A/N: An interesting idea that has not yet been attempted before. I've done all the hard work writing this little quickie, so I'll leave it to you guys to take care of the easy part and tell me how I did.

Toss me a review, but more importantly, enjoy!

There Are Some In This World…

"Yay! This is so much fun, Daddy! And I don't need eyes to have fun!"

Samuel was splashing around in the pond we frequented, playing rather than bathing himself as I had told him to do. I was sitting on the edge, Samuel within wing reach.

It was no surprise my whole upper body was wet, and every time he threw water on me, I flinched and grimaced internally. He knew where I was, so it wasn't too much of a stretch to believe that he was doing it on purpose.

I love that little guy with all my heart, but he tends to give me gray feathers from time to time. Rafael was right: children are so rewarding, but they can definitely turn out to be a hassle every now and then.

But I didn't have it in me to reprimand my son, bottling up my displeasure and watching with a smile as he flopped all over like a beached fish. His young life was already troubling enough due to his blindness, and I avoided adding to the stress he was constantly feeling, except when absolutely necessary.

Perhaps I didn't discipline him as often as Jewel liked, but hey, I didn't intervene when she did the "teaching," as I would call it. I was soft-hearted, excessively so, and I treated my son accordingly.

But right now, I had a reason to be slightly irked by his carefree manner of entertainment.

Jewel had tasked me with making sure he was spotless, and I would be in for it if I brought him home in an unsatisfactory condition. As another mini-wave of warm fluid hit me square in the beak and cascaded down my chest, I sighed and haphazardly dried my face with a swipe of my wing.

"Samuel, would you please get to preening yourself? Your mother will rip out my tail feathers if you don't make yourself look respectable. And I don't want to be stuck here all day while you mess around."

He stopped bouncing and beating his wings one second later, and he locked eyes with me.

"Okay, Daddy."

He tucked his tiny head under his unfolded left wing and began nibbling away.

"That's my boy. Thank you, Sammy."

He paused and lifted his head.

"You're welcome, Daddy," he said, and then went back to work.

I watched him for a couple of minutes, marveling at how charming and innocent and special he was, despite his disability. Aside from Jewel, he brought a unique strain of joy into my life, the likes of which I had never known and experienced.

In a way, it surpassed the bliss that Linda had enfolded me with since the day she found me, when I was but a lonely chick. She had accepted how I felt when I told her, and she was perfectly okay with it. Thus, it did not poke my conscience like a sharp thorn, and I was free to revel in the immeasurable enchantment borne from my precious son.

Being as he was attending to his feathers dutifully, I leaned my head back and stared up into the canopy, intermittent beams of pure sunlight breaking through the woven sheet of leaves sprouting from the countless trees.

I filled my lungs with a plentiful amount of invigorating air, its spiciness due to the day-long spell of heavy rain Rio and the outlying areas had received yesterday. I moved away from the pond a few paces, laying down flat on my stomach and fanning my wings out on either side. I was in the proper position for the noontime sun to drench me with its light and dry my plumage.

I rested my chin on the damp earth and closed my eyes, muttering, "Aaah… this is the life…"

A brief period of silence rolled in, only to be shattered by Samuel's vibrant voice.

"Almost finished, Daddy. And then we can go home, and I can ask Mommy to bring me something to eat. I'm super hungry!"

"Alright, son. Sounds good to me. As soon as you're done, let me know. I'll just be right here, relaxing," I said in a heavenly tone.

"Okie dokie!" he fired back, shuffling noises funneling into my ears as he resumed preening.

This next round of peaceful serenity lasted a bit longer, but was broken yet again by another disturbance.

I turned my head to the left and looked straight up, spying a Scarlet Macaw drifting in and landing on a mid-level branch of a mango tree above me. I couldn't resolve the gender, as only its underside was presented to me.

