Meet Douglas. He’s excited to meet you! This bundle of energy may not be the best of flyers, but he loves to clamber all over things…rocks, trees, the couch, you… 😉
The little girl clung tightly to the small creature, his wings folded close against his furry body. His back paws dangled loosely down by her legs, but he didn’t seem to mind. He gazed up at her pink, rounded face with the wide-eyed curiosity of a bird as she chattered about lizards and the rough bark on the pine trees that bordered the fenced backyard.
Meet Steggy. She might not have very much of a brain, but she makes up for that with the softness of her heart. There’s not a whole lot that’ll surprise her (thanks to Pete’s training), and she’ll let just about anybody clamber on her back. 🙂
I say “just about” anybody, because there was that one time some kids wanted her to be their fortress in a water balloon battle. That was a bit too much for Steggy. But that class of preschoolers who came to visit were adorable. Steggy just sat there and let them climb all over her (Pete stuck a few tennis balls on her spikes, so they wouldn’t be so sharp). The kids had a great time painting stars and hearts on her big plates.
Meet Skittles. She might be all hard and pebbly on the outside, but on the inside she wants nothing more than a nice warm hug. Scratch just a little in between those rocky scutes, and she’ll roll on her back so you can rub her smooth, soft belly scales.
The tips of her clawed toes softly scratched stone as she walked. Her head tilted this way and that, like a lizard, large eyes wide as she stared at the straight, dead trees and clean, flat ground. Shiny loops and ledges stuck out from smooth, white walls. Stone? She sniffed the air. Stinging, acidic, not natural, but underneath it was the scent of warm earth.
Meet Picasso. This quiet softie loves spending time with his special person. Snuggling under the tree to hear a good story? That sounds like a lovely way to spend a warm afternoon. 🙂
Picasso continued his routine patrol of the fence with all the decorum of a peacock. Each step deliberate so that not a single scrubby twig shifted, his fur-like feathers barely brushing against the wire grid too high to jump. Dry ferns and prickly scrub grew through the mesh at the foot of the fence, but ahead there was an emptiness in the dense line of browning vegetation. And the fence…the fence was gone!
Meet Opie. He’s a happy little fella who loves to curl up in your lap, so it’s a good thing he’s about the size of a big dog!
Sunlight streamed through the tangled layers of conifer branches and palm fronds to pierce the eternal twilight of the undergrowth. A cloud of tiny, reflective wings coiled like mist in the shaft of light, the thin whine of their hanging flight almost drowned by the whirring, buzzing, drumming, chirping of countless other unseen insects. Alien cries from leather-winged creatures called from above, answered and challenged by a cacophony of voices that clicked, whooped, hollered, whistled…any and every sound fighting to be heard through air so dense with foliage and humidity, constant moisture clung to the leaves and dripped to the black forest floor.
Meet Rosie. She’s a bit shy, and might need a little encouragement to come closer. A few treats should do the trick. Before you know it she’ll be perfectly content to snuggle close and put her head on your lap. 🙂
Patricia shut the gate behind her and scanned the paddock, but the small shed in the corner was empty, and nothing stirred in the grove of thick palms surrounding it. She pulled her supply wagon closer to the plastic feed bucket hanging on the fence line, and reached into a large canvas bag for a heaping scoopful of pellets. She dumped them into the bucket and tapped the plastic sides with the scoop.
“Rosie!” She tapped the bucket a few more times before jabbing the scoop into the feed bag.