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Fowl Language

Out of the mouth of macaws, humans are born.

By Eileen DavisPublished 3 years ago 6 min read
Fowl Language
Photo by Jairo Alzate on Unsplash

Dew droplets on the highest branches shimmered in the rising sun, which soon evaporated into swirls of steam. As the western wind swept up the sand, the steam and wind circled in lazy funnels, disturbing nesting macaws and parrots. One pair of scarlet macaws, Indigo and Crimson, batted their eyelids against the sand.

“Let’s go!” The male, Indigo, swooped around his mate, Crimson. “Let’s go!” His wing caressed her wing, but Crimson scooted further out on the branch.

“Sleep.” She crouched her head between her wings and yawned. Then the wind lifted her wings and Indigo’s body. Indigo squealed while the wind spun him around once.

Crimson yawned and launched into the funnel. “Can’t leave now.” She let her body follow the current, but Indigo’s claws clung to her wing while he flapped against the wind. “Okay.” Crimson flapped against the current until she and Indigo swooshed away from the funnel.

Their wings faltered for several minutes until they flew closer to the beach. When Crimson’s stomach grumbled, she growled. “Hungry.”

“Seeds over there.” Indigo swooped lower until he landed among the achiote shrub’s broad leaves. Lowering his white top beak, he scratched under his multicolored wing to pick at mites. He hated how hard they bit.

“Coming.” Crimson hovered over the branches, fanning her scarlet, blue, and yellow feathers until she perched on the branch above. Rolling her head, Crimson stretched her wings.

Stepping higher, Indigo bobbed and danced around Crimson while she nuzzled her beak against his beak. “Safe.” He rubbed his beak on her cheek. After nuzzling, they scooted closer to the spiky dry seed pods, which were missing the flower petals already laying brown on the forest floor.

Indigo cracked one spiky seed pod and then scooted aside so Crimson could eat first. She leaned forward and pecked at the wax-covered annatto seeds. Next, Indigo cracked a seed and swallowed it.

Crimson cocked her head, “Any wax on me?”

“No. No.” Indigo turned his head side to side, bits of seed and wax crumbling from his beak.

“Wax on you!” Crimson nodded and laughed until a breeze ruffled her feathers.

Crimson and Indigo cocked their heads inland, and they fluffed their feathers. A flock of parrots and macaws rushed past warning, “Wind! Wind!” Crimson nodded to Indigo and the pair launched from the bush. However, the incoming warm and sandy wind pulled them back. Indigo bit onto a palm frond while digging his claws into Crimson’s back feathers. As Crimson climbed on Indigo’s wing and cried for help, he grasped the palm branch with his claws. Crimson managed to grasp onto the branch too.

The palm leaves thrashed against the pair until they slipped lower unto a shrub. Then they clung to the achiote branches, but their claws ripped away from the flattened branches and the pair swirled in a bright red, indigo, and yellow blur. Their pleas stuck in their throats as swirling leaves and sand coated their tongues. Next, the wind pinned the pair to the undergrowth when lightning struck their tail feathers.


Primary colors flashed across the canopy. A red cloud, blue cloud, and yellow cloud swooped together. As the colors blurred, feathers and dust circled and stretched into long tan limbs. A head pulled from the torso and more body parts appeared. Flying annatto seeds painted the lips and tongue. Next, a gale struck Indigo's mouth. He coughed and a male human fell to the ground. The man lifted his head. When lightning struck his Adam’s apple, he crumpled.

Splitting directions, one funnel pulled out a rib from the male human while the second funnel swooped Crimson’s breath away when she coughed out dust. The dust cloud stretched out shorter limbs, bigger hips, and longer hair until a female human plopped onto discarded leaves. When the wind stopped, leaves and branches floated to the ground.

Crimson and Indigo fluffed and spread their wings while the branches bounced to their original height. There, they shifted side to side to look at these new creatures.

“What’s that? What’s that?”

After crawling toward the man, the woman lightly brushed the man’s chest hair. Slowly, her fingers trailed from his cleft chin, aquiline nose, bushy eyebrows, and thick hair. “Who—” Red dust billowed from her mouth. “Are.” Coughing out blue dust, she covered her mouth and blushed. “You?” she said from closed lips, but yellow dust still spewed from the sides of her mouth. She giggled.