It snatched a mango and chomped down, oblivious to our presence. I was curious about who the newcomer was, and fancied myself with observing him or her secretly. But things took a dire turn from normalcy to embarrassment when the Scarlet Macaw gobbled down the last of the mango.

I saw the tail rise into the air, and before I could react, the macaw purged itself of its digestive wastes. The short, thin stream of white liquid fell towards the earth and splattered onto the light green turf just over a foot away from me.

I was instantly disgusted to an extreme amount, releasing a guttural squawk of revulsion. I promptly jumped to my feet and trudged around to the opposite bank of the pond, not bothering to try and get comfortable again.

I was self-conscious enough to "do my business" away from the presence of others, but in this particular jungle, I am the minority. The sickening display I had just witnessed was evidence enough that some creatures behave more animalistic than others.

Try as I might, I could not chase the memory from my brain.

"All done, Daddy, just like you asked. C'mon, take me home! I want to snack on a juicy mango!"

"I'm over here, son. I decided to move. Don't ask why."

He charged through the water on those stubby legs of his and plowed into my stomach, searching for my wing.

He then began tugging on the leading edge incessantly, chirping, "Let's go, let's go!"

Never have those words sounded so sweet to my ears… I thought crudely.

I was wholly intent on complying, and I scooped him up with my wings, holding him tenderly against my chest.

"You got it, son. Let's get get back to your mother. Do you mind if I walk instead of fly?"

"Nope. Do whatever you want, Daddy."

He snuggled deeper into my fluffy plumage and clicked his beak shut.

Maybe I can sneak away on foot without that macaw noticing me. My face would probably become as red as a tomato if I had to talk to him or her. Ugh… I am not in the mood for anything like that right now…

I turned slowly around and hobbled carefully onwards, aiming for a dense clump of ferns about three of my wingspans away.

Don't see me… don't see me… don't see me… I pleaded over and over in my head, resisting the urge to make a break for it and give myself away.

But as fate would have it, I was spotted by the macaw and pursued.

I halted as the sound of strong wings pumping the air swallowed me from behind, and then I heard a muted thump as the bird landed behind me.

"Hello there. You look kind of familiar. Would you mind showing me what you look like and telling me your name? And what is it that you are holding?"

The female voice was articulated a lot like Jewel's, but had a darker undertone to it. She didn't seem to be a native Brazilian bird due to her lack of an accent, but I did not know what her true heritage was – nor did I care at the moment.

It wouldn't have done me any good to flee, and so I turned around to confront the visitor.

My cheeks burst into invisible flame as I studied her, and I set Samuel down in front of my belly. Her splendid emerald eyes widened as she noticed Samuel, and she donned a welcoming smile as she lifted her head and held my gaze.

"Ah, now I get it. You're Blu, aren't you? And isn't that your son, Samuel?"

"Yes, and yes. You are right on both accounts," I answered, masking my boiling uneasiness.

"I figured as much. I've heard a lot of interesting things about you and your family. My name is Sabrina, by the way."

She extended her wing, and tentatively I extended my own. After we shook them in the traditional method of greeting, she inched closer and patted my son on the head.

"Hello, Samuel. My, aren't you a cutie?" she said in a honey-rich voice.

"Um… thank you, Sabrina," Samuel chirped meekly, averting his eyes.

My former perturbed state languidly began fading away due to her kindness, and I decided to crumple it up and toss it aside like a ball of paper.

"His blindness… it must make raising him much more difficult for you and your mate."

I sighed, putting on a cheerful smile.

"Yeah, it's… it's not easy. But Jewel and I love him so much, and we do our best."

"Exactly. You two seem like a pair of highly-devoted parents."

She paused and preened a spot in the middle of her back, and then refocused on us.

"I envy someone like Jewel, who has gained a dependable, good-looking male such as yourself. I've always wanted to find a mate and start a family. But I won't rush things. I am only eight years old, and I have a nice, long life ahead of me," she said in a flattering manner.

