Thursday, January 29, 2009

Alfred: A Gift from Parlez

One morning I was standing at the picture window sipping tea and looking at the powdered snow. Up the path padded Parlez, something rather large and bird-like hanging sideways from his mouth. My eyes blurry, I thought it was a Flicker. "No Parlez", I said, running out the door in my PJs. He made a dash for his hideaway, under the porch. No way I was getting under there. I left him to it.

Then dressed, I crawled around and with a large stick gently pulled this young hawk out. He was perfect. And that's when I thought he may have succumbed to the same fate Athena had. Parlez didn't seem to be interested in eating him, fortunately. Alfred was barely breathing when he had found him; I had strained to look under the deck and see it on its back, legs twitching one last time. 

There's something sacred about a recently transitioned bird placed on the silent snow. Especially one of such beauty as this one. I marveled at his long, taloned feet, perfect for swooping down to snatch whatever his yellow hawk eyes spied. Marveled at his perfectly pointed beak, his own portable cutlery. And at his young tawny-spotted chest, the soft feathers downy underneath, his magnificent tail feathers. And the soaring wings, now stowed. 

Parlez went to play with his catch. "No Parlez. Let him rest in peace".
He looked at me as if to say, "But I found him, mama".

He looked again at the bird. . . 

OK, mama. I'll let him rest.

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