird, just like his mama.
Who cares if I had a brother!?
“This is so cool,” Willie said. “Did she tell you what we are?”
“Yes, we are Yellow Cheek Amazons,” Jasper replied proudly.
It was a mouthful to say, and while he was still new to all of this, such a title had to mean something awesome. He just knew it. There was so much to learn. Jasper felt that he was ready. Best of all, he now had someone to do things with.
He looked outside of his nest and noticed how high up in the tall trees they were. So high, that it hurt his neck. So many unfamiliar sounds also filled the air. He was amazed.
For the next two weeks, the routine stayed the same. Day in and day out, the little birds ate, pooped, and slept. The changes were slight. Both boys’ feathers were growing like tiny spikes poking out of a pin cushion.
They were also growing a little bit with each passing day. Like most boys, they were also getting restless.
Waking up one day to a loud sound, Jasper’s eyes opened wide. Seeing Willie by the entrance, he asked, “What’s going on, Willie? You woke me up from a good sleep with the ruckus you’re making.”
“Sorry, but this is so awesome, I could not hold back. You can sleep any time, Jasper,” his brother said. “Come check this out.”
Jasper walked over to the entrance of their nest and stood by his brother’s side. Looking in the direction Willie was staring at, he saw a large group of birds flying across the horizon.
“Wow. That looks like so much fun. I can’t wait until our wings are fully grown.”