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In a marsh, long green grass reaching up to touch the sun swayed slightly in the cool morning breeze. The marsh was teeming with animal and insect life. A snake slithered through the grasses looking for mice while an osprey swooped low overhead, wind ruffling its feathers. The osprey was looking for an animal to catch; a fish was on the main course for today. He needed to find a big fish or several smaller fish to feed his mate and chicks. He headed towards the river, wind pushing him forward like an arrow shot from a bow.

The osprey was happy; he was always happy just flying, hunting, sleeping, and mating. A powerful hawk, he didn’t need to worry about being the prey to some bigger animal. His chicks, on the other hand, did. Eagles were known to come flying by and snatch hatchlings to eat. The osprey promised himself that he would never let that happen to his chicks. He loved his chicks, and would easily sacrifice his life for theirs, and so would his mate. She would fly out of their nest and peck and claw an invader until he retreated, defeated. Ground animals couldn’t get to their nest because the tree they picked was about twenty-three feet high and had sharp branches jutting out from the base. His mate always stayed with their chicks. Often when he came home he would see their chicks huddled under her warm fluffy wings.

Flying Against the Wind bird flying
He was going to catch a big fish worthy of his wife and three chicks

He finally arrived at the river. It was fast moving and clear. He felt the thrill of excitement he always felt when he was going hunting. He was going to catch a big fish worthy of his wife and three chicks. He swooped into a dive. He loved the sensation of the wind rushing past his head. He pulled out of it about three feet from the surface of the water, looked quickly for a fish, and then swooped in. He dove quickly and made a splash as his talons entered the water. The fish, alarmed by the commotion from the ripples, tried to get away. Too late. The osprey speared the fish with his talons, piercing through the scales and deep into the flesh. He quickly flew up, the fish’s head dangling in the air.

With a tight grip, he headed to his nest where his chicks would be with his mate. He was flying against the wind, which made it harder, but he prevailed. He finally reached his nest. He saw his mate, with their chicks under her wings, and felt happy that he had such a good family. That night they ate well.

Flying Against the Wind Christopher Fifty
Christopher Fifty, 13
Churchville, Maryland

Flying Against the Wind Sarah Emig
Sarah Emig, 13
Fort Belvoir, Virginia