“The Kingfisher and the Crane” by Zoey Emma Rees

Written by plumtree

Topics: 2021-22 School Year, Complete Archive (2012-2020)

In the pale light of early morning, Crane was looking for food, poking its long beak around in the tall grasses clustered with a group of flies, until it came across Kingfisher’s nest. In Kingfisher’s nest, Crane found Kingfisher and her eggs sleeping peacefully. The Crane tried to stealthily eat the eggs without disturbing the Kingfisher.

Sensing the commotion, the Kingfisher woke up. ”Hey!, what do you think you’re doing here!” the Kingfisher said frantically, scrambling and trying to protect its eggs from the Crane’s beak.

“Why just trying to get my breakfast, I’ll take an egg if you please,” said Crane hungrily eyeing the gleaming white eggs.

“If I please! ” the Kingfisher chirped angrily, now trying to hide its eggs in the mud. “You think I’m going to give up my eggs with a please?”

“I asked very nicely, besides its only one egg,” said Crane, looking affronted.

“One egg, another egg, another, and then ME! Besides, isn’t eating an egg cannibalism? I would never resort to something so low,” the Kingfisher exclaimed huffily yet proud as if she had achieved a great feat.

“Cannibalism! What is the difference between eating a fish and cannibalism? Food is food after all, does it really matter if it’s the same species? If anything the wrongdoing would be killing,” said the outraged Crane.

“Killing!… but everybody kills, it’s just what happens,” the Kingfisher started looking unsure, cocking its head side to side and pulling its feathers.

“I can agree that killing is a thing that happens but not everybody does it,” said Crane trying to poke their beak behind the ranting Kingfisher.

“I am positive that everybody kills, especially the lowly Crayfish, for their scales are ever so dull,” snorted the Kingfisher as she regained her confidence.

“Then let us interview the Crayfish,” the Crane said with a gleam in their eyes and a devious expression.

“Yes, let’s,” the Kingfisher prodded Cranes’ beak away from her nest.

Together Crane and Kingfisher went off past the swampy reeds to the muddy banks where the Crayfish lived.

“Crayfish, Crayfish!” squawked the Kingfisher, dropping stones into the creek. All was silent for a second, a minute, ten minutes, by this point even Crane was staring at the water as if to summon the Crayfish. After what seemed like hours a lump rose from the muddy water showing an exhausted Crayfish with scales red and gray.

“What is it, Kingfisher?” said Crayfish in a bored voice.

“I was wondering -” Kingfisher started.

“-We were wondering,” interrupted Crane, taking a step closer to Crayfish.

“Yes, we were wondering whether you kill the creatures here in the wetland?” “Well I do eat some of the frogs and fish so yes I suppose that I do kill creatures .”

An expression of victory showed on Kingfisher’s face and turning to Crane she said “Aha! It seems that I was right, after all, everyone kills and I am still better than you!”

The Kingfisher proudly puffed her chest and spread her wings, showing her gold and blue plumage. Crane looked bemused by the Kingfisher’s statement, saying “Well, Kingfisher you can’t just interview one creature you have to interview at least some more first, say why don’t we interview Frog before you come leaping to conclusions.”

The Kingfisher turned around to Crayfish, who was slowly retreating into the water and asked for directions to Frog’s home. Crayfish replied, “Just over the east brambles, into the stream, by the great willow tree.

The great willow tree was widely known for its size as it was tall and ancient, it made the other sparse trees in the wetland pale in comparison.

Crane and Kingfisher went over the eastward brambles and found the willow tree residing by the murky spring. Hopping to the banks’ Kingfisher promptly went on to a lily pad and called to Frog. A few minutes later, a dark lump from the water glided to the lily pad which Kingfisher resided on. The swamp green frog dully glistened in the now gold penny sun, looking expectantly at Kingfisher. “What is it Kingfisher?” Frog said, looking annoyed.

“Well, Frog we were wondering whether you kill animals or not?” Frog pondered this for a moment and then asked, “Do flies count as animals ?”

The Kingfisher replied, “ I do not think they do. But whether they do or not, the point is, do you eat them?” the Kingfisher said this very irritably, wanting to go to her eggs and rest in her nest of reeds and mud.

“I do eat flies, and that’s very well, but I am expected elsewhere and have to go.” With this, the frog leaped into the water swimming out of reach of Kingfisher.

“Once again I have proved that all of the wetland creatures kill. This evidence clearly shows that I am still superior to you,” the Kingfisher started going to its nest satisfied and triumphant.

“But wait! do not be so hasty, let us interview one more creature, say how about the flies?” The Crane says this with foxish eyes as it layed the words that set its trap.

“The flies? Well, I suppose that we could ask the flies, why I know of some that live right by my nest, pesky things they are.” The Kingfisher continued her grumbling about the flies until they arrived at her nest.

Snapping at the flies, the Kingfisher asked whether they killed any creatures. “We would never!” The flies buzzed looking hurt that the Kingfisher would suggest such a thing.

“Never? Not once ever?” the Kingfisher inquired. “Now that is just a plain lie. Why yesterday I saw you attacking a mouse.”

“We did not kill the mouse Kingfisher! We just scavenged the remains after some creature killed it.”

How disgusting! Kingfisher thought. Slowly turning around she resentfully decided to tell Crane they were right when she realized that Crane was not there. “Oh that bastard!” she squawked, heading to her nest and fearing for the worst.

The worst did happen and when she arrived, she found that her eggs disappeared with no sign of Crane. Sighing with a realization of her fate, Kingfisher warily turned around to find Crane blocking the exit, a hungry gleam in their eyes.

“I suppose I should have seen this coming,” Kingfisher said, battling the despair and frenzied panic that came with knowing her time was up.

”I suppose you should,” Agreed Crane, snapping up Kingfisher with their beak.

Departing in the now somber dusky light Crane flew halfway to its home triumphant, but no further for the dead Kingfisher’s beak had torn through their stomach.



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