“THE TALE OF A BIRD”
Phil Hunt

October 2006

 


Mom bundled me up every day in a coat, a scarf, a hat and ear muffs and every day, I'd make it as difficult as I could for her to get the job done. Most often she won this daily battle, and after the dust settled, she'd give me that all knowing look that only mom’s can give. I'd grin back, secure in the knowledge that if nothing else...I'd successfully stated my case. Then, off to the store we would go.

There wasn't a lot of distance between my eyes and my feet in those days. I was still getting used to the idea that they were under me instead of behind me and I couldn't help but watch them as they moved along. It seemed like those feet down there were thinking let’s go this way and I was thinking let’s go that way. Needless to say, from time to time I'd find myself gathering gravel the hard way. To the rescue she would come, lift me up, brush me off, and we'd head a little further down the road.

Well, it was the strangest thing I'd ever seen. I squatted down to take a closer look and I watched it as it moved closer and closer to that foot down there. Just in time, mom came back to see what the hold up was. She looked, I looked, she looked... “pick it up” she said. I grabbed it and held it up for show. She smiled, and I guess from the look on my face she knew that I wanted a name for my new treasure... ”it’s a bird's tail” she said. I was happy with my new discovery , a bit confused by my new words but... mom, my bird’s tail and I trundled on.

Finally, we made it to the little store at the end of the road. Mom picked up what she needed and we headed home. The trip back was smooth sailing. I wanted to stop to look at a few other things that caught my eye, but someone seemed to have a rather firm grip on my hand ...so, we were back home in no time.

It wasn't long after our walk, that I put two and two together. It wasn't a bird’s tail I found that day at all, it was just a feather, but I'll never tell mom.

Memory of a short walk:
Opal: age twenty seven
Phil: age two
Year: Fall 1949