Here is a third segment of this month’s featured story “Balance Retained.” (This copyrighted story is the intellectual property of J. A. Stubbs; and he reserves all rights to it.) Read the entire tale now! At Amazon.com!
BALANCED RETAINED (part three)
© 1999 by J. A. Stubbs
It took five minutes for the farmer to reach and pass the tree on his tractor. In that short time, the young bird looked at every thought the man remembered. The vast amount of images he’d seen in the man’s mind stunned him. But he wondered if he might do more than just hear the farmer’s thinking. He suggested that the man press his tractor’s horn. The noise of it frightened his mother, and she fled the tree. However, that noise told him he could manipulate people.
This made him withdraw his perception from the larger world again while he pondered it all. He spent the rest of the day reconsidering the future. For now he grasped the nature of the world he lived on. While he marveled at the vast extent of resources, the planet offered. He also realized that birds survival largely depended on the whims of humanity. For him that was unacceptable. So he pondered the thorough domination and control of the animal race known as mankind.
Men called this planet, Earth and claimed it as their own. Although Earth was not the only world in space, it was the only one within his reach. He felt that in mankind’s grip it was dying. There might be other usable planets elsewhere in space. However, if he wanted to reach them, he needed to have control over this world’s resources first. Then he could look for better planets if he wished. Perhaps then he could even sacrifice the Earth, to gain a better world to rule.
During the next day he explored the area around him in wider and wider scans. A little over a mile from the tree, he discovered human children playing. Some of them were collecting insects and putting them in jars. While some were also throwing rocks at birds and other small creatures, for sport. It occurred to him then that the nest was not safe from them. And he realized they could hurt him. He suggested that they throw rocks at each other. Soon they were fighting among themselves, and then they ran away.
He paused his explorations and considered the many dangers to the nest. Although he knew there were predators that would eat his mother and her eggs; he did not sense any nearby. Yet it was possible that as time wore on some hungry visitor might raid his home. And it was just as likely that his mother could do little or nothing to stop an assault on her children if that happened. However, he knew she would try.
Still there were other concerns, such as a stone thrown by a careless child. But, these threats were minor compared to the devastation any stray adult human might cause without warning. Such as cutting down the wrong tree. Or spraying some toxic pesticide. Even a poorly tended campfire could inadvertently start a disastrous blaze among the trees; which he would be helpless to stop.
He wondered what direct physical control he could exert over objects he sensed in the world outside of his egg; while he was still unborn. He discovered that he had none. While he could influence what others thought, he couldn’t move objects. Although he focused his mental effort on a leaf near the nest for over twenty minutes. He did little more than make it flutter, slightly. As he was just too small and too young to do more.
Get the rest of the story at Amazon.com! Or:
Return to A Word More About Balance Retained, or
The Science Fiction page, or the Reading Library.
J. A. Stubbs, Editor-In-Chief
Forgotten Lore Publishing, llc