Tuesday 1 March 2016

A Walk in the Park

And his version....

A Walk in the Park

Today a woman, not young, stopped me in the park.

She was cupping a fledging in her fingerless mittened hands. She didn’t know what to do with the bird. Take it home? Coddle it in a shoe box; lid hole-punched and replete with moist bread? Or set it in the hedge in the hope of its improbable re-instatement in the nest – if such existed.

I suppose she asked me because of my halting gait, as if my years might know.

The bird looked pleased enough with itself- no open-mouthed shock or fixed eye, its wings intact, peagreen/skyblue sinewed feathers.

“You’ve a way with nature,” I told her.

The only time I held a bird in my palm I was ten; it was a baby thrush that had fallen out in its nest among the hedgerows that lined the pathway to our front door.

“I don’t know why it doesn’t just fly,” I said and raised my hands in mock take-off.

Perhaps it was my tone of voice or my waving hands. At any rate the fledgling rose, then dipped, then rose again, clearing the bushes and landing on the topmost branch of an ash tree.

“Ha”! I exclaimed with the thrill of it.

And on we walked, the not so young woman and I, around the whole periphery of the park, talking together.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016

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