Spring came, and with it, flying colors that sailed upon the winds in the most enticing and erratic of patterns. Insects, her mother called the buzzing motes that occasionally bothered Zheradra, but she had no term to describe the bigger, more colorful ones, dotted with all manner of mesmerizing colors. And they had wings, as broad as hers, flapping from flower to flower where they folded them to become surprisingly thinner. How curious!
The little hatchling followed one from afar, crouched low in the grass, like her father had taught her to stalk prey. She wouldn’t eat the flying colors; they had no meat to them, nor did they smell appealing. She could, however, observe them. Learn their movements, understand their trajectory, and predict their behavior.
“Reh,” Zheradra growled in boredom with her parents’ lessons, straightening her back and strolling over to the unsuspecting insect. A tongue of flame could have reduced it to dull blackness, but Zheradra refused to do that, for it looked much better this way!
Suddenly, the colors fled the yellow petals of the flower upon which they perched, zigzagging from left to right, back and forth, forcing her to turn and twist so fast her paws tangled into one another and the hatchling flopped onto the side with an irritated groan.
“Hrrrrr,” she growled at the insect that hovered above her, as if reveling in its victory. She swatted it with a paw, toes spreading for increased width, but the colors zipped past her strike, circling her teasingly.
Unwilling to give up just yet, Zheradra rolled onto her back as far as the spines embellishing it allowed, lashing out with her maw and forepaws both at the creature that wove between each and every one of her attacks with surprising ease. The more her snarl deepened, the bigger the temptation of tensing her flame sacs grew, and the more difficult it became to keep her frustrations in check.
“Rah,” she spat her ire at her companion instead, the slits nestled within her amber pools following it around until it alighted on her stretched forepaw, its red and yellow colors surprisingly similar to hers. It lingered there only for a moment before taking upon the winds, fleeing beyond the reach of her lazy head that leaned against the grass to stare at the midday sky. She would fly much higher than it, and dodge equally perilous attacks when she grew big enough to contest a territory. It didn’t matter that she was a female; if a male wanted her, then he had to earn her!
I hope you enjoyed the short story associated with this picture! I found it irresistible not to write a few paragraphs for this cutie whose big ambitions when it comes to a future mate are only surpassed by her playfulness.
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