We were huddled together squinting though the unceasing rain. Enduring the stifling humidity as we patiently waited for our target. Our muted conversations mingled with the monotonous patter of the raindrops falling on the canvas sheet above us. Occasionally I would peer through my weapon, gauging the distance, adjusting the aim, going through the motions should the object of our quest suddenly decide to appear. My sharp-eared partner, on the other hand, was picking up and analyzing every single chirp that broke through the sound of the drizzle. The morning darkly and lazily dragged on and we started to feel the creeping discouragement that we both did not want to articulate.
The downpour finally abated and slowly the trees came to life. We held our positions albeit with increased wariness. Now with senses peaked to any sound or movement, we continued our wait. When still nothing appeared we could not bear our dismay any longer. My frustration was unloaded on a poor commoner whom I shot without the slightest twinge of remorse.
We stood up and left the place of our vigil. Along the way, we saw a different target. Targets, for there were many of them. Tiny, constantly moving in every direction, and perfectly blending with their leafy backgrounds. A perfect way to practice my skills. And I nailed some of them. Hah! Bravado now replaced my early feelings of exasperation.
My partner and I agreed that there is one more way to offset our early setback. A few days ago, we both were shamed by the skulking habits of this one. Opportunities presented all became opportunities missed. This time we were determined not to let it happen again. It wasn't long before my mate saw it. I was about to give it my best shot when a pair of kindred spirits came. Looking for the same exhilarating experience that we are now about to have. We gladly pointed the tiny quarry to them almost invisible within the dark interior of the bushes. Together we blasted away. Triumph! Smiles were exchanged. The gloom lifted both from the skies and from our souls. In gratitude, my partner's counterpart taught her the distinct sound of our original target.
Now armed with such advantage we resumed our quest for the cause of our early morning heartbreak with raised expectations. Only to be disappointed time and again. The distinctive trill would come seemingly from everywhere we went but the source of that sound teasingly, mockingly, remained hidden from our views.
We will get you one of these days, Grey-backed Tailorbird!
Just you wait!
Sandhill Crane Family Outing
2 days ago