Fledgling


"Gwen, stop! Don't pick it up!"

"Don't be daft, Jack. It's a little baby bird, all alone on the pavement."

"It could be dangerous."

"A fledgling? They're like nature's popcorn: cute, fluffy, and everybody eats them. Look—"

Jack grabbed Owen's collar and yanked him right back. "Stay where you are."

The bird peeped cheerfully, flashing rows of rapidly-expanding teeth that had no business fitting in a tiny little beak. They snapped shut centimeters short of Owen's foot, and the creature licked its lips.

"As I was going to say," Jack finished, "some planets have a different kind of popcorn."


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