It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the results for the 2022 Summer Gathering are here! ☀️ But first, a recap of the days’ events 😀
We started the contests off with a game of BlogClanner trivia. The Cockatoos and Toucans traded points back and forth and ended up winning the game in a tie while the Macaws lagged behind, but the Macaws gained ground during Purrsona that Object and tied the game with the Toucans, and they eventually took home a victory in Name that Apprentice! 🦜 However, the first three games ended with the Toucans leading the pack with the Cockatoos and Macaws close behind. Each team waited in agonizing anticipation to see what the games in the afternoon would hold 👀
After a couple hours of chatting, the games resumed! The fabulous, amazing, wonderful Viperfrost ended up hosting a few of the games as a stand-in for the guest hosts who couldn’t make it. Macaws won Make a Litter and Mosspaw’s Fruitnames while the Toucans emerged victorious during Two Truths and a Lie and the Cockatoos won Name that Kitty. After these games, the points were miraculously close! The Toucans and Macaws were tied for the lead and the Cockatoos were just one point behind :0
|Talented Toucans||Majestic Macaws||Charismatic Cockatoos|
Sunday’s results will finally determine the winners of this Gathering. Are you ready to hear what the day held? 🌴 First was Violetpaw’s Guess that Quote, which was absolutely slayed by the Majestic Macaws. After Rainie (who was also a fantastic, super awesome stand-in) and Aquila’s games, which were won by the Cockatoos and Macaws, the Macaws had secured the lead in the Gathering with Cockatoos in second and Toucans in third! Will the Macaws be able to keep the lead? 🥥
Sure enough, the Macaws won Marble’s Name that Animal and Red’s 2021-2022 Book Quiz. However, things took a bit of a turn when the Toucan’s won Amberpaw’s game, Medicine Madness. The Macaws swiftly returned the favor by winning Pinestripe’s Name that Chicken, demonstrating that no one was going to ruffle their feathers 🪶 At last, the games determined that the Majestic Macaws were in first, the Toucans in second, and the Cockatoos in third. Will the art and writing contests be enough to allow the Toucans or Cockatoos to steal the crown?
|Talented Toucans||Majestic Macaws||Charismatic Cockatoos|
Before I announce the winners of the art and writing contests, I’d like to award the Talented Toucans with 3 points for team spirit! Since the teams were first announced, y’all began donning toucan profile pictures, making up rhymes, and spreading your Toucan spirit all over the blog! 🌊 All the teams were exceptionally spirited, but the Toucans really stuck out to me.
The prompt for the art contest was an open prompt relating to the Gathering theme and the writing contest asked the participant to write a short story about a Clan that discovers a flock of birds living in their new home. I want to say that every single entry for both contests was absolutely stunning and I could have gone with so many different combinations! Let’s see the results 😀
In 3rd place for the art contest we have MOUNTAINSTORM!!!
This is absolutely adorable. I love all the little details like someone wrestling in the corner, one cat booping another cat on the nose with a paintbrush, and the very majestic mercat mast you have on the ship. Overall a super awesome representation of your team! 💙 3 points have been awarded to your team, the Majestic Macaws!
In 2nd place we have OSPREYSPLASH!!!
Not to be narcissistic, but I make a stunning cockatoo 😉 The lighting and shading and detail in this are just totally amazing! 5 points have been awarded to your team, the Charismatic Cockatoos!
And finally, in 1st place we have DEWTAIL!!!!
I am an absolute sucker for this art style! Every single thing about it is stunning–I love the expression and the eyes especially! 🌺 These entries are making me think that Viper and I should duel each other in bird form. 7 points have been awarded to your team, the Majestic Macaws!
In 3rd place for the writing contest we have FROSTWILLOW!!!
“Is this the place? The one you saw in your dreams,” he asked.
“I. . . I think so,” Snowbriar replied. “But what if I’m wrong?”
“Snowbriar, you’re a capable medicine cat and I believe in you. Now, let’s move forward and look around our new home!”
. . .
Snowbriar sat hunched over, panting. She could hear a kit’s squeal echo throughout the rainforest. The thick foliage had made exploring the territory difficult. Snowbriar and her clan had tried finding a good spot for a camp but to no avail, and their attempt had drained any energy left after their long journey to the rainforest.
“Stormstar, are you still sure this is the place we are meant to live?” Snowbriar couldn’t help but doubt her dreams.
“I trust StarClan,” he murmured. Snowbriar detected a hint of doubt in his voice.
“Storm-” her voice was cut off by a kit’s squeal, this time much louder and painfully familiar.
