By Margo Wayman
"Hee, hee, hee," giggled Faruk as he hid in the bushes that surrounded the pond. He watched the rest of the flock as they gathered at the lakes shallow edges. It was feeding time and soon it would be time to sleep. The sun sank behind the horizon, casting its rays into the darkening sky. The evening sunset was ablaze with bright, vivid oranges and pinks that reflected off the flocks pink feathers, making each flamingo glow like burning embers of a dying fire.
Soon all the flamingos, except Faruk, had their long, sinewy necks curled onto their soft, feathered backs. Their curved, black-tipped, yellow bills nestled into the feathers, and soon all were asleep. Each stood on one long, spindly leg, while the other was tucked under their body.
Faruk began to giggle again, "Hee, hee, hee." He snuck out from behind the bush where hed been hiding and moved silently towards Abdul, another flamingo. As he neared him, he covered his bill with his wing and softly giggled, "Hee, hee, hee." His webbed feet sunk into the mud as he approached the waters edge. He had to be careful not to splash as he waded out to Abdul. When he was close enough, he took his strong leg and kicked Abduls leg. It bent at the knee and Abdul fell backwards into the water.
Abdul woke up squawking, his wings flailing about. He was splashing and making a lot of noise. Faruk ran as fast as he could and hid behind the bush before the other flamingos saw what hed done.
The whole flock looked at Abdul angrily for waking them all up. He stood up, shook the water out of his feathers and looked around. How had he fallen? He wondered for a few minutes, then unable to figure out a reason, he tucked his head down, lifted his leg and carefully placed it under his body, and fell asleep. The rest of the flock did the same.
Faruk giggled, "Hee, hee, hee," as he hid behind the bush. When he saw that all the flock was asleep, he crept up towards Fatima, a beautiful female flamingo. She was sleeping soundly, her beautiful orange eyes shut tightly. Faruk gazed at her as he crept towards her. His webbed feet made sucking noises in the mud, but as soon as he reached the water, it turned to silence. He moved closer to Fatima. He started to giggle, "Hee, hee, hee." He hurried and put his wing up over his bill so the noise wouldnt wake her up.
The water was a little deeper here than where Abdul had stood. Faruk crept closer and closer. He reached over and pushed Fatimas leg with his. It collapsed and she went down into the water.
Quickly he ran back to the bush and hid. Fatima began to cough and choke as she gulped down the lake water. Her wings went out to the side and she splashed all the other flamingos standing around her. The whole flock woke up. Abdul looked over at Fatima. He wondered how shed fallen into the water, like he had. Fatima stood back up and looked around at the other birds. They were glaring angrily at her. She looked over at Abdul. He shrugged his wings at her, then went back to sleep. The whole flock went back to sleep. Fatima looked around. She couldnt imagine why shed fallen over. Not being able to come up with an answer, she went to sleep.
Faruk hid behind the bush. He giggled and giggled. "Hee, hee, hee. Hee, hee, hee," he went. His long neck bobbed up and down as he chuckled to himself. He waited a few minutes to make sure all the other flamingos were sleeping. He spotted Ahmed standing off by himself. His eyes were shut tightly and he was making some soft snoring sounds. Faruk knew he was asleep.
He came out from behind the bushes and ever so quietly walked towards Ahmed. He moved so slowly, trying to be very, very quiet. His feet made the sucking noises in the mud again. He stopped to make sure that none of the other flamingos woke up. Satisfied, he moved quickly towards the water. He crept slowly towards Ahmed. The water swirled around his long legs as he moved. He stood in front of Ahmed and softly giggled. "Hee, hee, hee," he went. Ahmed stood silently as Faruk knocked him down into the water.
Startled, he hit the water and fell underneath. His long legs went up into the air.
Faruk ran and hid behind the bush. Ahmed bobbed up to the top of the lake and started squawking and coughing. Water gushed out of his beak as he coughed loudly. The whole flock woke up. This time they were very angry. That was three times they had been woken up.
What was going on here, Abdul thought. Thats three birds in one night. First it was him, then Fatima, then Ahmed. This had never happened before.
Ahmed stood up and received angry glares from all the other flamingos. They squawked at him and some even splashed water at him. He moved further into the lake, off by himself, then shook the water out of his feathers. He looked around at the others. He looked at the bushes, but couldnt see anything. He even looked up into the sky. He could not figure out how he fell. He thought he must have been dreaming. Without solving the puzzle, he fell asleep.
The others finally settled down and dozed off once more, all but Abdul. He was determined to find out what was going on. He pretended to go to sleep. He tucked his head on his back, he lifted his leg and put it under his body, but he didnt shut his eyes.
Behind the bush, Faruk was giggling once more. "Hee, hee, hee," he went. "Hee, hee, hee." He was having so much fun. He thought hed play that trick on one more bird, then go to sleep himself. He was getting tired. He came out from behind the bush and slowly crept up the muddy shore of the lake towards Sara. She was sleeping soundly. Her feathers glowed in the bright moonlight.
As Faruk crept towards Sara, Abdul watched. He saw that it was Faruk. Now it all made sense. Now he knew what was going on. He stood quietly as Faruk moved into the water. He didnt make a noise as Faruk knocked Sara into the water and ran back into the bush.
Sara fell deep into the water. Her long neck flew backwards, water ran into her bill, and she came up coughing and squawking and kicking her legs as she tried to find her balance.
This time all the flamingos had enough. They were all angry. Since none of them had been able to sleep much, they decided to stay awake and feed at night for a while. All the birds began to stick their bills upside down into the water and scoop up algae and little fish. Abdul watched Faruk.
Faruk was hiding in the bushes, giggling as he watched Sara stand up and look around. He thought it was funny that she didnt know what had happened, or why shed ended up in the water. After shed shaken off her wings she began to feed with the others.
Faruk giggled, "Hee, hee, hee. Hee, hee, hee."
He soon realized that none of the birds were going to go back to sleep. His tricks were over for the night. He came out from behind the bush and mingled with the other flamingos; but Faruk was sleepy. Instead of feeding, he curled his long neck and bill up on his back, tucked his leg under him and fell asleep.
Abdul decided it was time to teach Faruk a lesson. He moved over towards the sleeping bird. The other birds were all busy feeding so they didnt even notice what he was doing. He moved closer, his webbed feet made all kinds of sucking noises in the mud, but he didnt care. He splashed in the water and came right up to the exhausted Faruk. Without hesitating, he kicked Faruks leg, which folded up as Faruk fell into the water.
Abdul ran off behind the bush. Faruk coughed and coughed, and choked as the water rushed into his bill, and into his eyes, and down his long neck. His webbed feet flew up into the air. Mud stuck to his beautiful wings as he struggled to stand up. None of the other birds helped. None of them were paying attention. Faruk finally got to his feet, and shook the water off. He looked around at all the other birds. Nobody seemed to notice what was going on. As Faruk stood there in confusion, he heard, from behind the bush, "Hee, hee, hee. Hee, hee, hee."