Carefully now; one foot at a time. The next branch up was just a few inches out of reach where he was, but he would be able to reach it if he moved closer to the trunk.
Slowly making his way to the trunk, Emrys walked, arms out to either side for balance, along a branch just slightly wider than his feet.
With steps light enough that the birds, in their nest just a few branches to the left didn't even notice Emrys, he walked,
though it's a wonder he still had light steps with clothes soaked from the intense sun earlier in the day. The last step was more of a lurch, heart racing as he hugged the trunk of the tree.
With minimal time for rest, Emrys reached up for the prize. The next branch. The last branch.
Both hands wrapped around the branch, he pulled the rest of his small body up, kicking off the trunk to get his legs up.
And then, all of a sudden he was face down on the branch with arms and legs hugging tightly. Looking up, he braced his eyes for the sun, but nothing came.
The sun was on the opposite side of the sky that he had expected, with clouds covering most of it. Clouds that hadn't been anywhere in sight when he had started his climb.
Sitting up was easy enough, without the sun to worry about. Legs clenched tight around the branch, Emrys reached to get his pencil and small notebook; the goal of his climb.
Able to see everything around him, his house below, his neighbors in the distance, the trees behind him, Emrys started drawing it all.
A page for in front of him, a page for behind him, and a page dedicated to the bird nest, he drew with as much detail as a talented young boy could manage.
Just as he was finishing up his picture of the nest and the baby birds inside, the wind started to pick up.
A small breeze at first but quickly turning into a gust so strong that Emrys dropped his pencil and notebook in a rush to hug the branch as hard as he could.
The noise of the wind got louder, the winds stronger until, suddenly, it all stopped.
Eyes tight and heart racing, Emrys heard the remainder of the leaves falling off the tree top. A few minutes passed until Emrys' heart stopped racing.
Slowly sitting back up Emrys's heart stopped completely.
A bird, as tall as Emrys would be with his arms stretched towards the sky, sat, staring at Emrys, head cocked,
waiting for a movement from the strange little boy that had made it up to the top of his tree. Eyes wide now, Emrys tried taking deep, controlled breaths, with little success.
Minutes passed with bird and boy sitting as still as they could manage.
Wishing he hadn't dropped his notebook, Emrys tried dedicating the picture of the magnificent bird in front of him,
not wanting to miss the opportunity to draw what would be the coolest thing in his entire notebook.
Slowly working some bravery, Emrys slowly reached his hand out until he was touching the giant bird's chest. The pride of the bird.
At first touch, the bird cocked its head the other direction, eyes intent on the boy.
With a loud cry and a flap of the wings, the bird was back in it's nest, with the baby birds behind where it landed, and the boy trying to regain his footing in front of it.
The boy had even wider eyes now, after the short flight, more of a jump really, took him by surprise.
But now, with what looked might be a mischievous grin, the boy had gained his confidence and had sat down criss-cross applesauce.
Funny, the bird thought, how after looking so frightened, the boy could look so at home in just a few seconds.
"Home!" the boy said out loud. Emrys walked over to the edge of the nest, looking out over the side at his house. He looked up at the big bird, which was now picking at the feathers on its wings.
"Hey bird! I need to go home," Emrys said while pointing to his house, far below. The bird looked up, looked at the boy and spread its wings out in understanding, preparing to take flight.