"That's the spirit, Sabrina. The perfect one for you is out there. Soul-search long enough, and you'll find him, without a doubt. And thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it. Jewel sees me the same way."

I smirked, and she sent a smirk of her own right back to me.

"Naturally. You're welcome, Blu."

To be honest, she was very attractive herself, resembling a species-altered version of Jewel. But her body was slimmer, her tail was more pointed, and her upper beak terminated in an intimidating hook shape. Overall, she seemed more hawk-like, if that made any sense.

She seemed devilish, quick-witted, and a female who was very good at being bad.

She was vastly different from Jewel in those areas, for sure. I mean, come on, having a chick must have added a pound or so of weight to Jewel's already plump frame. I actually preferred her that way, as it provided good cushioning for us both when we felt like mating just to be affectionate.

And boy did I love those steamy nights of passion.

"It really is something how a pet like you managed to snag such a prized female such as Jewel."

At first her words were praiseworthy, but there was a not-so-nice lilt to her tone that confused me.

"You were a pet your whole life, huh? But then you came here, went on a crazy adventure with Jewel, and then boom, you two became mates and started a family."

"Long story short, that's what happened. It's a miracle I will never take for granted," I replied proudly.

She narrowed her eyes and glared at me like, well, like a hawk, scrutinizing me as if she was the predator and I was her prey.

I anxiously cleared my throat after some time and said, "Um… me and Samuel will be leaving now. Jewel is expecting us, and we've been gone longer than I originally planned. It was nice meting you and all. Bye, Sabrina."

She kept her beak sealed firmly shut, bidding us goodbye by offering her wing for me to shake. I did so, and then retreated, keeping my eyes on her until I was six footsteps away. She merely inhaled and continued examining me, which was very odd.

Maybe her attitude was more complex than she let on at first.

As I spun around and marched for the ferns, I mused, You know what they say, Blu. Never judge a book by its cover. I was within four paces of the ferns when her shady voice stopped me short.

And the reason I halted so abruptly is because of what she said, and how she said it.

"You're pathetic, you know that?" she sneered cruelly.

I froze, my tail stiffened, and the feathers running along the back of my neck puffed up in supreme bewilderment and irritation. I turned dramatically around, and I gritted my beak as I noticed the downright needle-sharp grin on her face.

"Excuse me?" I said in a muted, but no-less-harsh voice.

"Daddy, what does, um… pa-the-tic… mean?"

"Don't worry about it, son. Just be quiet and let me do the talking," I ordered.

"Sorry," he mumbled, and snapped his small beak shut.

"Oh, you didn't hear me the first time, did you? Let me put it this way then. You are an undeserving… worthless… pile… of… feathers. Now am I making sense, you brainless loser?"

I covered Sammy's ears with my wings, sparing him from listening to the biting slurs she was hammering me with. My former perceptions of her were rendered absolutely true; she was nothing more than a foul-mouthed bully.

"A lowly waste of skin and bones like you should never have gotten involved with Jewel. She is way out of your league! Just knowing she actually mated with a third-rate, window-licking pet like you makes me sick."

She hopped closer, threatening me with her leer and her posture, but I did not retreat.

I was more than double her age, and yet she had the audacity to cut me down? And even worse, cut me down in front of my own flesh-and-blood child? No, I will not stand to be mistreated by the likes of a teenage witch like her.

I didn't have to throw a fit and get physical like Jewel would have done, as I could still get my point across without resorting to violence. But I wasn't going to assault her with over-intelligent rhetoric and satisfy some non-existent ego.

No, I was going to attack her cleanly and give her a few mental scars she wouldn't soon forget.

"I grew up with a male Spix's Macaw I had met in my childhood, and he was better-looking and way stronger than you will ever be. He's dead now, though, may Cristo Redentor rest his soul. But that's beside the point. When he was alive, he wanted Jewel to be his mate, but she turned him down and broke his heart like a criminal. But wait, when you come along, she sees you as mating material and jumps on you like a cat pounces on catnip? Ugh! She's as utterly foolish as you are!"

