my . artist run website  





  Many storms affected the land around the farmyard. Entire families of all kinds of hatchlings from within the farm and the surrounding countryside were displaced. The barnyard itself faced challenging losses in its domestic population. Openings of space were now available for taking in refugees from the bordering forest and marshlands.
  Understanding the value of diversity the farmyard elders began to advertise to the marsh, and woodland creatures with the intent of creating a more vibrant community. “Vacancies were available to those in need —As long as they posed no threat to the inhabitants of the farm.”
  A local osprey family—having an excess of hatchlings in the following mating season, decided to drop off a first-born runt to the local hen coop. Ruling the coop, was a sterile hen with no eggs or chicklings of her own to care for. This mother hen was gracious to be the recipient of a foreigner (even if it was not a baby chicken) it was still an infant bird in need of care.
The same year the barnyard decided to hire a new manager. They chose an immature mallard, because of its determination and resourcefulness. This particular mallard arrived from a previous storm relocation effort into the barnyard duck family. No one bothered to tell it, that it was no regular barnyard duckling. (As the new parents realized it would someday find out on its own.) Growing up in the barnyard, the baby mallard was fancier and smarter than the other hatchlings. —Although it still thought of itself as just a more refined ( —yet domesticated barnyard-duck.)
  When the opening for the new barnyard manager arrived, the elders knew the immature mallard was highly capable of regulating tight, and effective barnyard policy. (Things had gotten a bit out of hand, as of late,)
  The arrival of the infant osprey was in proximity to the hatching of a new baby chick family. Soon, it stood out to observers as quite different. Little osprey seemed always to be the first to locate a lucrative worm bed, as well as the tastiest of insects and seeds. The savviest of the other chickens and chicks (seeing the osprey’s satisfaction and pleasure) followed after her, and were quick to make good on her intuitive discoveries. Other obvious differences were how private and tidy the young osprey preferred her space. (A tiny cubicle raised over the mothering hen.) The other hatchlings preferred communal nesting and tended to gather together in group play. They did not discern to keep their space free of waste or other distractions. Young osprey preferred seclusion in their free time. Frankly, she was quite singular.
  The immature mallard noticed these differences —Seeing them, and unsure of himself, and his own uniqueness. As well as being uncomfortable with certain similarities of the osprey’s disposition, he could not help but feel suspicious. Trickles of envy and jealousy soon led to viewing the different chicken as sinister. Eventually, the manager-mallard was convinced the osprey was a dangerous barnyard imposter.
 Realizing this, he began offering caution to the other managers, whilst engaging them in secondhand gossip.
 “Did you see that?… When she did that.”
When the baby osprey grew into an immature osprey, she began daily activities of stretching and flapping of wings.
 “As if showing off.” The mallard commented to many. Sensing the vibes, Immature Osprey often became wary of being a show-off, when really her prowess was just a natural progression of growth.
  Knowing the generosity of the larger farmyard community the osprey valued the free sharing of her passions. One of her favorite spots for exercising her wings was sitting on a low stoop or post and stretching her wingspans to their maximum girth. While doing this, she dreamingly watched the adult ospreys soaring above the stream. Sometimes they would dive straight down into the blackened stream of the marsh, and come up with large fish. Waddling by one day the mallard manager saw and felt the dreamy energy of the young osprey as it flapped, and stretched freely on the stoop. Effecting him negatively, the mallard said silently to the osprey lass,
  "You're no osprey, you’re just a hen like all the rest, but with the dirtiest of feathers." Not understanding telepathic duck language, it was of no concern to mademoiselle Osprey, although she did sense the animosity.
  At the beginning of spring each year it was each manager's job to do an assessment of the concerns and situations of all their tenants. Going into the meeting in good faith, the little osprey decided that it might improve matters to show some vulnerability, in hopes of improving relations with the heavy-handed manager. (Of late, many of her favorite resources were being limited, and scrutinized by the manager.) At the meeting, the little osprey opened up about her concerns that her rations were slowly being trimmed, and her resources within the community regulated. In reply, the manager only nodded.
Finally, the osprey shared his biggest frustration concerning other chicks,
  “They follow right behind me, and when I make a worm discovery —They gang up, and try to snatch it from me, Instead of procuring their own worms.” She explained, adding,
  “I don’t like to fight, but I will if I need to.” Taking note of this the mallard jotted something down.
