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The Sadness Of Knowing You

Monday, 20 December 2010

Summer was really strange this year. Every day at breakfast I would put some bread crumbs in a cup and then go to the window, where I would carefully set the cup down on the window ledge. I would then hide behind the curtain and wait patiently to hear the fluttering of your wings and the scratching of your clawed feet as you settled to land at my window.

It would bring me great joy to know that despite the other foods nature set out for you to eat that you still came to my window. Never quite tamed, you always remained calm and continued to eat, as each day I slowly revealed myself to you. At times when I dared to share my voice you would cock your head and listen as though in understanding. Then you would shake your head and offer a shrill whistle before leaping into the sky in a frantic flapping of your wings.

This became our ritual. The anticipation of your visits and the wonder at what adventures brightened or darkened your day. It is such a shame that you could not speak, beyond the very simple whistle to declare arrival and departure, because I had the feeling that if you could speak, that you would have had a great deal to say.

I recalled seeing you in the autumn when you drew my attention to a sorry looking black tabby cat the size of a small dog. I began to notice his lurking presence in the garden more and more. Always waiting ready to pounce, it was always the same cat waiting to consume you. I noticed that you were ever aware of him, as he moved slowly in an effort to creep closer to you. Nothing I could do would dissuade him from coming back to the garden. But this is the ugly side of nature, where tooth and claw and hunger and desire fight an endless battle.

Today however I was concerned. You have been gone some time. The last time you visited you tarried just a few moments, only taking several crumbs from my cup before you leapt into the air without even the meanest pretense at fan fare or whistle. I wonder if the cat got his wish, since I have not had sight or sound of him either.

Our morning ritual has long since died, but when I placed that last cup on the window ledge you appeared out of nowhere. Faster than I could express my surprise and joy at your safe return you were gone, flying off above the rooftops as though we had never passed our many mornings together. I am sure it was you, though you seemed different somehow.

There was a time when we were strangers, when there was very little I knew about you. Then we shared our intimate little breakfast ritual and I realised that in reality I actually know nothing about you at all. Instead everything that you used to touch upon my heart is forever tinged with a deep sense of sadness, the sadness of knowing you...


Janne said...

Great stuff! ;-)

SJDuchess said...

Beautiful story, beautifully written. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Love it! You have a real talent to evoke beautiful imagery and turn the simple into the sublime x

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