“You’d think I’d be used to this by now.” Davis absentmindedly addressed the plump little bird cradled in his hands. The creature squirmed. The vestigial wings, dwarfed by its nearly round body, wiggled uselessly while its legs pushed in a pulse against Davis’ cupped palms. The wide, nocturnal eyes appeared unfocused and the small, nearly round beak gasped open and closed. “I guess I’m just a softy at heart.”
Davis broke the bird’s neck with a practiced twist.
It hadn’t been so easy the first time. After finally catching one of the things, he had to locate the neck under layers of feathers and loose skin and it took several tries to actually snap it. By that time his eyes had welled with tears, from frustration as much as from empathy.
Apart from a few insects, the entire world, or at least the small island he was marooned on, was inhabited solely by birds. He hadn’t found anything even vaguely mammalian or reptilian on the little dome of sand, grass, and brush. Every biological niche appeared to be filled by fowl.
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