“Damn it, Winona, leave that thing alone. Humans are nothing but trouble.” Sam flapped his wings and clicked his long yellow beak. The vine they stood on swayed with his movement. “My cousin went to investigate a human and was never heard from again.”
“This one doesn’t carry a thunder stick. He isn’t even fully grown. Poor child looks absolutely terrified. See how he’s running, crashing into every bush and bramble?”
Sam plucked a nearby berry, ignoring the human and those chasing him. “The silly land dweller won’t live for long. There’s a jaguar fifty feet ahead.”
“Look out! Look out!” Winona dashed after the child, swooping low over his head. “Turn around.”
The human stopped, hiding his head with his featherless wings and gasping for air. His eyes widened at the sound of running feet and began to leak fluid. Winona didn’t need to think about it. She swooped down, grabbed one of his flailing limbs and yanked him to the side. At first he resisted, but finally, he followed her to a nearby hiding place. The child crouched behind a rock just as a whole herd of humans came into view. These humans waved thunder sticks, yelling as they barreled right into the waiting Jaguar.
The boy closed his eyes, trembling at the sounds of battle. Once the jungle had quieted, he pulled a young toucan from his bag and held it out to Winona and Sam.
“Goodness,” said Winona. “I told you this one was different.”