Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pigeon's Pond

For the first time in a long while, Pigeon slept later than his mother did. When he woke, she was already showered and dressed, with her coffee made and his milk warmed. The blind next to their morning chair was open, and down on the pond another furry friend was munching his breakfast on a thin ledge of ice. Mother decided he must be a muskrat and not a beaver, because beavers were supposedly much too big to perch on a membrane of frozen water without causing it to crack. Pigeon finished his milk long before the creature gave up his nibbling, and was fast asleep when the animal slipped back down into the gray water and swam across to his den of branches and twigs on the other side of the pond. Mother was sorry not to have her camera close by before he disappeared.

Pigeon was lucky to live in this place, where so much wildlife paraded about right outside his window. There were two pairs of ducks--four feathery friends who floated leisurely around the pond's marshy edge and fished together in the mornings; gaggles of geese that came and went in a flurry of feathers, black and gray; the muskrat, who swam through the water without nearly a ripple; and the coyote who visited when food was scarce.

There were many other sorts of small birds, and no doubt fish and frogs that Pigeon hadn't met yet. And there was mother's favorite, the stately, slate-colored heron who came out whenever it rained. He'd turn his head slowly on his long, thin neck, lifting his knobby-kneed legs out of the water one at a time to step gingerly through the marsh, stabbing the surface with a bayonet beak.

It surprised Mother that so many creatures stayed by the pond in winter, especially the birds. When spring came, Pigeon could visit the water's edge, listen for peepers, and look at the muskrat's den up close. For now they would simply watch from their window, snuggled safe in their chair, waiting and warming each other through the final thaw and the gradual greening of the earth.


  1. yes, what a beautiful place to live!! i'm glad you are able to drink coffee again! :0)

  2. Jill--me too! I was almost certain I wouldn't ever get my taste back for it... silly me! I'm good though and stick mainly to my morning mug-and-a-half while we're breastfeeding.

  3. Wow, what a beautiful place to live and grow up in! Nature is so full of inspiration!


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