By Margo Wayman
Wylie, a majestic eagle, perched atop a wooden pole, gazing down at the parched desert sand below. A hot wind blew across the land. Wylies talons clung to the pole as the heat blasted his feathers. As he looked off in the distance he could see sand blowing all directions. The ancient monuments dotting the land were undefined, even the mountainous pyramids could not be made out.
Wylie waited patiently for the winds to die down so he could hunt for something to eat. He thought about what would taste delicious to him; a fish from the Nile River, perhaps a plump, juicy lizard, a slithering snake, or even a furry fennec fox? They all sounded tasty.
As the last of the fierce winds died down, Wylie was able to make out the shape of a date palm not too far away. A few minutes later he could see it perfectly clear. The sandstorm had passed. It was time for hunting.
He lifted his wings and wind-blown sand fell from his feathers. His huge wingspan spread for several feet. He flapped them up and down, released his talons, and flew off into the clear blue sky. As he soared high above, he saw a lizard scurrying across the sand towards a pile of large stones. He swooped down to catch it, but it ran too quickly and soon found safety. Wylie landed on the coral sand and stared at the hole where the lizard had run into. How was he going to get it now, he wondered. He tried to move the stones with his sharp talons but they wouldnt budge. As he stood there thinking, the lizard stuck its head out from between the stones. Wylie quickly bent his head down and tried to grab it with his curved beak, but the lizard duck back inside too quickly.
After a few minutes Wylie hopped up on top of the stones and stood there thinking. How was he going to catch the lizard? Frustrated and unable to come up with a solution, he flapped his wings and flew off.
As he gazed down from high, he noticed that everything was covered with a thick layer of dust from the sandstorm. How would he ever find something to eat? He soared back and forth swooping down for a closer look when he thought he saw something move, but the day was passing quickly and he was getting hungrier and hungrier.
He flew over and landed on top of one of the Great Pyramids. He could see for miles from up there. He saw the Nile flowing rapidly towards the Mediterranean Sea. Along its banks grew bright orange-red poppies and white daisies with little yellow centers. Wylie could see white lotus and their lily pads floating along the edges of the water. He saw Cairo, the huge, bustling city, filled with tall buildings, cars and people. The other direction was just desert sands, nothing else, just an arid emptiness.
Maybe hed be able to find something to eat closer to the river. He flapped his wings and soared from the pointed top of the ancient stone pyramid, towards the sparkling waters of the Nile. As he looked down he saw all kinds of animals running around. There were mice, snakes, wild cats, camels, and even a few hyena and jackals. As he soared high above the waters he could see the river teaming with wildlife. There were crocodiles, hippos, and lots and lots of fish.
He tipped his head down, pulled his wings in tightly to his sides and swooped down to the river. His talons stuck out in front as he glided quickly above the waters of the river. He grabbed a Nile perch in his claws and instantly flapped his wings, climbing higher into the sky with the fish held tightly. It was wriggling and squirming, but Wylie kept flying until he reached the top of the Great Pyramid once again. He sat on the tall, stone pyramid and ate his fish. He gazed around him once more. The sun was about to set. The Egyptian landscape looked as though it were on fire as the suns golden rays radiated across the land, turning from bright yellow to fiery orange, then red, then at last to a pinkish purple before it sank below the horizon. What a beautiful place Egypt was. No better place for an eagle to live and hunt. Wylie, feeling full from the fish hed just devoured, curled up on top of the pyramid and fell fast asleep, dreaming of what tomorrow may bring.