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Greychick landed in a large cottonwood. She flapped her wings, strengthening them. She hadn't had much time to practice flying, but she thought she was getting the hang of it.

"This isn't that bad," she said as she shuffled her wings.

Her brown eyes stared unblinking at a dragonfly. Only her nictitating membrane slid over her eyes. It allowed her to stare at prey without even a wink. The dragonfly buzzed past her face.

I need to learn how to hunt! she thought. The dragonfly flew closer, not even noticing her. She opened up her wings and snatched it, killing it instantly.

She then tore the wings off and ate the dragonfly whole, just as her dam and sire did.

Greychick found herself near a small lake, filled with fish. She landed on an overhanging branch. Dragonflies fled as fish tried to jump up and catch them. Tadpoles squirmed as a giant waterbug killed a wriggly amphibian.

She shuddered at the thought of being killed like that. "At least raptors kill instantly." She felt her bill with her measly tongue. "And prey doesn't suffer." She stared at a tadpole. "These seem weak... Wonder if they're any good?"

A rolling rattle startled her. A large greyish-blue and white bird flew next to her. "Lookin' at my tadpoles, eh?" the bird stated. "If you can catch one, young kite, I will let you have some. The name's Bluecrest. I'm a kingfisher. Maybe you have never seen my species before. What's your name?"

"I'm Greychick. My parents have mentioned kingfishers before. I heard they are master fisherman, competing with ospreys and bald eagles."

Bluecrest chuckled a little. "Maybe that much is true! Watch!"

He flew up, hovering above a small fish. He then tucked in his wings and dove in, barely even making a splash. As if he was a part of the water, he disappeared. The water parted and he flew up, a small minnow in his beak. He flew back to the branch and beat it, making sure it was dead. He then threw it in the air, catching it as it slid down his throat.

"Wow!" Greychick gasped. "That was amazing!"

"Heh, thanks young kitelet." The bird nodded happily.

I think I've found a new friend! she thought. I'm gonna ask him if we can be friends! she thought happily. "Listen, can we be friends? I flew away from home because I didn't want to be a warrior... I wanted to be a healer."

"A healer, huh? I suppose if you have no desires to fight, then I would be happy to be your friend. I could take you to a healer kingfisher, in fact. She knows a lot about the herbs and other plants that might help."

"All right. I would love to meet her." She nodded. Awesome! she thought joyfully. I'm going to learn from a healer of another species!

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