I was boiling on the inside like a vat of molten gold. I may have been angry before, but the moment she brought my mate into it, my fiery emotions were elevated another three levels.

I squawked intimidatingly, "You walk around with a horrid attitude like that, and you're calling me pathetic!? You have major issues, and you have a lot to learn about life. Your parents obviously raised a failure of a child, despite their best intentions!"

She rolled her eyes derisively and laughed as if I was a professional clown, her eyelids sealed together and her chest quivering up and down.

When she stopped, she declared, "Boy you are wrong! My parents may have raised me properly, but the way I am acting right now is my second nature. And they know nothing about it. I lead a double life, see, and I am very successful."

I spluttered, "You're just a being of pure evil, aren't you? No morals, no shame, nothing! Good luck finding a guy that is going to put up with a two-faced villain like you!"

She snorted, "Pfft, I don't need a boyfriend or a mate. Are you kidding? I get all the pleasure I need from going around and taunting sad excuses for macaws like you."

She paused and grinned like the devil, her emerald eyes flashing like the real gemstones themselves.

"But other times, when I am alone, I put my wing to work on a certain part of my body. And I don't stop until my pleasure builds and I drive myself crazy with ecstasy, if you know what I mean."

She lifted her right wing, ran her tongue along the leading edge of it, and then winked at me. I mentally connected dots, and the image I saw with my mind's eye was appalling.

I dry heaved a few times, accidentally squeezing Sammy's skull a bit too hard with my wings.

He pushed them off of his head and chirped, "Ow, hey! I wanna go home now! Take me home!"

Oh how glad I was that Sammy had said that, because "go home" was exactly what I planned to do. I was fed up with Sabrina – she infuriated me as much as Alice and Chloe – and I had no more reason to stay and hear the slander exploding out of her beak.

"Aw, the broken toy bird wants to go home. What's the matter, can't handle me? Heh, you're not the first."

"That is it! We are out of here! If you follow me, I swear!"

She hopped closer and affected a venomous stare of defiance.

"You swear what? What are you gonna do to me, huh?"

The next thing I knew, she had slapped the pond forcefully with her wing, dousing my frontal area completely. And I wasn't the only victim.

"Wet… I'm all wet…"

Sammy burst into sobs and squirmed around in my grasp.

"Your whole family is despicable. It serves you right that your son ended up blind."

That disgraceful, blaspheming sentence drove me over the edge. Something primal snapped inside me, and my eye twitched. I whisked my wing through the shallow end of the mini-lake with as much force as I could muster, launching a thin sheet of water directly into Sabrina's eyes.

She screamed and staggered back, temporarily blinded, and I seized my getaway opportunity.

I whirled around, hovered briefly, fastened my claws around Samuel, and jetted off in the direction of my hollow. It was hard at first due to my sopping feathers, but they grew less and less waterlogged as I continued on, beating my wings powerfully.

"Hold on, son, this flight is going to get rough!"

He whimpered, "Okay. But… but… Daddy, she got me all wet! She's mean! So mean!"

"Shh, it's okay, son. You'll dry off quickly," I grumbled in as compassionate a tone as I could, given my situation.

"I may not be able to drop a ton of payback on her, but I know someone very close to me who can."

"Argh! I will find you, I will catch you, and when I do, there will be blood! Blood, you hear me!"

I spurred myself on even faster, glancing behind me on a whim. I saw a triple-hued blaze of color speed through the monotone green foliage. It disappeared for two seconds at the most, and then reappeared.

She had targeted me, and was heading straight for me.

"There you are, you overconfident jerk! You'll get what's coming to you!"

"Try me! I've got a surprise up my sleeve with your name on it!" I yelled back.

