I knew better than to trust them; they were human after all, but I found myself interested in, what was to me, a great oddity. They were foreign and strange, things I thought I would never see, like all the fairy tales I was told were just that, fairy tales.
In time, however, both sides began to warm to each other. The humans began to approach me and some would offer seeds and bread crumbs. I too began to cooperate, not running when they came close, sometimes taking there offerings and soon enough, making a nest of sticks, stones and tall grass.
I remember the time there well, mostly because of Little One. Little One was a kind thing, the first to approach. (much to the other's fears and dismay) She was small for a human, barely bigger than myself, and had long blond hair.
As time went on she would sit beside me in the field more and more. She would read to me and tell me secrets and I grew fond of our time. Though at the time I was not capable of speaking the human tongue, I still felt as though a bound had grown between us.
Not all the humans trusted me on the farm, it was a thing I didn't think would change, but by mid-summer I was to be proven wrong. The farm was peaceful, the sun would soon go down in few hours. The sheep were still in the field grazing and would soon be brought in their fence.
One of the human, who I had come to know as the Father of this flock, called his dogs and they began to do their routine of herding the sheep. He had a stern look about him that night as the sheep were gathered.
He glance in my direction and saw Little One beside me, reading to me and showing me the pictures in the book. "Child, what did I tell you? I don't want you goin' near that thing and I don't want you wanderin' into the field this late!" He shouted. "There've been coyot' attacks on our neighbors heard and I don' want you getting hurt out there."
"But Papa, I won't get hurt. Mr. Chicken can keep me safe." She insisted.
"Like hell it will!" He shouted even louder and marched out into the field. He forcefully took her arm pulled her away to the wooden nest the humans lived in. I didn't dare confront him.
The moon rose and the beasts of the night came alive. The crickets and owls and various rodents made soft sounds and I slowly faded to sleep. That is, I would have faded to sleep, if not for the sound of a howl filling the air. In an instant I was awake and took on the most threatening stance I could manage.
I was not the only one to awaken, the Father rushed out of his nest with an object that held a small flame (just enough to give light) and an odd metal poll in hand. I'd seen the poll before, he'd pointed it at me many times but never attacked me with it. He swung it around, back and forth and at least once or twice pointed it at me, as though I intended to attack him.
The sound of sheep crying out caught our attention and Father ran to the source. I followed behind a bit slower, not wanting to alarm him. Making it to the pen, we could clearly see the sight of two large grey hounds and the horrifying sight of where the howl had come from.
The two herding dogs, that I had seen assist the Father many times before, were on the ground bloody and only slightly moving. I felt shocked and appalled that these beasts could do such a thing to those of such close breed.
Father however chose to rise his poll and for the first time I saw it at work. It made a sound like thunder and let out a small puff of smoke and fire. (from what I could see any ways) It didn't seem like it should have done a thing, other than terrify them but it did, It left a bloody wound in the side of one of the beasts.
They both attacked and the one already hurt was hit again, this time in the neck. It fell over and never moved again. The second, however, was faster and managed to bite one of Father's hands and tore it away from the poll.
In an instant I wished I could use my flames but I feared for the human Father and refused to use them. Instead I chose to charge. I flapped my wings fiercely and dug my claws in as deep as I could. I found myself the full interest of the beast now and used every bit of aggression I could on it, from hissing to peaking at it's eyes.
Soon enough the hound was away from Father and he held the poll again, this time with difficulty. He attacked but it missed and sadly it grow the beasts attention. It went to attack him only for another sound of thunder to fill the air and a new wound to be in it's head. It to stopped moving.
A distance away I could see another human, who I had come to know as the Mother of the nest, in her hands she held another long metal poll. She then pointed it at me.
I froze and lowered myself to the ground, keeping my body low and showing no aggression to her. She was the dominate female and saw me as a threat to her mate, if I wanted to live I would have to submit before she furthered her attack. All the while Mother followed me with the weapon and eyed me carefully.
"Woman, put that gun down and help me!" Father shouted, though he sounded ill in a way. His hand now bleeding quite badly.
Mother glared at him. "I am helping you! This bird-"
"That bird may have just saved my life. Now you put that gun down." He ordered.
She gave me an untrusting gaze but did as she was told. His hand was wrapped and the same was done for the dogs. The sheep were checked and found in good health.
All-in-all it somehow felt like a small victory and I was glad to have it.