Thursday, August 21, 2008

~ the unaccountable

Whenever I can, I walk rather than drive Polly to school, pushing my bike there and riding it back.

One morning, not too long ago, by the edge of a park, near some high transmission power lines, there was great clamour of sulphur-crested cockatoos. They were swarming from tree to tree, at least a hundred of them, making a sound to end the world. It was almost too loud to hear yourself speak. And though I loved the fact that they were there, the volume and stridency of their screeching was almost painful.

A woman emerged from a single story brick veneer house. She was in late middle-age, wearing a dreary flannelette dressing gown. Her hair was tousled, her face was blowzy and her lips were puckered and sour.

A deafening, chaotic white cloud had lighted on a tree in her front yard; a shrieking cauchemar descending from the heavens to thrash this ordinary old lady from her sleep. She stood on the porch, looking upwards with a vicious, hating expression - as if being woken by the birds was just the latest in a line of grievous disappointments stretching back to childhood.

Presently, the cockatoos moved to the next tree in a very long series, but she was still staring upwards as we walked on up the street.

The next time we passed that woman’s house, several days later, we observed that the tree had been felled.

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1 comment:

lily was here said...

Sam, a simple observation of yours that told so much!

love Sue x