The sun was starting to rise, the light hitting my eyelids. I looked towards the horizon, the orange orb peeking out over the top of the trees. The trees were starting to look bare, the normal green gone and capturing the colours of the sunlight and fires lit by teenagers at night.

I always stayed away, on the opposite side of the pond, so when one of them eventually set off the kindling leaves on the trees I would be surrounded by an expanse of water and had an opportunity to escape with the others. But it was fine, soon we wouldn't need to worry any more. 

'Look mummy!' I turned my eyes in the direction of the squeaking voice and saw something small, chubby and curly running towards the pond. Her mother grabbed her straight away, and good thing too, for I saw the others hiding in the reeds, getting ready to attack if she did it again.

I looked back at the mother. She was smart. She would know what a threat was. I lifted my head slowly, letting my neck unfurl and arch into the natural curve of grace. I swam closer, watching them. The girl was struggling to escape, but the mother was watching me closely. She saw my neck arch backwards even more and my eyes looking over my beak. A flash of my wings and she flinched back, 'Come on, let's feed the ducks instead.' and she ran off with her daughter screaming. 

I had little time to relax because the others that had been hiding were coming out and looking towards me. I held my head high, suppressing the urge of my wings to unfurl and fly. But, they weren't preparing to attack. Their heads were high too. I turned and looked again at the sun, it hadn't fully risen and was too yellow. Suddenly I recognised the urge my wings were trying to fulfill. It was time.

The End

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