Short Story – The Martial Eagles Are Nesting – Maretha Botha

I’m proud to introduce my second short story as it appears in ASTRO’S ADVENTURES BOOK CLUB for Sunday. This time a honey badger also has to say something important. I hope all the children in your life enjoy this little tale!

Martin the Martial Eagle

Early one morning, the bush creatures are in a buzz when they hear strange sounds – klee-kleeou-kuleee! Yet, it has nothing to do with bees. They’re in a tizzy. Those strange sounds belong to martial eagles, large birds of prey. Two newlyweds are building their nest among very tall trees in the area, using all sorts of dried out sticks and grass.

‘How glad we are to hear the martial eagles’ calls! If they’re nesting here, our environment is healthy, and we can expect good rains, growing the savanna[i],’  Hoopoe hoop-hoops, opening and shutting his crested head feathers like a fan.


‘I’m glad they’re here rather than making their nest on those high electric pylons which run through our habitats. It’s much too dangerous for them and their chicks,’ croaks Bull Frog, appearing among the tufts of grass near the waterhole.

37 Hope and the Frog

Suddenly, Honey Badger joins their chit-chat, making hoarse krhrya-ya-ya-ya sounds. ‘Those martial eagles weigh almost as much as my favourite fruit – wild watermelon – 14 pounds[ii] and–’ but a small yellow bird with a black-masked face interrupts him, ‘How do you know all this stuff? You’re only . . .  a stubborn . . . well, you know what you are!’

Honey BadgerStubborn Honey Badger is not the kind of creature to upset, so all the birds remain quiet while he jog-trots about like a horse before answering, ‘Every now and then, I grab some watermelon in the lodge kitchen, and I listen when the humans talk. I’m not scared of the martial eagles, but they are very vun-ne-ribbel [iii]. So, we must leave them alone, otherwise all the martial eagles in the world will die and then what?’

No one wants to upset Honey Badger and so they all agree to leave the young martial eagles in peace.

[i] Savanna = grasslands

[ii] 14 pounds = 6.350 kilogrammes

[iii] Vun-ne-ribbel = vulnerable, on the endangered birds’ list

Thank you for reading.  Please visit the original post and help the dear children in your life to join Astro’s Adventures Book Club.  Don’t forget to like and comment and if you wish, share our pages.

Here is the direct link:

Martial Eagle by Constanza

Martial eagles are protected in the Kruger National Park, South Africa – Photo by Constanza Krige (my sister).




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