I’m going off piste, as it were, this week, and using a photo prompt. This is the first time I’ve used a promt suggested by someone else, so I’d be interested to hear what you make of it.
My thanks to Icy Sedgewick of Icy’s Blunt Pencil for the lovely photo. Icy’s blog is a cornucopia of wonderful stories, writing tips and, of course, great photography. If you have a moment, having read this first, pop on over.
He was there when I started this morning, watching imperiously from the fence post, eyes shining like beads on my Grandmother’s jet necklace. Two dark mirrors reflecting the garden in miniature; I’d have seen myself, covered in soil most likely, if he’d come any closer. They say they’re the gardener’s friend, robins, don’t they? Happy to sit on your spade or hand, although I’ve never been able to persuade them. John could, of course; John could do everything.
They like to sit and wait for worms, which rather discounts the theory that there’s no such thing as a free lunch; not that that applies to birds. In any case, there must be enough food down there to burst his fluffy little tummy; but this one hasn’t shown much interest.
In fact, I don’t think he left that fence all afternoon, even when I went in for lunch. I watched him from the kitchen whilst I had my sandwich; he never once flew down to the hole to pick up a worm. Maybe he’s, you know, a bit deficient; slow, if you like. (Is that allowed these days? Or is it ‘learning difficulties’?)
It’s not right though, the way he sits there, staring, like he’s passing judgement or something. But he can’t know, can he?
Anyway, it’s almost six and I think the hole’s big enough. I’ve given it a couple of extra inches at each end, just in case, but he’ll definitely fit. Whatever John might have told anyone, he was five-eleven. In his shoes. (He was never satisfied; certainly not with me.) I’ll drag him down later, when the light’s gone. It had better be tonight: he’s beginning to pong a bit and I don’t want the neighbours talking.
I’ve just been down to check the sides are holding; they are. It’s clay soil you see. “Good for nothing”, John used to say. Not bad for holes though, even big ones.
He was still there, even in the dusk, staring with those inky eyes of his; first at the hole, then at me. Gave me the shivers, I can tell you. Now, I’m not normally prone to superstition, but that bird knew. I don’t know how, but he did. The thing that surprised me most was how trusting he was at the end, hopping on to my hand like that. John wouldn’t have believed it.
I’m sure they’ll both be very comfortable down there.
© flyingscribbler 2011
Shameless self-promotion time: have you turned the pages of Stickybeak’s Lexicon yet? An expanding collection of surprising words for us all to enjoy.