His first memory was feeling cramped. He was tucked into a warm ball with his feet near his eyes. Wriggling around, he discovered his mouth could punch a hole in the wall. So he punched a few more. Then, pushing hard with his feet, the wall gave way. All at once, he was surrounded in blinding light.
A large-eyed, pink, naked little creature was squatted and looking at him. Several speckled rocks surrounded them. Around them, prickly sticks and needles were woven together. A very large, furry soft creature dropped in over them both.
The other pink creature started crying loudly, “chee, chee, chee,” with its mouth agape. The large creature stuffed something in its mouth. It used its mouth to lift away the shells of the wall that once held him captive. Then it leapt away.
“What is that? And who are you?” he asked.
“I’m Cloudee. You’re Pebble. That’s Mom, she feeds us. I’m hungry. If I cry, I get food.”
As Mom returned, Cloudee and Pebble “cheed” their hearts out. This time, Pebble got the food. The large creature spoke to him.
“Hello, Pebble, welcome to the world. This is your sister, Cloudee. And I’m expecting a few more of you to arrive any day now. I’m going to hunt some more bugs and worms, and I’ll be right back.”
Pebble swallowed. It might have been bugs, it might have been a worm, but either way, yum. He was still hungry, though. He wondered where the others were hiding.
Here comes Mom again. He and Cloudee cried once more, and this time, it was Cloudee’s turn.
Mom made about twenty more trips to and fro, alternating which baby bird got a bug. The light around them seemed to be getting dimmer. When it was almost impossible to see outside, Mom settled down over the two of them and the warm, speckled rocks.
“I need you little ones to go to sleep now.”
“Mom, what am I?” Pebble asked.
“We’re birds. We can run. We can glide. We can fly. We eat bugs. We’re covered in feathers.”
“I don’t have any feathers, Mom. Neither does Cloudee.”
“Where are my feathers? Will they ever grow?”
“Your feathers are sprouting. They’ll fill out soon, I promise.”
“Cloudee’s will, too.”
“When will the rocks open, Mom?”
“These speckled hard things around us.”
“Those are eggs. They’re your brothers and sisters, Pebble. They should arrive soon. I’m really tired now, Pebble. Get some rest.”
“Will I wake up in a rock again, Mom?”
“No, Pebble, it was an egg. Not a rock. That happens only once. Now shut your eyes. I can’t keep mine open one second more.”
“I have so many questions.”
“You can ask three more tomorrow.”
“Yes, Mom. Goodnight.”
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