Sitting up in the trees we see anything and everything. We watch campers come and go, packing and unpacking as they spend the days among the trees. We like to sit with the birds, the chirps make us happy. We forget about the bad things.
She was cursing the world when we found her. Perching on the branch, we looked down at her, watching her run around the trees like a lunatic. How humorous, she didn't know how to get back to her campsite. Why did she rush off? We don't know, we only followed the sound of her cursing. How laughable she is. Oh, she is crying now. Is she in trouble? Her voice is getting louder, frantic. Its scaring off the birds. We should put a stop to this. Her crying is troubling us, we need to stay calm. We take a deep inhale of the scents within our mask, and we move.
We hop down from branch to branch and once we're in a spot where she could easily spot us, we sit and wait. She turns and stops running as soon as she sees us. Her eyes are wide and her mouth is open. Her chest rises and falls with each deep breath she is gasping for. We smile beneath our mask.
"Who…who are you…?" her voice is light and fragile. We could easily break her. No, no, we decided to help. We stare at her. "C-can…can you help me find my campsite?" We nod and she smiles slightly, and then frowns.
"You won't hurt me?" we shake our head.
"We will not harm you," we say. "We will lead you back so our birds shall return. We wish not to harm you."
"We? There are more of you?" we shake our head and stand up, balancing for a moment before hopping to the ground. With a soft thump, we land and stand straight. We tower over her. She's got a short, round body. We tower over her with our thin laky body. We could break her. She could break us. No, we don't wish to harm her. We won't harm anyone again. Nobody will harm us again. That is why we live with the birds, observe the people. Don't interact, first rule, and here we are breaking it.
"There is only us," we say as we turn and start walking. Was she scared by our mask? She doesn't trust us. She would run if we removed our mask. Our eyes would terrify her, and she would scream. No we won't show her our face. We sniff the perfumed petals in the beak of our mask, and continue walking back to her campsite. We move silently, but her footsteps cause twigs to crackle and snap beneath her weight. It was silent the entire way, and we didn't mind.
We climbed back into the trees as we got closer to her camp, and her group. We could hear them yelling and laughing, stinking of alcohol as they sat around their campfire. Did they not notice their missing member?
We turn to look at her, gesturing to her campsite. She looked at them, then at us. A small smile graces her lovely lips, and she gives us an appreciative nod. We nod back, watching as she went back to her group. We climbed higher into the tree and watched over them the rest of the night. Nothing bothered them. We didn't bother them. We sat with the birds and watched them pack and unpack, sleep and wake up, eat and play.
When they left, she stood by our trees. She didn't know where we sat. She looked around, standing in place, and we heard a thank you. Thank you? Nobody has thanked us before. We smiled and took a whiff of the sweet scent hidden within our mask. She won't forget us, and we won't forget her.
She comes back now and then.