“When we die, what legacy will we leave behind?” queried a rich masculine voice, one the fledgling had never heard before. The voice echoed in her developing mind, sealing itself in her memory. She felt as if she were floating above the ground, her toes spread wide in a defensive posture. She was older, a little wiser but still awkward in her movements, still behind her siblings in their physical development. The voice belonged to a shadow, an odd form she could not place—quadrupedal, with a muscular neck and chest, round appendages at the top of the head, and a thin, curly tail behind.
The shadow paced in circles around her. She turned her head every which way to follow its lithe movements. The voice continued, “As we grow and change, so too do our needs. You are almost grown; it is time for you to leave the nest and begin to fly unaided. I will serve as your Guardian, hijita.” The shadow suddenly leaped toward her—and in an instant, in tendrils of smoke and mist, the shadow changed forms into a new shadow, a small avian with a pair of long tailfeathers.
“Remember all I have taught you...I will meet you when the time is right…”
Little claws and scaly hides, downy feathers and snapping jaws—all fought in vain to be the first to receive the glistening regurgitated meat from Wadjet. Boisterous squeaks and vicious scuffles followed as the bits of meat dropped onto their tiny heads.
The littlest hatchling kept her distance from her larger siblings. Her first attempts at getting along with her nestmates almost left her dead…or so she felt, as she didn’t receive a single scratch from their talons or teeth. Their loud voices and odd gestures frightened her. She waited patiently until a tiny blot of meat landed in her direction, often carefully placed by the alpha female herself. She ate it slowly, swallowing it whole as her siblings did.
Even though she was the first to hatch, she was the last to fledge, the last to leave the nest.
She watched her siblings from a careful distance. She watched them take their first wobbly steps, flap their tiny wings, and chase one another playfully. She watched them fight amongst one another for food. She even watched them dare to leap out of the nest and to begin on the path of making nests of their own.
She was always moving in circles.
First, they were slow and soothing, a gentle loop while ensconced in the darkness and the warm fluid surrounding her. All she had to do was push her head up a little, enough to throw her body off balance and into a spin. She kept it going by kicking her legs a little.
When the fluid became less, she realized she was trapped in a tight cocoon. If she tried to move, she became frightened due to the loss of warmth and comfort that she was once familiar with. So she stayed curled up as she grew.
One day, her whole world began to spin. It started off slow, reminiscent of the gentle turns she made herself. Then, absolute panic set in as her world began to spin faster and faster. She squeaked and squeaked, but no response occurred as she continued her ceaseless, out-of-control turning.
Just as quick as the disaster began, it stopped.