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The icy November breeze
Chilled my neck, as muggy
Gray clouds hid the brilliant sun.

Laying my rake down, giving it a rest
From clawing the leaves into a pile,
When the desperate cries of wood thrushes
came to my ears.

The enormous amount of birds made me suck in the crisp air.
I exclaimed, "Wow. You don't see that every day!"

The birds made dips and circular movements,
that were fluent and organized. As the huge swarm flew towards
their destination, one small speck of a bird left the pack and
flew in the opposite direction.

The caws and cries of the huge group echoed off
into the early morning sky.
The shrieks and hisses of the hawks greeted them as they flew into
Costa Rica and pierced through every heart of the wood thrushes.

A living nightmare for the inky black-eared wood thrushes,
A temporary amusement for the hungry hawks.

Hawks dived down on their prey like hail on ants.
Wood thrushes scattered frantically beating their wings up and
down searching for any means of escape.
Razor-sharp talons and hooked beaks glinted in dawn's early light.

The wood thrushes scrambled to and fro—"Where to go!"
One small speck of a bird led the others out of the jungle, making
swerves and dips as the hawks stopped their vicious assault.

They had a joyful reunion with the one daring bird that made a
solo flight—and eventually led the others out of the hawk's
sharp grasp.

The Opposite Direction Benjamin Firsick
Benjamin Firsick, 11
South Windsor, Connecticut