I wonder what happens when nature's course takes an unexpected twist. What happens when the nest empties early?
Whether a chick flies of its own will, or falls from the nest, or is snatched from it by some giant unforeseen talons, what do the parents do? Do they hobble around on broken twigs and strands of forgotten hair, peering over the edge to look for morbid remains? Do they immediately take flight in search of their lost offspring? Do they tuck their feathered little bird brains under wing and wait?
These parents had instinctively prepared for that empty nest, had known pretty much when it would come about. They had set aside their lives of fun and freedom during those chick-rearing times to devote their energies, even their entire souls, to the wellbeing of those little darlings. They had known that someday it would change, maybe even abruptly, but until that day came they knew what they had to do. But then! That day came so soon, when they were least expecting it, and what had once been their cozy little home suddenly looks like an ugly bin of collected junk. It is empty, cold, and barren. Do they celebrate their premature freedom, these aviary parents? Do they wallow in confused despair? Do they peck at each other and wonder what went wrong? Or do they simply hope?