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Hiss n Rattle Ch2

Hiss n Rattle Ch2

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Published by Bill Tillman
Perpetua elf owl has visions of becoming a Queen of the Owls. It takes time to begin to understand the power of her gift for seeing into the future. Perpetua must learn that others lives depend on her seeing and interpreting the whole picture before revealing it. But with life alterning consequences she begins a journey that brings a host of characters into the fold.
Perpetua elf owl has visions of becoming a Queen of the Owls. It takes time to begin to understand the power of her gift for seeing into the future. Perpetua must learn that others lives depend on her seeing and interpreting the whole picture before revealing it. But with life alterning consequences she begins a journey that brings a host of characters into the fold.

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Published by: Bill Tillman on Oct 19, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/08/2011

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Hiss & Rattle

'Groan' today is terrible, squads of diamond backs 'DB'S' slithering past the parade stand. Mature hunters ready to dive into a jack rabbit hole as to ambush a lizard. Here I 'Long Fang' lay coiled in formation, tail erect with a beautiful note in my rattle. 'Why was I born with such big fangs?' It takes me too long to stretch my jaws for a proper hiss and strike to be allowed into a hunter squad. So I am in the parade ground band , the booster tails they call us. The sand and hard pack scorch my belly, I don't think of myself as fried bacon, but here I am snake thermometer on display. The “Hiss & Rattle Band' of the Arizona desert, just a a fancy name for a bunch of misfits!

My BFF (best friend forever) 'One Eye' slides behind me. 'Hey wedge head hunt with me tonight?' hisses One Eye. I nod my head while concluding another Hiss & Rattle favorite 'Coyote Ambush' to remind the troops that it is not always wise to rattle first and fang later. Especially if we want to keep our territory clear of the four legs. I don't mind being called 'wedge head', DB's should all have great heads like mine.

I look forward to chasing desert mice into our dead end rock formation tonight. One Eye just has to wait and spring out an grab em. He pulls them onto a pile till we have enough for a feast. We have a pack to eat so much that we will molt twice as fast as other new litter mates. That would mean being able to add another rattle to my tail before the end of hot season.

Scar Back dismissed the band telling us we preformed well but needed more volume. Scar Back was caught by an owl many moons ago and can only move like a spastic side winder. No one would dare hiss that near him, he is still six feet of mean old DB.

Now it time to meet One Eye and coil in our hide out for the rest of the day. The old flash flood ravine has a high wall with embedded river rocks an hours slither from the parade ground. Our spot goes inside the bank about five feet and is lined with rocks and no hard pack dirt. If any of the older DB's knew of the rock lair we could expect to end up in their stomach.

I am so hot, it is just pure relief to push myself to the end of the rock lair. I feel relief as the heat rises to my scales, and now its time to snooze. 'Wedge Head, you still awake?' says One Eye. A lively rattle quiets One Eye as I resume my slumber. The cooling of the lair awakes me to darkening night in the ravine.

I slide past One Eye and into the opening of the lair, I do stop but continue on into the ravine. I head for our hunting grounds One Eye will follow. “Give me just one rattle One Eye when you are in position, OK?” I hiss. One Eye just nods his head as he slithers away into the night.

She is weakhearted

She is tonight. She is not tomorrow. She carries a whiff of cactus flower.

She hunts for her hatchlings. She flaps noisily toward prey. She fly's to meet death. Donnetta is desperate, Domingo that sneaky elf owl has not helped feed the hatchlings. It is only by the Great Mother we have such a large nest in the old Saguaro. Ah, look a small snake inside that rock formation. I must feed my children.

These mice are such fun to chase toward One Eye, he better not swallow them but wait for me. Something goes over my head, a predator! 'Wedgieee' hisses One Eye, that can only mean trouble. I reach the top of the largest rock and look down. A bird of some kind is locked in a duel to the death with One Eye! I coil as fast as I can then launch myself at the dark feathers.

I hit the bird with my whole body and it falls away from One Eye. The bird is dead, I killed it just by hitting it? One Eye bites down on its neck and it makes a low moan.

'It's an elf owl wedgie, they play possum when attacked.' One Eye says.

Snake whispers the owl. 'I hear you owl', I hiss. My hatchlings will you take care of them? She whispers. 'Why should I?' I hiss bitterly. 'One Eye will die before sunrise, because of you.' I spit out.

Donnetta struggles speak again. 'Eat them or care for them as you choose, they will starve otherwise.'

One Eye looks at me with his dim eye. 'I'm dying Long Fang do what you must but end this torture of a broken back.' Begs One Eye. His body jerks, flopping from top to exposed belly. I hiss, 'One Eye how can I?'

'Fangs in my neck.' rasps One Eye. 'Send me to the final sleep, Wedge' gasps my BFF.

I stretch my mouth wide, wait until One Eye rolls onto his back then plunge my fangs into his soft neck. His body quivers one last time then One Eye is still. Behind me I hear the strained voice of the owl.

'Long Fang, can I tell you where my Saguaro is? I've not much time left before I join your friend' Donnetta moans.

I hiss as if stepped upon. 'Tell me owl, but I will not promise to either eat or save your hatchlings.' I move so close I am afraid she will peck me with her beak. But, she doesn't just gives me directions on how to find the Saguaro, then she whispers its fifteen feet off the ground. I think how will I climb that high on a Saguaro? But I just nod my head and say softly, ' I got it.' Donnetta gives a last shake much like One Eye did, and moves no more.

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