Sunday, July 1, 2012
The swallows have left Canterbury Cathedral. This is the bird house Peter built a few years ago and which stands on a tall, slightly akimbo post, out by his vegetable patch. For a couple of weeks we have weeded and watered while listening to the sweet gurglings of the babies. In England we had a swallows nest just outside one of our bedroom windows and we would occasionally wake to hear the mother soothing her brood in the night. There is no sound so comforting to my ear. We made it a condition of the sale of our house that the nest would remain untouched. One year, here at Blue Skye, we had a baby who simply would not leave the church. He got fatter and fatter until we feared that by the time he had the courage to go that he would no longer fit through the hole through which he viewed the terrifying world. His parents cajoled and nagged but he would not budge. I saw a parent at the end of her patience, having tempted him with all manner of treats, fly toward the hole with the biggest dragon fly I'd ever seen. Moby Fly. Fatso was beside himself with excitement and stretched his enormous mouth to receive the incoming feast. She zoomed by brushing the enormous bug across the coward's head and flew off. He looked bemused. She did it again. He was agitated. She did it again. He chased her. We applauded him and discussed the comparative pull of greed to fear. We dismissed hunger as an incentive which of course trumps all else, on the basis that smaller treats were disdained. Meanwhile, eight guests at the table wonder where their breakfast is and why I keep running past the window waving a pancake.