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Oct. 30th, 2007 @ 10:59 pm A Tasty Treat (a story, revised)
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied
Here's the sequel to Lazing. I never meant it to wait so long, but my computer crashed, and the only copy of a major revision that survived was the one I gave to a friend. I had to get it back to copy it by typing the revisions into my computer, revising further, of course... but I finally finished all that. So here it is. {BIG SMILE}

Also about Avilee and Forster.

Characters: Forster, his Mommy, and Avilee

Prompts: Of course, she's piqued my curiosity and I'd love to read more about her...Maybe you could have the little boy try to find her by tempting every swan he meets with apples. -- Jennifer
"applepie with vanilla ice cream" – Akinaj (Sorry I lost the ice cream. It was tricky enough keeping most of the filling in the pie. {chuckle, SMILE})

Acknowledgments: I would like to thank my parents for their help. Also betaed by Jennifer.
Also thanks to Silver for inspiring me to add more of Avilee’s thoughts in the first revision.
And much thanks to Josephine for lending me her copy so I could rescue the first revision (and revise it further, of course). {Smile}

Warnings: none.

A Tasty Treat
by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

copyright 2007


Avilee flew lazily around the neighborhood. She did enjoy stretching her wings as a swan. Most swan-folk did.

Suddenly she perked up. Was there some movement below? There was! A human woman strolled out from a shady thicket, clutching a young boy’s hand and a picnic basket. They came out into a meadow, and set down their picnic basket. Then the boy grabbed a bag out of the basket and ran across the meadow towards a bench overlooking a small river.

Yes, this was interesting, Avilee thought. Humans often were, especially if they bore a picnic basket. She flew in for a closer look.

******


“Don’t get too close to the swans!” the woman called after the boy, “They could hurt a little child like you!”

“I won’t, Mommy! I’ll keep well away from them,” he answered as he reached the bench. He quickly climbed up onto the bench and sat down, tucking his legs up onto the bench before opening his bag. “I just want to feed them,” he told her as he took a handful of apple chunks out of the bag, and tossed them to the grass. This immediately attracted several ducks and swans from the river.

The woman approached the bench where the small boy sat. “Are you feeding apples to the swans again, Forster?” she asked.

“But Mommy, swans do like apples! They really do! See?” the boy said, tossing another chunk of apple to the group of birds that were gathering in front of the bench he sat on.

“I see that,” the woman said, smiling as she watched the birds fight over the piece of fruit. “I guess I was wrong about that. How much are you going to feed them? We don’t have enough apples to feed all the animals, you know.”

“Mommy, I’m not trying to feed all the animals,” the boy sighed, “I’m just feeding the swans. Well, them and the ducks. Ducks like apples, too, Mommy!”

The woman sighed and shook her head. “What am I going to do with you Forster?” she asked.

“Feed me lunch?” the boy asked hopefully.

******


Good, Avilee thought, the woman and the boy were preoccupied. Hopefully they wouldn’t notice her across the meadow. She approached the picnic basket. She knew her parents would be horrified if they knew she was checking out other folks’ stuff. But… it wasn’t like they were swan-folk. Avilee would never do this to any of her own people But this woman and boy were just plain humans, so she didn’t feel they really counted.

Avilee quietly nudged the picnic basket open with her beak.

******


The boy turned his head sharply, looking back at their picnic basket. He blinked in surprise. “Look at that swan, Mommy!” he cried, pointing back towards the basket.

“I see plenty of swans right here, Forster, without looking for more,” she replied, gesturing towards the swans clustered in front of the bench.

“But that swan’s got its head in our picnic basket!”

“What!?” the woman cried, turning sharply. “Hey! Shoo! Shoo! Go ‘way! Get out of there! Shoo! Shoo! Shoo!” She took off towards where she’d left their lunch, shouting, “If I catch you, I’ll cook you for dinner!”

******


Avilee pulled her head out of the basket, a piece of pie wedged in her beak. She stared at the woman running across the meadow towards Avilee, waving her hands furiously over her head. Then Avilee turned and fled, pie still clutched in her beak. Getting up to speed, she took off into the air just as the woman neared the basket. A glance back showed the woman standing by the basket, shaking her fist at the fleeing bird, while the boy sat on the bench, both hands clapped over his mouth to stifle the giggles that shook his small body.

As Avilee flew off, she wished she dared shake her head. She was afraid she’d drop the pie if she did. I was really too bad that boy had spotted her when he did. She had a fairly good hold on the pie, but if she hadn’t had to leave so suddenly, she could have done better.

Three thickets north-northwest of the meadow, across the river and up a bit, Avilee landed on a large branch of a pine tree. She carefully laid the pie next to the trunk before throwing her feathered cloak back with a practiced flick of her beak. Tucking her hair behind her ears, the girl leaned forward to inspect her prize. It had lost some of the spicy apple filling, but it is hard not to lose a little while flying. She wished she could have eaten it when it was whole, but that would have been a waste of pie. Swans can’t taste much, so it would taste much better now that she was in girl form again.

Avilee picked up the pie in one hand. She picked some moss and bark off of it, careful not to lose any more filling. Then the young swan-maid took a bite and smiled broadly. Food does taste so much better to people than it does to swans... and few things taste quite as good as acquired dessert.


Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
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