WILL TALON JUMP?

Chapter 50 of first book: TALON, COME FLY WITH ME

The Big Jump

The ledge Matica, Crayn and Talon were standing on wasn’t very

wide, so Talon had just enough room to lie there. ‘Hey, Talon,’

Matica said, ‘what about jumping?’ But Talon wouldn’t move yet. He

opened his eyes and looked questioningly up at his parents as if to ask,

‘Should I do it now?’ Matica interpreted his look. ‘Okay, let’s do it.’

Talon got up and looked down over the edge. Alarmed and startled,

he stepped backwards but bumped his tail on the rock behind

him. He looked at Matica, frightened, then he grunted and nestled

sideways against the rock.

‘Oh no,’ Crayn said, sat down and put his head in his hands. ‘He’s

scared. A bird is scared of heights!’

‘Talon!’ Matica yelled in surprise. ‘Is that true? That can’t be. You’re

a bird. Birds are not scared of heights. Come on, you have to jump.’

Matica went to the edge and looked down just as Talon did before but

quickly stepped back. ‘Whoa, that is high.’ She put her hand on Talon.

‘You’re not used to the height. I understand, but …’

Crayn narrowed his eyes and said, ‘Hmpf. He’d better get brave

and jump. I wouldn’t like to think we have done all this for nothing

and he continues to be a walking bird.’

‘Tamo, what should we do?!’ Matica called up to him. Tamo pushed

at Tima with his head to show her that she should push Talon. ‘Oh,

my! Push him?’

‘Hey, what’s happening up there?!’ came Aikon’s mumbling voice

from below.

‘Talon is afraid to jump!’ Matica shouted down.

‘What?! That can’t be! He’s a bird! Push him!’ said Aikon.

‘That’s what we’re going to do now! Hang on, he’ll come down

soon!’ said Matica.

As Tamo screeched encouragingly, Talon spread his wings over Matica’s

and Crayn’s heads then closed his eyes and made strange noises

that sounded like a sigh. Was it an expression of fear? Matica thought.

Annoyed, Tamo screeched loudly so that Talon looked up, then

Tamo jumped with his wings close to his body. Passing Talon, Matica

and Crayn, Tamo spread his wings, flapped them a few times and

flew in front of them, almost touching them. They could feel the

wind from his huge wings.

Talon ducked in fright. When Tamo passed him again, Talon

screeched then looked up at his mum. Just then, she let herself fall

the same way as Tamo did and glided past Talon with the same ‘whoof,

whoof, whoof’ of her wings. Talon watched her, but he still didn’t

move. Instead, he closed his eyes again.

‘Don’t close your eyes, Talon,’ Matica said tearfully and poked

him in his side. He opened his eyes again, walked closer to the edge,

locked his talons into the slope then looked at Matica.

‘I can’t help you, you frightened, big bird, you. I can’t show you,

either. I’m not a bird. I have no wings, see? But you’re a bird. You have

wings. So jump and fly,’ said Matica.

She pushed at his body, but he wouldn’t move. Next, Tamo flew so

close that he touched Talon’s beak with his wingtips. Talon, irritated

by that, shook his head wildly and in doing so, he lost his balance.

His body weight did the rest. He stumbled and disappeared over the

edge, toppling over and over, screeching in horror as he fell.

Shocked, Matica ran to the edge and watched him fall. Tamo and

Tima dived after him, screeching in fright.

‘Talon!’ Matica screamed. ‘Spread your wings! You’ll crash!’

She buried her face in Dad’s arm when they heard two cries coming

from her mum and Aikon from down below. ‘I can’t look,’ she

mumbled.

Crayn looked horrified too. He watched Talon fall for the next

nanoseconds then shook Matica. ‘Look!’ he said.

Matica opened her eyes through her fingers and saw that Talon

had spread his wings, was flapping them and had flown up a bit

higher into the air. She let go of her father and went to the edge.

Talon flew just over the heads of her mum and brother. He had made

it – just in time.

Thrusting her hands into the air, she clapped. ‘Hurrah, you made

it!’

All were cheering and shouting for joy and Talon, screeching, flew

past them in a graceful curve without flapping his wings. Matica

interpreted what Talon said: ‘That wasn’t too bad. I love it now. I can’t

understand why I didn’t want to do it. It’s easy, it’s wonderful, it’s

amazing. I can soar with my parents now. I’m a real bird.’

‘He said all that?’ Crayn asked.

Matica nodded and grinned. Talon wouldn’t stop squeaking. They

heard Aikon singing from down below, ‘Talon is flying, Talon is flying,

Talon is in the air. Talon is a bird.’

‘What a miraculous bird Talon is, I have to admit,’ Crayn said with

admiration, then he shook his head, ‘but I still don’t like him. No, he

looks odd, you know, half-boiled!’