Aedon, the raptor hatching, lay by his soil corva mother's side, wide awake in the gloomy darkness of the small cavern, blinking his eyes in an effort to see what was around him. Rheyn slept peacefully, her brown feathers offering a natural camouflage, making it hard to see her against rock, soil and nest. Aedon wasn't so muted in hue. Though pinfeathers were beginning to show, he was still covered in down feathers of yellow with indistinctly-coloured spots. He was three months old now, and had just managed to suss out how walking was supposed to work. Already his legs were rather gangly, like a colt's, unlike his wings, which still remained rather stubby. Perhaps they would catch up in time, and he'd look like his mother and father did.
Outside, the sounds of gentle rain filtered down into the cavern, and to Aedon's ears, the sounds of a distant rumble could be heard. The first storm of the summer was rolling in, and if one paid attention, one could make out just the tiniest flickering of light. Aedon clambered ungracefully out of the nest, his mother making soft sounds while she slept on, beak tucked under her wing. He nearly tripped over her tail, which wrapped around her and her adopted son like a rope, but succeeded in his efforts. Now free, he hopped down and, with a little wobble to regain his balance, he wandered over to the entrance.
Rain was beginning to fall a little harder now, and Aedon stood at the entrance, trying to stay dry whilst he watched the sky and the drops of water. Lightning was building strength, and so was the thunder, but despite the increase in flashing light and grumbles in the air, Aedon remained where he was, transfixed. A trickle of water had begun to form, and it drip-drip-dripped onto Aedon's upturned face, before it came down in a steady stream, and he let out a surprised squeak, and sidestepped out of the way.
It was fascinating, this, the little raptor's first storm, and he didn't realise that he was standing right at the very edge of the entrance until he suddenly found himself quite soaked, and in less than a minute. He shivered, not liking the way the wet made his down feathers feel, and he tried to get rid of it by trying to shake himself dry. It wasn't much use. Aedon simply got wetter and wetter, until he was an ugly yellow lump of a hatching on top of a pair of stilts.
A bright flash of light burst overheard! Aedon shrieked in surprise and terror! A moment later, a loud, crashing roar filled the night sky. Aedon thought it had to be a monster making it, and he turned and made to go back inside where he could dry off and get away from that awful creature. Instead, he slipped in a puddle of mud that he'd stepped into, and, as his legs still were not sure yet, he fell down, face forward into still more mud.
Aedon cried out in fear and alarm. Great sheets of rain pounded the ground, thunder shook the air, and lightning split the sky. He was wet. He was dirty. His ears hurt. He wanted his nest. He wanted his mother and his father, but unlike Rheyn, Rhuuk was away with the human named Picos, out plundering someone else's treasures. Ball-shaped, Aedon just wanted everything to be quiet and dark, and he was so caught up in his own misery that he hadn't realised that he wasn't alone anymore until he felt a tug at his tail, and then was lifted up off the ground.
Rheyn had heard Aedon's distress, and had come to check up on her wayward child, and was now dangling him from her beak by his tail, face just inches from the packed dirt of the cavern. It hurt, being held like this, but compared to what he'd just been through, it was a welcome pain.
The carrying only lasted for a few moments. Rheyn's size meant that she only needed to take a few steps before both corva and raptor were well inside the cavern. Thunder still rumbled and lighting flashed almost constantly now, but Aedon was out of the storm. Safe. Satisfied of her work, she released Aedon's tail, and he fell with a thud, and squalled some more. But Rheyn bent over, used her beak to help him get up on his feet, and then slowly⸺very slowly⸺led Aedon back to the nest. Once inside, she began to preen away the mud until he was mostly clean again, before climbing up, into and then settling back down into the nest, her tail once again a ropy barrier between Aedon and the edge of the nest.
Happy now that he was finally back with at least one of his parents, Aedon, still wet, curled up next to Rheyn's brown feathers, tucked his head over his wing, and went back to sleep.