Setting: As-yet-unnamed, same as Mirrors and Doors Genre: Fantasy Summary: Justice administered by budgies can be cruel. Notes: Combines prompts by Ellen Million, Becky Allen, and Herm Baskerville Words: 100
“When I was a kid, we could still shoot them,” the cop said.
Mira just gave a noncommittal hum and continued her work.
“Thieving little bastards.”
This case was about a diamond bracelet, but still, it was a generalisation.
“I mean, they’re pests, everybody knows that. No matter how smart they are. Eat songbird chicks.”
The magpie struggled as Mira transferred it from the big trap to a smaller transport box. Neither agreeing nor arguing worked as she’d intended; the cop calmed down and got back to business, adsressing the bird.
“You are being arrested on suspicion of grand theft. A lawyer will be provided to you, given that it’s unlikely you have one.”
Mira chuckled. His half irritated, half worried look she answered with, “Close enough to by the book if you ask me. No complaints.”
“Good. Thanks for your help. I just hope we got the right one this time.”
Inspired by the prompts "A species of animal is ruled legally sapient and subject to protection - and prosecution - under human law" by Herm Baskerville and "The magpie in the tree" by TJK
Worry and irritation mingled in Sylvie's mind. Ayu-Asra, the two-headed pet dragon she could not get rid of, had gotten her thrown out of an inn, and she had really looked forward to not having to sleep outside.
Not that she could blame the landlord. A glance at the animal trailing her by alternately running along the top of the fence next to the street and gliding a short distance showed her that its chest was still glowing faintly. Maybe she should have claimed this was normal and harmless, rather than admitting he had never done that before. The dragon didn't seem bothered, so maybe it was harmless, but what could it be? He was able to breathe fire, so maybe something going wrong there? Trying to remember if she'd ever heard of a dragon overheating and exploding, Sylvie flinched as Ayu-Asra whistled shrilly and veered off towards an orchard.
After a furtive look around, Sylvie followed to see what had him so excited, or what damage she would have to apologise for.
She found him chasing insects, his heads occasionally fighting each other for the fattest bugs.
Luminous fluid sprayed from the fat glow-worm corpses.
With his nieces either old enough they wouldn't break any of his individually glass-encased insects, or moved so far away they didn't come, John had a birthday dinner in his home again. It did not protect from surprises, though.
He stared at the joint present, purchased under the direction of his younger sister, if her grin was any indication.
"I remembered you were looking for one."
"May, I meant the species of wasp, not something you need specially made."
Hanging from claws on six spider legs from the roof of its cage, the startled tarantula hawk ruffled its wings.
Birdwatching turned out a lot more interesting than he had expected, when Eric noticed a thrush with an aviator helmet and goggles. He watched it attack a model plane that was being flown on the nearby "miniature airfield". Getting the attention of his parents took so long that the bird brought the plane down meanwhile.
Eric was sorely disappointed they did not even consider going to find the owner of the model plane and ask what they had seen, but dismissed what he said out of hand. As a result, he resolved to save up for a really good camera.
The Badger's Den had had a strict "no fights" policy for longer than anybody could remember, not even the turtle who had never introduced itself, but dropped in on occasion in the summertime, watching generations of voles, foxes, and even badgers pass. The current owner and barkeeper, Bartholomew, had served a lot of different guests. Owls were not that common, but one of them stood out. He had come to the Den with the air of someone who wanted to get drunk. It took little prompting from Bartholomew for him to unload his troubles.
"See, there's this woman," - owl, naturally - "Ignatia." Judging from his sigh, even her name alone was better than a life supply of fresh mice, and Bartholomew suffered through some disjointed, lovestruck praise of her looks, prowess and character. "So, well, I had a chance with her, but of course what was needed was a nest. I'd found a nice hollow, and she was inside inspecting it, when a squirrel started throwing nuts at us. It was so quick I couldn't catch it, completely fearless, and it ruined everything."
"You can't have given up that soon, right?"
"Oh, that monster wasn't the only one. The first day at the second nest, a mouse showed up. It hooted and acted as if it was an owl and our child."
After a pause, Bartholomew asked, "Couldn't you have eaten it?"
"Are you crazy? It clearly was, and we didn't want to catch whatever made it so."
"That makes sense." What the badger did not say was that they sounded like a pair of complete pushovers.
"See. Well, anyway, now Ignatia is looking for someone who doesn't attract lunatics, and I'm all alone."
"Don't worry too much; I'm sure someone will fall for you." It's all part of the job.
There was a thump followed by shuffling noises at the entrance, as a bat awkwardly crawled in. "Yoo-Hoo, Orville," he called.
"Already has. That's the problem." Orville downed the rest of his drink in one go and tried to ignore the newcomer. The evening went downhill from there.