lunch break - MQ: Feb 2021
A feathered creature raced across the green forest floor. It huffed and puffed as it ran. It seemed furious, somehow.
It was in a hurry.
For its own misfortune, for the shortest moment possible it was not looking right at where it was going, it crashed into something. It tanked the impact with its whole face, letting out a loud grunt in a mixture of tones, among the lines of frustration and surprise. Ranka in turn let out a yelp as the strange thing zoomed face first at his foot. He jumped to the side in surprise as the creature ruffled its feathers while getting its act back together, rolling backwards like an overweight raccoon. The light coated rook squinted with a curious, confused expression and leaned closer to it. Suddenly it jumped right back at its feet, forcing the kukuri to back up if he fancied his face in one, intact piece. It growled and huffed, being as terrifying as an angered hedgehog, before bolting off to the direction it was going in the first place. Ranka followed it with his eyes and then glanced at the opposite direction. A sly smile framed his mouth. If that something, whatever it was, was in such an unbelievable hurry, it surely had to have something tasty stashed away. Ranka leaned forward to catch a scent - and lo and behold, there was a trail of a faint smell. It was perfume like and floral with a hint of citrus.
He followed it. Despite the fact that food was probably the least motivating thing for him. He simply did not eat. He did not have the need to. The rook had his own assumptions as to why, but he wasn’t sure. No one really told him. He was always hungry, but not really enough to actually eat. Nevertheless, sometimes he still did. As for what came after, was always the same; his body rejected any and all food, every single time. Sometimes it was instant, sometimes it took a few hours, but time and time again he would regurgitate all of it, to the very last bite. Sometimes, like today, he felt like defying that certainty. He knew what it would bring, but maybe, just maybe, things would be different this time. One could always hope, at least.
Ranka followed the trail of faintest perfume to an indent, in between two large tree roots. The tree stood tall and proud above its treasures, casting a dim, slightly greenish light from its sprigs. The indent was covered with fresh, green leaves, with drier ones framing its rim. They had been placed with care, most probably one by one. Despite the time and effort taken with it, it looked makeshift - but it was quite clearly a nest. Carefully the kukuri bent over it and gently brushed the leaves away with his hand. Underneath peaked a nearly pitch black egg, then another. The rook lost count on the third. Countless eggs - kukuri eggs - sat pretty and proper on a bed made of dry and fresh tree leaves. They were arranged in neat rows, one after the other. However, for kukuri eggs, they were small. Very small, even. Softly Ranka picked one up into his hand. He propped it up between his fingers and rotated his hand from the wrist. The light from above the treetops was sucked right into the small, shallow cavities of the egg’s surface. It reflected only a small amount of light from patches that had been rubbed smooth and clean. The rook frowned. People call them miniatures, he wondered. It was the only explanation he had for such small eggs. They were clearly kukuri eggs - no other creature laid such as these. He had seen very small kukuris before, that were clearly not pups, nor adolescent. Especially the aerial kind of those often hostile, small things were obnoxious like huge, black, fat flies buzzing around a pile of feces. Ranka turned up his nose as he turned the egg again in his hand. It was intact. Its shell had no cracks or pieces broken off. The only parts that were not probably supposed to be there, were the patches of shell with an unnaturally smooth surface. Probably from friction.
Suddenly a loud rustle drew Ranka’s attention. He hastily set the egg down back to the nest and turned on his heels. He could hear an ominous growl from a bush only a few steps away. He saw the strange, feathered creature again. Almost howling it leaped from the bush, snarling and baring its teeth at the kukuri. It tried to grasp onto the rook’s face, but landed flat on the ground as Ranka dodged its weak attempt. For a moment it lied on the ground before sitting up. It rubbed its face with its wings, seemingly in pain. The kukuri inspected it with his stare.
“Can I help you?” He inquired, part playfully, part concerned. The creature turned to him and snarled, before starting to scurry around the makeshift nest. It picked the eggs up and stuffed them one by one into its pouch, as Ranka watched it scamper with his head tilted. He straightened his posture.
“Wait, what are you-”, the kukuri muttered, but did not have time to finish his sentence. The creature ran between his legs and as Ranka turned around, it was nowhere to be seen. The rook scratched the side of his neck. This would come back to bite him, wouldn’t it?
You found the place where the burglar had collected their stolen eggs! You wouldn't allow it to steal them again! You rush home to bring a small chart with you, to transport the eggs home in one piece. Hopefully you would return before the burglar notices anything.