Author's Note - I adore the movie, but always wondered how they explained Amy managing to leave the geese in North Carolina without them trying to follow her home. Here's my theory.
Disclaimer - All characters are from Fly Away Home, and do not belong to me.
Letting Them Go
Amy bit her lip as she glanced between the truck and her geese. It was time for her to leave. The sun was finally set, the stars were coming out, and her airplane was already in pieces, having been dismantled and loaded onto a semi-truck, compliments of her Uncle David's friend.
"Hey," Barry nudged her gently, his golden hair pulled back into a ponytail, like usual. "It'll be okay, they'll be fine. You'll see them in a few months."
"I know." Amy was too afraid to voice her fears. What if one of them didn't come back? Igor, especially, was a concern. Uncle David had assured her his primary feathers he'd lost in the accident would grow back before the flock had to make their return trip to Canada. She just hoped all sixteen of her geese would return to her front porch.
Still, she stood, staring at her babies. She didn't want to let them go. Long John, who had always been what her father referred to as a Momma's boy, stared at her from near the lake where most of the flock was swimming. If Amy hadn't known any better, she would've sworn Long John knew she was going to leave them.
Her father, Susan, and Uncle David waited patiently at the truck, Barry standing a few feet away from her. Nobody was going to rush her. Nobody was going to make her say goodbye before she was ready. It'd only been months since she'd lost her mother. Now she was losing her geese, with no absolute guarantee she would see them again. Thanks to all the news footage, hunters knew the geese were here. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel, she couldn't help but think.
Feeling a hand on her shoulder, Amy glanced up at Barry, who gave her a small smile.
"They'll be fine," he said again. "I promise."
"You can't promise that," Amy replied softly.
"Yes, I can. Because I know. They'll be okay. Featherbrain won't let anything happen to them."
Amy tried not to smile, but couldn't help it. Barry only mentioned Featherbrain because he'd made fun of the animal's name since she'd named the bird, who wasn't going to be the one protecting the flock. She'd named him that for a reason.
"Amy, it's getting late," her father, Thomas, said loudly.
"One more minute?" Amy gave her father a pleading look.
Thomas nodded, leaning against the truck, reaching a hand up to rub his recently dislocated shoulder. He'd been kind enough to wait for her to fly away before he'd relocated it himself. Amy just couldn't have handled watching him do that.
Sighing, Amy headed toward Long John, who walked slowly toward her. She knelt in front of him and wrapped her arms around him. "Take care of them," she whispered. She kissed his beak and turned to face her family and Barry. "Alright, let's go home."