“Yes, my love?” His voice was high pitched for a male.
“Have you noticed anything…different, lately?” The hidden meaning of her voice worried her mate. Glancing around, he tried to discern what she might be hinting to. She was sitting in her corner with a soft nest of various grasses and downy-like material mounded around her.
“I don’t know what you are referring to. Is it something to do with your looks?” She seemed to glow with satisfaction.
“You know how we’ve been trying to have a litter of younglings, and it has been rough going?” A simple nod was his only response. “I have a couple of surprises that I think you might want to look at.”
She rose from her squatted posture revealing two stone-grey eggs sixteen inches in diameter resting beneath her ruby red feathers. The male looked at the eggs as though they were alien artifacts. Only when his mate returned to nesting on them did he raise his gaze to meet her glistening eyes. Two younglings were nested beneath her. The possibility of the family doubling in size just became a reality. He tried to speak several times but his mute mouth uttered nothing.
“Would you mind if I stepped out for a moment?”
He didn’t wait for an answer as he leapt out the entrance hole, spreading his wings and soaring away. His bright feathers varied in colors from brilliant blues to vibrant purples. The sun shined with more intensity this afternoon as he racked his brain to make sense of the news.
He tried to piece together the puzzle pieces. She had taken up to sitting in her corner more than normal. Rarely could she sit still long enough to accomplish any menial task, much less construct a nest and raise a new family. This explained the sudden request for softer material for her nest. He had joked with her that she was getting older and needed the support and softness of the material.
Pride swelled his chest as his heart beat with passion. A family was entrusted to him for upbringing and protection. He vowed right then and there to lay down his life should something come after them. He was a father with a mate and younglings.
Banking to the right, he angled back home, beating his wings to a furious pace as the wind filled his ears.