That's right, keep following me, so I can lure you right into my trap. You're about to find out that you are not the top dog of this jungle. Oh yes, Jewel will be happy to teach you what happens when you mess with her mate and her son…

I put as much distance between her and me without pushing myself to exhaustion, trying hard to give myself enough time to warn Jewel. Samuel's additional weight wasn't much, but it didn't make things any easier.

I hadn't flown so rapidly in my entire life, and I could not maintain a constant altitude or perform many evasive maneuvers. I was almost skimming the ground before our home tree came rushing into view.

I angled myself upwards and strained my wings, braking hard as I slipped past the oval-shaped entry hole. I set Samuel down and hunched over, sucking in gasp after gasp of precious air.

Oxygen had never tasted so amazing.

"Blu! What took you so long? Why are you two all wet? And why do you look like you're gonna pass out?!"

"No time… to explain. I need… your help… and fast."

She scrambled out of the nest and ran over to my side, laying a comforting wing on my spine.

"What? What do you need my help with?"

"A macaw… is chasing me. She insulted me... and Samuel… over and over. And she… won't quit. She's coming here… right now…"

Jewel's gaze darted from me to the outside world, lingering there for a short eternity. I swore I saw every muscle in her body go taut, as if some hidden instinct had been unlocked deep within her. She yanked her gaze back to me, her eyelids clenched in veritable rage.

Her icy blue irises were as cold and ruthless as a winter blizzard.

"She just crossed a line that should never be crossed. Just wait until she gets here! She will regret this day for many weeks to come after I am done with her…"

Jewel marched over to the rim of the opening and walked out onto a handy branch just below the entrance. I hurriedly snatched Samuel up and plunked him down in the nest.

In a stern, half-recuperated tone, I warned, "Stay right here… son. Do not move… until me and your mother… return. We have adult business… to take care of."

"Okay… Daddy," Samuel replied, shivering a bit and wrapping his diminutive wings around himself.

"I hope Mommy… kicks her mean tail."

"Trust me, she will. I'll tell you all about it when it's over."

I patted him twice on the head and stormed off, rooting myself by Jewel's side and looking out for the arrival of Sabrina.

Not ten seconds later, it happened.

I involuntary plastered a grin of preemptive victory on my beak as the macaw zoomed towards us. Jewel adopted a fearless posture as Sabrina swooped in and landed hard on the branch, her chest pulsing in and out and her verdant eyes leaking rage.

"Oh look! It's the famous… pair of… incompatible… morons! The stupidity… has been doubled!"

"So you're the one who verbally abused my mate and my son? One look at you is all it takes to see that you have all the trademarks of a standard bully. You're sorely going to wish you hadn't done that to my family!"

She cringed back in mock fear, ducking her head beneath her wings.

"Oh no… don't hurt me! Please! I am too young to die!"

She then jerked her head out and said scornfully, "Hah, you're funny. My bones are shaking with terror right now. Not! Are you gonna switch into ultimate coward mode like your mate did and do absolutely nothing?"

Jewel growled form the back of her throat.

"Hardly! I am going to kick your tail feathers from here to the city!"

"Ho ho, is that what you think? Well then, I'll give you a free shot and see what you can do!"

Sabrina reoriented herself and leaned forwards, perversely showing off her rear and waving her lower body side to side. The view was the farthest thing from appealing you could possibly imagine.

"Go ahead, try me!"

And that was when chaos struck.

Jewel squawked and lunged directly for Sabrina, barreling into her back. They plummeted from the bough so fast I didn't have time to register Sabrina's expression as it jumped from callousness to shock.

I leapt from the branch and fought my way to the ground, the sounds of twigs snapping, leaves hitting feathers, and macaws fighting a river of frenzied noise. I plopped down onto the patch of ground near the base of our tree, and my eyes instantly darted to the tussling storm of feathers and screeches.

"Go Jewel! Show her what you're made of! Punish her!" I rooted, knowing full well that my mate would be able to subdue Sabrina without much difficulty.

