Wednesday August 10 2011
She must be offended by my absurd arrogance. My inconsiderate timing. My reckless invasiveness. My loud clumsiness. My laughable notion that I might be skillful enough to get close to her.
I wake her from a tranquil sleep and she flies away with disdain, disturbed by my impertinence. I catch only a glimpse - of where she left from, of where she alights again - an elegant silent flash of brown and gold among the brown and gray and the thick green leaves, as she disdainfully disappears further away.
I move after her slowly, searching. I try so hard to move noiselessly, but I can not be quiet; I can not be graceful as I trundle earthbound through her territory. Uncoordinated, I slip, I trip; all the louder and more ridiculous for trying to imitate her fluid soundlessness. Leaves crunch beneath my awkward, ungainly feet. Rocks roll and splash into the creek. Branches snap and crack. My crashing about startles deer from this peaceful riparian oasis.
I stalk her with laughable ineptitude. I get close to where she rests again; I know she is watching me, but with my incompetent human eyes, I can not see. Each time she lets me get closer, and still I do not see through the camouflage. She takes flight, showing me only the backside of her tail and the broadside of her wings, just a glimpse of her golden beauty and majestic silence I'll never know.
I creep and crash about; I look and do not see; the final time before she takes flight, she crouches and opens her wings and pauses - pauses a second, to mock my poor eyesight, letting me finally notice, she was right there, and still I did not see.
She circles behind me and flies far up the creek. This game is over.
And yet she leaves behind a prize for me. A feather.
Maybe she was not offended.
Maybe she was amused.