Bird's Eye View


What in the name of the Great Roosting Nest is that? It looks like its just a bunch of wires and wood, but wires and wood don't make that kind of racket! It sounds just as bad as one of those horrible things that are always being driven around on the ground below. Oh, no... I bet I know what this is all about... Let's go have a closer look...

Yep, I was right, it's those silly humans again. When will they learn? It's really quite simple. Birds have wings. This means that birds are meant to fly. Humans have no wings. Which should be clear enough evidence that they are meant to keep both of those ugly, ungainly feet on the ground. But no, they have to keep trying to come up here and invade our territory. Why can't they just be happy with the land they've got? They have to come up here, stick their noses in and try and take over even more space. As if the land wasn't enough for them!

Mind you, I don't think we need to worry too much, do we? I mean, look at that contraption. It's hardly a mechanical marvel, is it? All made of chopped-up bits of trees and fabric, with one of those things inside it that humans keep using. You know, the ones that make wheels turn, and so on. And they smell! Do they not notice how horrible they are? But I hate those great big steam machines the most, they make such a hideous noise, and the humans have to go around putting those metal tracks down for the things to follow... Horrible devices, and all so that they don't have to walk anywhere!

Oh, my... Will you take a look at those wings! What were they thinking when they came up with those! Horrible, inflexible things made of even more trees. Do they think there's a limitless supply of trees? There isn't, you know. This thing is a bit like those gliders that they play with, but don't they know that's not a proper way to fly? There's no real work involved, and no skill at all... Just gliding through the air, although now they've got a way to make the air go where they want it. That thing at the front must be what's doing it, the one that's whirling around fast enough to chop someone's head off. At least, that's what's going around in circles, and that's usually the best way to find out what's doing all the work in a human device.

Riding in this thing is hardly flying, really. In fact, it's not really flying at all. They might think it's better than those big bags full of air that they used to fly around in, but it's all the same. When all's said and done, they're still letting someone else do all the work. But that's what they're like really, humans. Even before they came up with those noisy little toys of theirs, they just tied a horse to a cart and made them do all the work.

Hang on a minute... I recognise him... It's funny, you know. They say humans are all the same, but if you perch in one place long enough, you start to recognise one or two of them... Now, where have I seen him before? Oh, yes! I remember now! I saw one of his earlier ideas... I can remember him flying some kind of giant kite! I remember he kept flying that thing every day for weeks, with his little brother. We all had a good laugh at that funny-looking thing, flying in the air with those weights on it. Is this what they were doing all along? Trying to come up with ideas for how to make that monstrosity?

These humans may have about as much sense as a pile of leaves, and they may have a horrible habit of ruining everything they touch, but they do find the most original ways to do things and go places. Even if they will insist on using those dirty, smelly things to do it all. I ask you, honestly, what's the point of achieving something if you've got some mechanical device doing all the work for you? It's not exactly your achievement, is it?

Well, it may look stupid, and it may be noisy and smelly, but it's stayed up so far. It's got all the grace and poise of a stampeding bull elephant, but it's staying in the air. I've heard that there are other humans out there, doing this kind of thing. I wonder if they've got theirs up in the air for as long? I heard from a few Gulls that were passing through, and they said that the humans were finally losing interest in the air. Some of them had even given up. Trouble is, if this lot can keep this up, the humans might get their interest back. They only ever seem interested in success, these humans...

It looks like this one is working, too. I don't know how they measure time, but I'm sure someone out there is excited about how this is going... It looks like they've finally found a way to make these things stay aloft. I always said these humans were inventive, even if they don't seem to pay much attention to the world around them. Now that they've got a way to stay up here, does this mean we'll have to put up with the humans now? It's bad enough having their noise and dirt on the ground, without having them cluttering up the air as well...

We might even have to do something to stop them. I mean, just look at the poor fishes... When the humans started putting their little boats into the water and dumping their rubbish into the sea, they didn't do anything about it. 'The Sea's too big for them to damage,' they said, 'and even the humans aren't that stupid'. Look at them now. Dying off a species at a time. And the humans still haven't noticed what's going wrong. There are some species they hadn't even given one of their horrible names to yet, and now they're dead and gone...