  A local fox was in the habit of infiltrating the hen house for its own feeding needs. Often the invasions went too far —Bordering on entertainment. The first time the fox approached in the presence of the osprey, instinctively the small osprey sensed danger and created an uproar of alarm. Unfortunately, it was not enough time to stop the fox from making off with a wandering fellow mallard duckling friend of the manager’s. The chirping, squeal-alert-warning was, however, effective in notifying the parental Ospreys to dive down and confront the fox, diverting a potential disaster.
  The following morning the manager duck (Still in mourning for the loss of its friend) came upon the junior osprey collecting feathers from the scene of the crime. The mallard summarized the feathers to be those of his friend when in actuality they were those of the osprey’s parents. Enamored of the smell and designs, —Little osprey lined her nest with them. Seeing this, the mallard manager became very suspicious and angry.
  With the relatable parental feathers in her nest, the osprey soon gained a better understanding of who she was. Seeing the osprey fake-flying on her stoop the next day, the manager-mallard felt resentful. On a subliminal level, —He knew just how he could retaliate. Finding the prime feeding plot prior to the osprey’s forage, the mallard waited. When the little osprey led the gang of followers to the morning worming, the little mallard was hiding in ambush, waiting. Upon arriving hungry, the osprey routed out the fattest worm from the wormholes. Jumping onto the scene, the mallard latched on to its other end. Being startled by the attack, the immature osprey arched up its wings, let out a hideous squeal, and displayed its sharp talons to the manager in charge of the barnyard. This presentation of power greatly disturbed and even frightened the manager. Feeling threatened, the manager went to the head manager, crying,
  Eventually, he proceeded in having the imposter “hen” written up for staff harassment. In the weeks and months following, the mallard began heavy rationing, and revising of regulations concerning all of the osprey’s farmyard resources. Meanwhile trying to get her needs met, the osprey began making a name for herself, as being quite assertive. She was now in the daily habit of fighting for her worms. (from other invasive, yet less enterprising farm fowl.) What was especially concerning to the less aware members of the community, was the osprey’s habitat of trying to take more than the regular share of chicken pellets at feed time.
  Understanding her destiny, the youthful eagle knew that in order to reach her full potential, she would need to make accommodations for her nutritional needs somehow. All the others saw was pushiness, and apparent greediness.
  Witnessing the ongoing and increased restrictions of her most valuable resources, osprey knew she had to address it to the elders, —This was not comfortable for her as she did not feel entirely competent in barnyard-speak. Meanwhile, knowing she could not trust the manager duck, she began to fear she could not even trust her own impulsive reactions to him. —And doing so could endanger her safety, as well as leave her homeless to the nature of the wilderness. Reflecting on the matter, she brought it to the council of elders, —Who were mute about the situation. Many of them were not aware of her status as a raptor, those that did, realized it would soon be time for her to move on, on her own, or with a little help.
  While in the process of further reflection, she felt the need to relax and I enjoy the summer breeze. Stretching out, she arched her wings to full height. Just then the mallard puddled by, commenting silently,
  “You’ll never fly.” (That is what the osprey read from the fake smile, and smirk on the mallard's face.) Lowering her wings horizontally another gust of wind blew by lifting her a foot into the air. Flapping ferociously the osprey lifted two more feet into the air. With several more extended flaps, and more wind gusts the eagle caught a wind current, lifting her high above the barnyard.
  Seeing a fish swimming near the surface of the stream, she fluttered her wings. Signaling her intention to Mother Nature to feed, while giving thanks, she dove directly straight down. Snearring a golden perch in her talons, she rose from the waterway only by pure, core-strength. With a steady rotation of her wings, she lifted the fish away from the dark of the stream.
  —A gust of wind, —elevating to an airstream, took her with ease to the branch of the tallest pine. Not that far below, members of the farm community looked up in amazement and appreciation of the event. The elder donkey kicked gleefully in acknowledgment. The motherly hen, self-satisfied, went back to tidy her roost. All the other observers went on with their morning routine.
  Seeing this, —instinctively the mallard flapped his wingspan so hard he lifted himself to the top of the highest post. Looking down, to the far side of the fence, a domestic squabble broke out between folks from the accommodating hen-house. In a fancy instant, he flew down. Rolling forwards on his webbed feet, he immediately blockaded the squabble, —Disparaging any further confrontation, with one mighty quacky-quack-quack.