After all, the Scarlet Macaw was lean and lacked the appropriate muscle mass to wield damaging attacks. She was all bark and no bite, as the saying goes.

But nonetheless, my stomach twisted when I saw the pinned Sabrina arc her claws through the air in an effort to dislodge Jewel.

"Gah, get… off of me, you overweight freak! You're not… fighting fair!"

My mate screeched as they scratched her cheek and left three parallel slices, but she screeched more out of unbridled hostility than pain.

"Shut up! Or I will make you shut up!"

And with that, Jewel dug her claws into Sabrina's side and heaved, flipping the three-tone macaw onto her stomach. Jewel then established a tight grip on Sabrina's back feathers with her left foot and planted her right foot halfway up the back of the Scarlet Macaw's neck.

"Agh! Let go! Or else I'll-"

"I said… SHUT… UP!"

Jewel lowered her body and bore down with her right foot, compressing Sabrina's throat against the firm earth. Sabrina flexed her body from side to side to remove Jewel, but to no avail, and a chain of choking sounds was emitted from her beak.

"Ach… stop… stop… I can't… breathe!"

"Good! It's what you deserve!"

Sabrina struggled more fiercely, and then her useless flailing began to drop off in frequency.

"Please… urgh… I am… about… to pass… unh... out…" she moaned, her right eye staring up at Jewel in desperation.

Not wanting to take things any farther and risk injuring the female, Jewel dismounted Sabrina and backed away, her face bent into a scowl nonetheless. Sabrina inhaled greedily but did not rise to her feet, spluttering and coughing all the while.

The sensitive side of me felt pity for her, but the overwhelming majority convinced me that she had to learn what revenge was, and to learn it the hard way. There are some in this world who needed to be educated in the most direct manner possible, and she was one of them.

Would this ordeal change her dreadful attitude? I didn't expect it to, but maybe, just maybe, it would give her plenty of things to think about.

When Sabrina had at last recovered and brought herself back from the brink of unconsciousness, she staggered to her feet and faced us, one wing rubbing her throat.

The Scarlet Macaw croaked hoarsely, "Monster… you're… a monster."

Jewel retorted icily, "I am no more of a monster than you are. Now go, leave us alone, and don't you dare come back."

"You could… have… killed me…"

"I could have, but I didn't. And I was never going to. I know my limits, and the fact is, you don't. I don't ever want to see you anywhere near our home."

Jewel stabbed her wing to the east, the way Sabrina had come, trickles of scarlet oozing down her otherwise azure right cheek.

Still massaging her airway, Sabrina retreated, step by difficult step, not once averting her hurt, stunned expression. She trudged away in utter silence, a slew of emotions she had not experienced until now bubbling behind her dull emerald irises.

Before long, the ferns and flowers swallowed her up, and she returned into the belly of the jungle from which she had come.

I hopped over to Jewel and examined her wounds, overwhelming concern shoving aside all the hatred within me.

"Are you okay, honey? Do you need to visit Tulio and have him seal those up?" I asked in a muted voice, my tone laced with worry for her well-being.

She touched the narrow lacerations with her wingtip and winced, briefly studying the blood that had stained her feathers. She then ran her wingtip along the ground to rub off the blood, and sighed.

"No, I'm fine. They'll heal on their own."

She raised her head and locked her eyes with mine.

"I trust your word, Jewel. But at least go wash them off with some water from that pond we always use, and use a leaf to dry your face, I guess. You don't want to risk them getting infected."

"Yeah, you're right. I'll go then. But let's get back to Samuel first."

I nodded, and she turned and spread her wings.

But before she took flight, I placed a wing on her back and said, "Jewel, wait."

She furled her wings and turned back around.

"What is it, Blu?"

My reply was delayed, and I frowned as Sabrina's spear-like insults stabbed at my brain. Was I really all those things she said? Were Jewel and I truly incompatible on some level?