And what about those jungle animals? What about the lions, the tigers and the elephants? When the humans started going into the jungle, they held them off for a while... Sure, they had to bite a few here and there, but that's the way these things are. You keep away from the bigger animals, or you get bitten, scratched or gored. But after a while, the humans got bored of that. They don't like the game when they aren't winning. So in they came, with their guns and cages. Now, half the trees are gone, and every one of their 'cities' has a zoo for animals like the lions, the tigers and the elephants.

Hang on, what's that noise? I can hardly hear it over the engine, but... Oh, would you look at that! As if there wasn't enough evidence that humans belong on the ground. Being in the air seems to have made that one sick! He's sticking his head over the side and throwing up! He can't even handle a light flight like this, so how could he handle a flight in high winds? Oh, I hope that doesn't catch anyone down below... It should be alright though, that horrible noisy thing will have driven everyone away by now.

I guess that just proves the humans can't really handle flying, even in something as big and lumbering as that. Just imagine what he'd be like when a hurricane hit. Or a blizzard. He'd be back on those horrible weighty feet on terra firma before you can say 'Look Out Below'. And just imagine if he was flying under his own power... Heavy as the humans are, even they'd get pushed about by the wind. He'd be expelling his food in any direction the wind turned him!

Maybe we don't need to worry too much about this horrible great contraption. It's big, ugly and graceless. It's noisy and crude. The humans will play with them for a few years and get bored. They always get bored. Then they go back to their money and their jobs. I never could understand the fascination they have with money and jobs. They work to get money. They get money to buy food. Why not just go out and get the food? Or do I just not get the point of money?

It's all part of trying to be in charge, I suppose. Just like they want to be in the air to make it look like they own the planet, the Boss humans want to exert their authority over the humans they've got under their power. Honestly, why don't they just grow up and stop all these little power games? Can't they just get along with everyone else? I mean, we birds get on with other animals. Alright, some of them eat us, but that's not malicious or anything. It's just the way it works. We avoid the ones bigger than us, and eat the ones smaller. Nice and simple. None of this money nonsense.

Oh, my sainted eggs, what's he doing now? I think he may be trying to land that thing... This could be interesting. How can he land something like that? If you try and do a landing, that thing will collapse under it's own weight! Oh, he's not going to land it properly, like we do... He's coming closer and closer to the ground, and he's on the ground, but he's still moving. Oh, now he's going to stop, now that he's on the ground... What a silly way to land! What a waste of space that is, moving after you've already finished landing. I wonder, does he have to do that when he takes off, too? Just imagine if we had to get a run-up before we had to take off...

Here comes that brother of his, on his way to congratulate him on a job well done. But I bet he leaves out throwing up in mid-air. I think I'll leave them to it, now... I'll let them have their fun. That ugly thing flies pretty well, I suppose. For a human contraption, I mean. But they'll never really grasp flying. Not like we can. It'll be centuries before these humans really start to grasp the idea of flying, and if they manage to last that long, then maybe they'll be worth having in the air. Maybe I'll go and get some worms for the children... And tomorrow I'll fly over to the next town, and tell Owl about this horrible great thing that the humans have invented.

He's a wise old bird, Owl. He'll know what to do. He'll look down at me, calm as you like, stare down his dark bill, and listen to what I tell him. He'll probably just tell me to be calm, don't worry about the humans. They'll get bored and drop it soon. That's what he'll say. Owl is good at calming down a situation so that we don't do anything stupid. We shouldn't really try to mess with the humans if we don't have to. A few birds tried that, but they didn't do very well. I hope Owl has a plan. After all, I don't want to end up stuffed in one of those 'zoos', with a little sign next to me saying "American Woodcock: Now Extinct".


Another short story, hopefully one you'll enjoy. I wrote this for an assignment, so I thought I'd post this here to see what people thought. So, what do you think? :)