We travel without seatbelts on
May 13, 2005 § 1 Comment
There stood a bird on the railing of our front deck. It was an old, haggard looking thrush. But there it sat, perched upon the rail and still as a statue. We walked past it, but it didn’t flinch. "It’s going to die," I said to the boy. We walked the dogs and came home to find the bird hadn’t moved. It stayed there throughout the night, even during the puppy’s late night breaks. We expected to see it again at breakfast, but instead we found several birds flying back and forth from the spot on the rail. Their usual morning tune had changed to a frantic cry … something was amiss.
Maggie was born a runner. She needs it to herd her flock. She needs it to feel free. Because of this, we have to keep her leashed in the yard. We considered an invisible fence for a second, until we realized that the boy had previous experience with it. It seems that in graduate school he tried one on for size, and despite the bourbon-induced haze, it still hurt like hell.
While in the doorway trying to untangle the puppy in preparation for her eight-millionth potty break, Maggie made a run for it. She circled the yard twice, then ran down the street toward Monroe. She’s done this before; last time she made it all the way to Grady High. But this time I had the puppy, who I quickly threw into the house before running down the street. I screamed her name at the top of my lungs, over and over. I heard cars screeching and horns blaring, but the time I got to Monroe I saw nothing except passing traffic. I frantically looked up and down the street until I saw a worker point across Monroe towards Charles Allen. I darted between cars and ran to find a bicyclist dragging her back toward my screams. I thanked him profusely through panting. I couldn’t believe she wasn’t hit by a car – especially at this time of day. I couldn’t believe she made it alive.
On our slow, tiring walk back to the house we came across the bird from yesterday. Its lifeless body stood still on the sidewalk pavers as it had perched upon the deck’s rail. I picked him up and laid him down on a patch of ground, covering him with pine straw deep enough to not be disturbed.