I hung my head and asked, "Jewel, am I a pathetic pet? Do you think you are out of my league? Do we deserve each other?"

Her eyes went wide as she drank in my questions, and a flicker of anger came to life behind her blue eyes before dying out. It was not anger directed at me, but rather at Sabrina, for Jewel realized that what I said must have been a sampling of the derogatory comments the Scarlet macaw had made.

Jewel hobbled over to me and cupped my face between her wings, raising my head so that our gazes met.

"You're not pathetic, Blu, nor am I out of your league. In fact, I think we were made precisely to be together. And if we do not deserve each other, why are we mates, and why do we have a son?"

She smiled her signature smile, and my spirits were lifted out of the darkness by a hot air balloon of reassurance. I did not need to respond, because in my heart, the answers were there.

And they always had been.

Jewel was my world and my life, and I served the same purposes in regards to her, without a doubt. I proclaimed a silent oath right then and there that I would never let my opinion of our relationship be swayed by anyone else.

I knew who I loved and what I had gained as a result, and to convince me otherwise would be a fool's errand for everyone who tried.

"I'm sorry. I'm just sensitive, I guess. Maybe too sensitive."

She kissed me lightly on the beak.

"There's nothing wrong with that, Blu. There's no need for you to change. I love you just the way you are."

She pulled me into a hug and laid her head on my shoulder – her scratch-free cheek resting on my feathers, thankfully. I planted a tender kiss on the cuts marring her otherwise perfect face, my wing sliding up and down her spine tenderly.

"I love you too, Jewel. You're the gem of this rain forest and you're all mine."

I closed my eyes in bliss, thrilled by the heavenly feel of her embrace and her warmth. The world as I knew it melted away, leaving just the two of us to bask in the presence of our lovers – or so it seemed.

But this is no dream; this is reality, and all good things must come to an end.

"Mommy, Daddy, where are you? I'm getting lonely in here, and I'm hungry!"

Our shared reverie was cut drastically short as Samuel's pleading chirps rained down, and I opened my eyes. Sure enough, as I twisted my head, I spied my son teetering on the edge of the hollow, his sightless eyes searching for his parents.

"We better get up there and take care of him," Jewel stated softly.

"Agreed, Jewel. A kiss form each of us and a mango in his beak should be enough to make his day."

Jewel nodded and stepped away from me, fluttering up to our son and easing him deeper into the hollow. I traced her path and alighted inside a few seconds later. I walked up to Jewel, who had him cradled in her sublime wings.

"Is the big bad meanie gone? Did you kick her tail feathers?"

"I sure did, son. She won't be bothering us anymore."

"Yay!" Samuel cheered, using his tiny wings to hug his mother's chest.

He then drew back and fixed his eyes on Jewel impatiently.

"I want a mango now, Mommy. My tummy won't stop growling. I am soooo hungry."

"I'll bring one back for you, son. The ripest, plumpest one I can find," I put in.

Samuel turned his body around in Jewel's wings and said, "Thank you so much, Daddy."

I strode closer and kissed his skull gently. "No need to thank me, son. It's only a part of my duty as a father. But you're welcome, anyways."

He smiled, and so did I, instinctively.

"I'll be back as fast as possible, son. You've been waiting long enough for a meal."

I spun around and made for the exit, only to be stopped short by my offspring's bright voice.

"Wait!" he exclaimed.

I performed a 180 degree turn and looked at my son.

"Yes, Sammy?"

"Please be careful, Daddy. And I love you."

"You bet I will. And I love you too, with all my heart," I said as a tear welled up in my eye.

I gazed at them for a few seconds more and then departed, drifting off into the jungle, my soul thrumming with jubilation uncontested. Regardless of my flaws and misgivings, I was the mate of an angel and the father of a cherub, bonds so durable that not even death could hope to sever them.

And I couldn't be happier, as I knew I would be this way forever.

(\ (\ /) /)