Indigo squawked, “Adam.”

Adam turned his head toward Indigo but didn’t see the bird. “Adam?” He shrugged. Noticing the woman’s curious gaze, he chuckled, a dusty rainbow escaping his mouth. The woman reached for the rainbow, but it blew toward the pair of scarlet macaws obscured behind broad leaves.

Smiling, Adam placed his hand on the woman’s shoulder and then ran his fingers through her hair. “Who are you?” He cupped her chin and gazed into her eyes.

Crawling down the bush, Crimson toddled toward the woman and squawked, “Eve.”

“Eva?” The woman looked at the red macaw by her feet. Then Eva smiled, showing all her teeth, at Adam.

Crimson shook her head and squawked “Eve” again.

“Eeeva.” The woman clapped and patted her collar bone. “Eva.”

“No!” Indigo squawked and rolled his eyes. Hopping off the branch, Indigo flew in front of Eve’s face and Crimson joined him. “Eeeeve.”

“Hi, Squawk and Squawk. I’m Eva.”


“Ouch!” Eva cried as the female macaw perched on her shoulder and dug in its claws. Likewise, the male macaw landed on Adam’s shoulder and nipped his ear. With raised eyebrows, she studied the birds and patted the female’s tail feathers. “Beautiful!” The macaw squawked and pecked Eva’s forehead. Eva ducked at the next peck. Then she reached for the macaw on Adam’s shoulder, but it burrowed its head under its wing.

“Shy thing.” Eva tried to pat the male macaw’s head again, but it ducked away. Glaring, the female macaw hopped from Eva’s shoulder to her forearm. Fearing another peck, Eva backed away from Adam.

Adam and Eva then gazed around them. Strewn leaves and branches littered the damp ground, while the upright branches appeared almost bare. A few animals poked their heads down from the canopy but disappeared when Adam or Eva looked in their direction.

“What’s that?” Adam pointed to a fallen palm frond.

“I don’t know.”

“Squawk!” The male macaw jumped and extended a wing toward the palm fronds.

Eva shook her head. “I think it’s a leaf.” She picked a frond from the ground and twirled it. After retrieving several fronds, she draped them across her front and back, and accidentally brushed off the female macaw from her shoulder. It fluttered in front of her and growled. Next, the male macaw joined his mate in squawking and growling. They shook their heads and flapped away.

“Squawk and Squawk don’t like us.” Adam shrugged.

“I guess so.”

As Eva twirled her fingers through her brown hair, Adam reached for her hand. She trembled at his touch. Batting her eyelashes, she again noted she still thought him just as handsome as when she woke. Adam then held her hand and led her over tree roots deeper into the rainforest. Birds chirped and spider monkeys swung among the branches.

Hearing spider monkeys squeal, Eva stopped and asked. “What are those?”

“I don’t know.” Adam ran his fingers through his hair. “The names usually just come to me.” Placing his hand on Eva’s shoulder, Adam urged her forward. “Let’s see what else is around here.”

The couple wandered until they fell from exhaustion. The macaw pair then perched on a branch above them and squawked quietly. After their discussion, they clicked beaks and nodded. The pair flew down by the human couple and quietly squawked in their ears.

First, Eva stirred from sleep. Squawks and images mingled together in her mind, but none of it made sense. She plugged and unplugged her ears to stop the noise before stretching her arms. Looking around, she recognized the name of different animals surrounding her. Monkey. Spider. Ant. Tapir.

“Adam! Adam!” Eva shook his shoulder and his eyes popped open. “I know what we saw earlier. Spider—”

“Monkeys!” Adam stood and pointed upward.

“You know all the names too!” Eva rose and hugged him. Letting go, she pointed at the ground.

“Look, a snake.”


About the Creator

Eileen Davis

Writer. Blogger. Poet. Avid reader. Boy mom. Have bipolar 2. Experience bisexual attraction. News Junkie. Love America. Love China. English language BA from BYU. Follow me on X, Facebook, Medium, or my blog.

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