"It's time!" The shout was way too loud for the small section of their cave dubbed the hatchery. A large window let in sunlight, the beams highlighting the two nests arranged on the patch of sprouting yellow grass. Leama grabbed Jaytid, pulling them flush against their side. "It's happening."
The purple egg in the nest shook, tilting to the side as a small crack got longer.
"I see dear." Jatydid pat Leama's tentacles. The squeezing grip loosened as Leama crouched low, extending their eye stalk closer.
A beak poked through, and Leama started to vibrate. Jatydid curled a tentacle behind them, keeping their own eye stalk pointed away from the other, empty nest.
"Peep!" The beak opened just a fraction, and wiggled. It wiggled a fair bit more, a high pitched squeal piercing the air.
"They're stuck!" Leama's tentacles flew forward almost reaching the egg before Jatydid's tentacles tangled with theirs and pulled them back. "Jaty!"
"Leama." While their spouse struggled Jatydid continued to pull them both away from the nest. "The child will be fine."
"We agreed to let the child make their own way out."
"They can do it." Jatydid nuzzled Leama's beak with their own. "Remember, a child who faces struggle, and overcomes on their own, will be able to survive many of life’s pressures.”
Leama took a deep breath, their whole body loosening. "You're right." Their eye stalk did drift a moment, to the empty nest, the woven sticks still waiting to fulfill their purpose. "You can do it Skylar." The tiny beak whistled and twisted, but did not retreat any further into the eggshell.
"You can do it Skylar." The hopeful parents chanted. While the chant continued the baby Qwortarian squeaked, and the egg rocked in the nest. Back and forth, the parents weaving their eye stalks with the movement and finally with a high pitched chirp the beak retreated into the egg.
Jatydid and Leama cheered, which died put fairly quickly as the momentum from freeing the beak caused the egg to roll over the rim of the nest. The ground was soft, so it didn't crack any more. At least, not until Skylar slammed their beak into the shell once more. A large portion of the shell fractured, tiny cracks growing across the surface.
"You're almost there Skylar!" Leama leaned forward, tentacles hovering over the egg. Another peck and the shell started crumbling around the baby Qwortarian, skin a little thicker and covered with a soft layer of fur. "Baby!"
Leama scooped up the cooing child, tentacles weaving around each other and matching chirps. Jatydid pulled their family against themselves, stifling a chortle before matching the greeting chirps.
Word count: 447