“Beekit!” Snowbriar’s sister, Leafsong, shrieked.
Snowbriar struck her gaze back to where Leafsong and Beekit were once resting. Leafsong stood there, a dismayed expression on her face. A strange, exotic looking bird had Beekit in its large beak and was flying upwards. Other birds, some who looked like the bird that had taken Beekit, others that looked vastly different but were just as exotic.
Leafsong jumped up and tried to grab the bird but only knocked a few of its feathers off. The bird flew more and more out of reach, Beekit squirming in the hold of its beak. The large flock of birds flew off, their squawks draining out any other noise in the rainforest.
“Beekit-” Leafsong whimpered with a brittle voice. She was as still as a statue, her wide yellow eyes empty and glazed over.
“Stormstar, I don’t think my dream was a vision of our future territory. . . It was a bad omen.”
Call me morbid, but I dig a story with an unsettling ending 😛 I love the subversion of expectations and I’m so curious to know what will happen next! 3 points have been awarded to your team, the Charismatic Cockatoos!
In 2nd place we have SPIRITPAW!!!
They look kind of like ocelots, He noted, cocking his head. Except, these ones have different fur and are a tad bit smaller, and yowl a lot more.
“What do you think they are?” Skippy asked as she landed next to him. Her black feathers ruffled as she settled on the branch, her blue eyes unblinking as she stared at them.
Chip shook his head. “I don’t know. But they remind me of ocelots, a little bit. Don’t they?”
Skippy bobbed her head. “Yeah, I suppose they do. But they’re a lot noisier and smaller, and clumsier,” She brawked.
Suddenly, a screech sounded from below, and the two birds looked down and saw one of the small ones, possibly a baby, staring up at them with wide, orange eyes.
Bigger ones quickly shielded the small, and a sound like a snake rose up from the ocelot creatures.
“Ok, I guess that means they aren’t exactly friendly,” Skippy observed, shifting from one blue-gray foot to the other.
“Yeah. Should we go back and tell the others?” Chip squawked. “Yes. We can’t let them hurt us!”
With that, the two toucans flew off into the forest.
“What were those things?!” Tangledvine gasped, pulling her kits closer to her.
Emberstar growled. “Whatever kind of bird it was, it might be dangerous. We need to keep the apprentices and kits in the middle of our group, to make sure those things don’t try to steal them off.”
He shook out his dark ginger fur and started yowling orders.
Fallingdove started to herd the kits, queens, and apprentices toward the middle, then stopped.
A bright purple flower caught her eye, and when she looked closer, she could see the outline of a bird in the dew collected on its petals – the same bird that she saw, perching on a tree branch high above the cats’ heads – wide bill, huge talons, beady eyes.
Is StarClan trying to tell me something? She wondered, padding over to the flower and studying it closer.
A vision poured into her head – the birds flying above the cats’ heads, dropping mice and voles and other tasty rodents at her Clanmates’ paws. One alighted next to her and dropped a bundle of berries next to her, as though giving her a gift.
Then the cats brought some sort of berries and other, bigger creatures. It was like an exchange of food and other necessities.
Then the vision ended.
“Emberstar! Emberstar!” Fallingdove yowled, running over to her leader.
“What? What’s wrong?” He asked, turning from where he was speaking to his deputy, Silverfoot.
“I’ve had a vision – I think… I think we’re supposed to befriend the birds.”
Chip and Skippy led the rest of their flock to the place where the cats had settled down for the night, ready to drive them out.
“Remember,” Roco clicked, “only target the big ones. We do not want to harm those who do not understand what is happening, or those who are too young to control their own lives.”
Everyone squawked in agreement just as a yowl sounded below the trees where they were hiding.
A pale gray ocelot-thing with a white face and darker stripes stood right under the toucans, holding a mouse in its jaws. It yowled again, dropping the mouse, looking up expectantly at the birds.
“What’s it doing?” Mango brawked, flapping her wings nervously.
“I don’t know,” Chip chittered, tilting his head. “I think it wants us to come down to it.”
“What if it’s an ambush?” Skippy countered.
“How could something that clumsy and noisy ambush graceful and quiet creatures like us?” Mango retorted.
We’re wasting our time, Chip thought impatiently. Before anyone could stop him, he flew to the ground in front of the ocelot-creature and stared it dead in the eyes.
“Mrow,” It said, pointing its tail at the mouse and looking meaningfully at Chip. “Mrow!” It said again, and that time he thought he understood it.
