Chapter 27 excerpt
Talon turned once more and flew directly at Pete and Zed, without Matica telling him where to fly or what to do. It was all Talon’s doing. He was the one mocking the poachers and teasing them. He had a lot of fun doing that. Matica was a bit hesitant – what if they shoot at them? – but did the most of it, even though her heart raced and wanted to escape her chest. She only hoped that Pete and Zed were stunned enough not to shoot at them and kill them both.
Talon flew at Pete and Zed and Matica, putting all her courage together, yelled down at them as they approached. Looking at Pete she yelled, ‘Hey, you down there, Pete. How are you? Surprised? Can’t believe that I’m flying on my condor?’ When Talon turned once more and they flew over the poachers again, Matica shouted at them, ‘BECAUSE HE IS MINE! HE IS NOT YOURS TO DO WHAT YOU WISH WITH HIM. And that would be shooting him down. No way!’
Even though Matica was brave and said these words, the truth was, her heart was racing even faster. She was so afraid and shaking all over, trying to steady her voice, which she believed she achieved. She also tried to restrain her heart and her hands, holding on at Talon’s neck, but hadn’t much success with that. But she wasn’t finished with them yet, what she wanted to tell them. She had to set their heads right that Talon does not belong to them, that Talon belongs to her. Talon sensed it, so he turned once more and flew towards the
poachers in the hope they wouldn’t come to their senses yet and would indeed shoot at them.
Pete and Zed followed them with their eyes, but didn’t raise their guns to shoot at them. They were still too dazed to see Matica on the condor’s back, flying with him and even talking to them.
Talon and Matica were in high spirits now, watching them like a hawk, watching their movements, to see if one of them would raise their gun and shoot at them.
Matica had her eyes closed to calm herself and to think what she could tell them, but as soon as they were close to the poachers again, Matica opened her eyes and yelled once more, ‘You see, I raised him, as you must know since you took his egg from the nest on the mountain.
So believe me, he is mine.’ And then she stated, ‘And the scar on your head? Well, that’s what you get when you want to have property that doesn’t belong to you.’ She grinned brightly as Talon stretched out his talons to frighten them, flying directly over Pete and Zed, screeching and laughing. They dropped to the ground, screaming in horror and dismay, covering their heads with their hands.
‘Good on you, Talon. They are too afraid to shoot at us now. Well done.’
Becoming bolder as she slowed down her breathing. Matica laughed out loud but saw her opportunity as Talon flew around them. She yelled out again, ‘Hey you, you can’t shoot my condor down, you know. It’s illegal. You hear me? IT’S ILLEGAL. Anyway, they’re my condors, not yours. They belong to me and to the village people here. You have no right to do what you are longing and planning to do with my condors.
Go home or something really bad will happen, before my condor hurts you once more, ugly one. And never come back.’ She laughed uncontrollably, nearly sliding off of Talon. Just then Tamo and Tima joined them at either side, laughing with Matica and Talon.
The poachers sat up, still stunned, following Talon and Matica with their eyes. ‘You cannot do that,’ the ugly one yelled out, lifting his free fist up.
Chapter 33 excerpt
No one, not the villagers, or even Matica and Talon, heard or saw them coming. They came, silent as night, soundless and without flapping their wings, Tamo and Tima just appeared and landed right in front of the poachers, wings stretched wide, staring them down,
The poachers tried to run but the grass was slippy and they fell, sliding toward the condors, all the way screaming.
The condors awaited them, grunting at them and smiled.
Finally they came to a halt, just in front of Tamo’s and Tima’s talons. Pete and Zed stared horrified at them, not knowing if they would kill them. They lifted their arms to protect their heads and faces.
Tamo and Tima looked at them, not smiling anymore, not grunting anymore. They just stared down at them. Tima with red burning eyes, and Tamo with grey burning eyes. Next Tamo, very quietly and slowly, lowered his head and pecked Pete in his stomach with his open beak. He screamed out and tried to slap his beak and head away with his hand. But Tamo bent away, grunting angrily. Tima did the same with Zed, and he also wanted to slap her head. It didn’t work. Then both poachers tried to escape from the condors by crawling backwards on their hands and feet, kicking their feet at Tamo and Tima, quietly whining. But Tamo and Tima didn’t let themselves get irritated by these actions and followed them, staring at them with burning eyes and elongated necks.
The crowd was so still and wondered and watched what the condors would do to the poachers or if they could quickly capture them. You could hear the wind in the leaves of the nearby bushes, it was so quiet.
Matica couldn’t see what was happening as she was behind the crowd, but she saw Tamo and Tima landing by the poachers. She grinned mischievously, knowing what they could do to them. She ran now through the crowd with Talon following behind until she stood in front and just saw how Pete in desperation kicked at Tamo.
Suddenly, Pete stood up so fast and ran that not even Tamo had time to hold him back. Zed followed him. Tamo and Tima looked after them, screeched and ran to get airborne to follow them.
‘Way to go!’ Matica yelled at them, holding Talon back as he wanted to go after them. ‘Talon, let them have their fun.’ Talon nodded.
The villagers cheered and clapped their hands.
Pajaro motioned his people to charge after them.
Tamo and Tima circled quietly over the charging villagers and escaping poachers. Flying low, they dive-bombed at the poachers again. The villagers cheered at them. Tamo flew so low after the ugly poacher that he rammed him on his shoulder with his claws but leaving no marks on the man. But Pete fell to the ground, screaming and believing that Tamo had hurt him again. However, after feeling his shoulder where Tamo’s claw had scraped him and noticing that his overalls weren’t torn, or blood on his fingers, he just shook his fist and swore loudly. Tamo flew off, laughing.
Then Talon, watching and learning and thinking that this is fun, took off and followed his parents. Matica couldn’t hold him back. Flying over the poachers, he rammed Zed the same way his father did with Pete but not hurting him either. Zed fell to the ground not far from Pete with an ugly look on his face, feeling at his shoulder. Same as with Pete’s, his overalls weren’t torn and no blood seeped through the material. Not even their long hair was messed up from the strong wind their wings had created flying so low over them. It was glued to their scalp from the poo of the condors.
Not expecting what the condors did, they sat on the ground for a while longer to recover from the shock that they were nearly scratched and wounded by the condors again. But not to be a big target for the condors, they bent down their heads between their knees and folded their hands over their heads to protect them just in case the condors’ came back and really hurt them this time. They waited for a while longer.
Tamo and Tima weren’t far away. They watched the poachers. They would assist the villagers in any way if they plan to capture them…
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