Feathered Company

As I trekked on, I noticed a small bird following me from above. It was a pleasant looking thing with a strangely positive demeanor.
I was certain he was waiting for me to die for a chance at scavenging my remains, but as the day grew older, and the bird persisted to shadow me, I started to enjoy its company. His companionship kept my spirits up, despite being famished and weary.
As the sun began to set, I hastened to set up camp. I found a nicely sheltered spot among some fallen highway signs and just as my fire had been lit and roaring, my tiny friend finally came down to greet me.
“Hello.” I said.
And with that, he dropped dead.
Disappointed at the loss, yet not one to miss out on an opportunity, I plucked him clean and cooked this gift from the sky on the spot.
For the first time in days I fell asleep with a full stomach.
The next morning I awoke to the sound of birds chirping and the guilt of eating my only friend pierced through my eardrums into my mind. I looked down to see only the haggard skeleton of the bird. Ignore it- another hallucination, but then there it was again.
I stood up and looked around. To my surprise, perched on a broken pedestal about six feet off the ground was a nest housing three newly hatched birds. Last night’s supper had surely been their mother.
I felt an immediate obligation to adopt this orphaned trio. I gently picked up their nest and using some duct tape and thin wiring, attached it to the top my backpack.
How long before these birds are fully grown?
How long before I’m too hungry to care?

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