A Bird's Eye View

Above the tangerine mountains, kissed to the heady blush by the sun. The bridges were the pride of the region, great arcs of stone that defied gravity. As I stood from over the valley, through my magnified lens, it was a perfect picturesque view to all that lived and loved that dale.

I inhaled the freshly calm air, with a hint of an earthly aroma, the fragrance of serenity. The trees played the earthly hues of the branches and trunks in the gold and scarlet autumn days. There was not a sign of bad omen in this plot of tranquility during my last expedition.

Now I stood. The faint wind brushed against the water’s surface, the ripples ruffled the stillness of the surface, came the altostratus clouds. One could feel emanating from the area. My lens captured the perturbing, opaque reflection of the once picturesque town. On the land, the pollution showed in the decay of the flora, in the water systems, the pollution killed everything but the most hardy of algae and bacteria. My eyes were steady on the horizon, face aglow with the last orange rays before the mighty bridge shrouded in the blackness and the serene waters were broken. There was no sign of nesting ducks by the tall reeds. The war had begun, it was upheaval and our town was full of pollutants.

It smelt foul and the onshore breeze carried toxic chemicals that made me wheeze. Folks were clambering out of their homesteads frantically. They flopped helplessly, coated in sticky crude and mostly blinded. Their eyes stung but there was no option to escape the toxins.

We were outnumbered. Humanity could have been angels among the stars, glorious people on a beautiful, perfect world, yet they chose to sin. Every particle of the pollution was a product of their greed, their desire to commercialise and maximise profit. We were told the rest of the planet was a barren wasteland, home only to the chemical pollutants, sinful humans expel from their bubbles.

We were assured that an aviary would be a safe haven for us. We were not ready to bow to conformity, to have our wings clamped, examined by researchers and captivated within the artificial leafy grounds and glistening lakes where we could continue to hover.

"I will go look for the solution!" The youngest of the brood swore. His beak bears the semblance of a smile. I watched him as he flipped his wings, over the ominous bridge, towards the towering chimney which fumed out hazardous swirls.

I said a prayer as I lost sight of our flying warrior in the grim black skyline. We clamoured helplessly until a ray of syrupy sunlight shone in. Our spirits were uplifted. I felt the acidic drops on my ruffled feathers. We nestled in calamity as the raindrops shed off toxins from our eyelids.

The rain was a symbol of purity, life and renewal for our flock. Our bird population was not ready to become extinct.


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