Pterodactyls, being carnivores, must rely on freshly killed fish and meat for their sustenance. For one Pterodactyl mother, this past month has not been easy: building a nest, laying her most prized possessions, and then sitting on them until they hatch. Nevertheless, her dedication will not go in vain. Onward she scours the night in search of any live creature she can bring home to satisfy the hunger of her new hatchlings. She instinctively realizes it won’t be as easy as before. The land has become barren of easy prey since the radon gas leak began about a year ago, the result of a volcanic eruption. The toxic fumes devastated almost all of existing wildlife. The mother and her mate managed to survive this pandemic while living on high in the mountains, but her mate succumbed to exposure a short time later.

Most of the wildlife population perished as well. Two weeks have passed since she has had any nourishment, and now she is aware her strength ebbs with each tentative stroke of her once powerful wings. She presses on, however, for the sake of her children. Silently she prays, “O Pterodactyl Lord of the Universe, give me the assets I need to accomplish my maternal duties.”

Everywhere, her eyes fill with total devastation. Half-eaten dead carcasses lie heaped about the once flourishing landscape. She lands on a tree limb to take a much-needed breather; this allows her mind again to wander back to her children in the nest, wondering if they are still alive. Without her mate to guard them, they can easily fall prey to other hunters.

A shimmer, her eyes detect a flourish of movement on the ground below. She swoops down to investigate and there in the thicket is a family of small creatures, four, five – no six – in number. Breathing a sigh of relief, she gobbles up one of the animals for some much needed energy, and the others she traps ever so gingerly in her maxilla.

Now back to the nest, where she hopes her family still survives but on taking flight, soon she realizes the extra weight she carries in her jaw is too much, that she is too exhausted to continue. Her thoughts are now her worst enemy. This defeatist attitude growing dark inside her mind clouds her determination as she plummets from the sky. Her final thoughts and prayers are for her children, that the Pterodactyl Lord of the Universe will allow her children survive by any means.

The hatchlings, weak form hunger, are motionless now, and it takes a maximum effort for them to even blink. Suddenly, they see what appears to be their mother, soaring in the sky above, finally returning home to feed them. They chirp and screech wildly with all the strength they have left, jumping up and down with joy and excitement.

The surrogate mother-to-be can’t help but notice this ruckus going on below. The possibility of acquiring an easy last meal flashes through her mind before she voluntarily surrenders herself to life everlasting. Swooping down, she lands on the outer rim of the nest, ogling this final meal. She stares at the hatchlings with brutality in her eyes, the scenario reminding her of her own family who but a short while ago looked exactly the same as these pitiful creatures. She immediately takes flight and finds herself back at her own nest where she left her lifeless children. All the sadness and despair that she was feeling a moment ago is now replaced by her renewed maternal instincts. Gathering up her lifeless children in her mouth, she flies back to her new found family. Feeding these desperate orphans her dead family is an extreme measure, but it will ensure that her new adopted children will survive. This is one of those difficult tasks that mothers volunteer to perform without hesitation. It did not come to pass, however, without the battle raging within her on seeing her own offspring cannibalized. Nevertheless, she put her thoughts in order and, with renewed purpose in her life, she makes immediate plans to teach them all she knows about how to survive in this hostile world.

She feels alive again. Her thoughts are now racing the same as that of any young mother caring after their children. Her purpose in life is refilled. Moreover, what better tribute can be expressed and offered to the Lord Pterodactyl of the Universe than for a female to raise a family that will ensure the propagation of her species. Such is the animal world since pre-historic times, for a mother is a mother.