Flight of the Five Swans

All Rights Reserved ©

Feathered Chapter 22

The Swans

It is light.

It is light and there is pain.

Then it is over.

The flock walks on the ground behind She Who Leads. The flock does not like the ground, does not like to walk. She Who Honks wants to rest. But She Who Honks cannot rest. The flock cannot rest, must not rest. The flock must walk. Walk on and on and on behind She Who Leads. Walk on the hard path, the rough path. The path that hurts the feet. She Who Honks must wait to rest. She Who Honks must walk. Walk on and on and on.

The trees do not end on the ground. They end in the sky. The sky with the clouds. The sky with the wind. The sky where the flock should fly. But the flock should not fly, must not fly. It is important, remember! Remember! The flock must stay with Our Other. Our Other has wings that cannot fly. Our Other is grounded. The flock must stay with Our Other, must protect Our Other. It is important. Our Other is important. Our Other will help the flock, so the flock must help Our Other. Our Other is part of the flock.

There is a sound. She Who Fights honks. It is danger. Danger is close, too close to the flock. A fox approaches. The flock must defend, must protect Our Other and the flock.

Defend the flock. Hiss.

Bunch up. Hiss.

Lower necks. Hiss.

Spread wings.

Hiss. Hiss. Hiss.

Our Other walks towards the fox, walks towards the danger.

Honk! Honk! Danger! Danger!

Our Other does not listen to the flock. Our Other does not fear the danger. But the fox fears Our Other. The fox runs away. The danger is gone. No more need to defend, no more need to bunch. No more need to lower our necks or spread our wings or hiss. The fox is gone, the danger is gone.

The flock can walk on.

The flock must walk. The flock should not fly, must not fly. It is important, remember! Remember!

Our Other must eat. She Who Knows finds food for Our Other, to feed to Our Other. The food is good, with many legs. But Our Other does not eat. Our Other does not like the good food. The flock should not fly, must not fly. It is important, remember! But Our Other must eat. She Who Steals flies, flies far to find more good food, food for Our Other. Good food that Our Other will like. Our Other must eat. Our Other does eat. Our Other likes the far good food. This is important, remember! Remember!

She Who Leads stops, so the flock must stop. There are two paths, two paths to follow. But the flock can follow only one. The flock cannot split up, must not split up. The flock must stay together, together with Our Other. To protect Our Other. To help Our Other. It is important. Our Other is important. Our Other is part of the flock. The flock can follow only one path.

She Who Leads must choose the path. The flock will follow She Who Leads. One path smells different. It is not the same as the forest. It is a good smell, a better smell than their path. The new path smells of water, of ponds, of swimming. The path smells of reeds, of plants, of foods. Of air and of clouds and of sky. She Who Leads must choose the path. The flock will follow She Who Leads. She Who Leads picks the new path with the good smell.

The flock can walk on.

She Who Honks wants to rest. But She Who Honks cannot rest, should not rest, must not rest. The flock must walk. The flock should not fly, must not fly. It is important, remember! Our Other has wings that cannot fly. Our Other is grounded. The flock must stay with Our Other. The flock must not fly. She Who Honks must wait to rest but does not wait to rest. She Who Honks sits on the hard path, the rough path. The path that hurts the feet.

But the path hurts the feet no more. The path is not hard, not rough. The path feels different. The path is smooth, the path is soft. The path makes She Who Honks sleepy. She Who Honks wants to rest, wants to sleep, needs to sleep. She Who Honks must not sleep. The flock must walk on. She Who Honks must be woken. Our Other tries to wake She Who Honks. Our Other nudges She Who Honks. She Who Honks sleeps on. Our Other is too gentle.

She Who Steals is not gentle.

Bite.

She Who Honks hisses. She Who Honks is mad. She Who Honks is awake.

The flock can walk on.

She Who Knows finds more food for Our Other, good food that Our Other likes. Our Other eats the good food. It is far good food, the same good food. But it is far no more. She Who Knows did not fly, but She Who Knows still finds good food. The good food tastes different, but Our Other likes the taste. And She Who Steals likes the taste. She Who Steals takes the good food that Our Other likes. She Who Knows is not gentle.

Bite.

She Who Steals still eats the good food.

There is a sound. She Who Fights honks. It is danger. Danger is close, too close to the flock. There is a new smell, a strange smell.

It is Other.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.