They slipped their young into our cribs. If we refused to raise their babies, they destroyed ours. Generation upon generation, they preyed.

In a story that raises echoes of the fae, Anna Kander writes inspired by the brown-headed cowbirds, a type of bird called a brood parasite. Cowbirds fool robins into raising their young. If robin parents push cowbird eggs out of their nests, cowbird parents retaliate by breaking all of the robins’ eggs. Scientists believe cowbirds undergo an “anti-imprinting” process; the birds are born knowing a special call to find other cowbirds. // Alex Massey

//Anna Kander is a social worker in the Midwestern US. Her work is slated to appear in Breadcrumbs, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and beyond. Find her at annakander.com.//

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