“Friend!” It said again, prodding the mouse this time. “We cat friends!” It said in its garbled language.
“Cat?” Chip tried repeating the word in the animal’s strange impression of a toucan noise.
The cat nodded, its weird, light blue eyes bright. “You are?” The cat asked. “Toucan,” Chip said, forgetting to make it understandable for the cat.
“Toucan,” The cat said without a hitch. Chip bobbed his head. “Yes. My name is Chip,” He said.
“My name is ferlingdrv,” The cat said. “Ferlingdrv?” Chip asked, confused. “Sorry, Fallingdove,” Fallingdove said, more clearly this time.
“Oh. That makes a lot more sense,” Chip laughed.
“Anyway, I know you think we aren’t friendly,” Fallingdove went on, “but we are. We just didn’t know what you were the other day, and, well, back where we come from, big birds eat our young. Sorry about the misunsaing.”
“Misunderstanding, you mean?” Chip asked. Fallingdove nodded. “Yes. We thought that maybe, we could have sort of a… friendship?”
Chip cast a glance up at where the rest of his flock was hiding. “I’ll have to check with my leader.”
“It’s ok, Chip! I’ve heard everything, and I think that will be nice. With everything trying to kill us out here, it’d be nice to have an ally,” Roco squawked, fluttering down on his old wings to the ground.
“Great!” Fallingdove said, bouncing on her paws. “I’ll go and tell my leader.”
With that, she strode off into the bushes, leaving the mouse behind.
Several years later…
“No! Chip, please, don’t die!” Fallingdove begged, smearing yet another pulp onto her friend’s mangled wing, hoping against all odds that he would pull through.
She didn’t know how to fix this – she barely knew all of the herbs in the jungle, and if Chip died now, she would never, never forgive herself for letting her best friend die.
She didn’t care that he was a bird, or that she could be treating others’ wounds right now – what mattered was saving his life.
“Fallingdove?” He chittered weakly. “Yes! Yes, I’m here, save your strength. I’ll fix this! You’ll be ok!” She turned to look at his face, his black and white feathers rumpled, his usually mischievous smile replaced by a grimace of pain.
“We both know that I’m not going to survive this. And that’s ok,” He whispered, his beak barely moving. “That’s nonsense! Don’t talk like that!”
Fallingdove practically yowled, trying to fit a splint onto his wing.
Chip ignored her, or didn’t hear her. “Take care of my babies and my flock, ok? I know you’ll do amazing things for everyone you meet. You’re a great person, Fallingdove, although I’m sure you already know that.”
And then he passed out.
Chip could hear the voices, garbled and distorted. He could hear Skippy sobbing, and he could hear his chics’ confused chirping – but mostly he heard Fallingdove’s commands and pleas.
“Chip, I told you you ARE NOT ALOUD TO DIE!” She yelled, her voice missing that sweet, calming tone it usually had.
“No, please! Please keep breathing! You know I’ll never forgive myself for this!”
“MY STARCLAN CHIP YOU ARE FRUSTRATING!!!!!!”
And so, so many others.
But then he could see her. First the outline of her ears, then the texture of her soft gray fur, and then her strange, light blue eyes, staring at him with milky tears in them.
“Chip! Oh, thank StarClan! You – you stopped breathing for a minute there – I’m just so glad – ”
And then Fallingdove buried her face in Chip’s feathers.
He would never be able to fly again, but that was ok. He got to witness his kids grow up, take their first flight, see them play.
He was alive. And healthy, for the most part.
He had a good family, as well as awesome friends.
But most importantly, he was happy, until it came for him to die peacefully in his nest, surrounded by the most wonderful people he had known.
This story was just so sweet 💙 I loved Chip’s and Fallingdove’s unsuccessful attempts to communicate with each other in the beginning and their eventual development of such a great friendship! 5 points have been awarded to your team, the Talented Toucans!
And finally, in 1st place we have LILYBREEZE!!!!
I’ve gotta start banning you from these contests 😛 Your writing never ceases to astound me! The emotions you can bring up with so few words really is an amazing gift, and not to use my fancy English class terms, but your masterful use of figurative language and imagery is insane. 7 points have been awarded to your team, the Talented Toucans!
With those points counted, the winner of the Gathering is…
THE MAJESTIC MACAWS!!!! 💙
|Talented Toucans||Majestic Macaws||Charismatic Cockatoos|
Congratulations to all of the teams! This Gathering was super awesome, and it wouldn’t have been nearly as amazing without each and every one of y’all’s participation and support in any way you could. I hope you all had tons of fun 💕