Monday, 11 August 2008

The Fledgling

(when I wrote this gulls were nesting on the roof opposite the kitchen window, the youngest was ready to fly)

They told me that I have to live
Before I come to die
They told me that I have to fall
Before I learn to fly.

They told me that the path is long
And we must learn the way
To live and love and sing life’s song
Before the end of day.

Magellan’s Straits and Hudson’s Bay
I’ve sailed and see them all
I’ve plumbed the depths and scaled the heights
I’ve heard the bell bird’s call.

I’ve sung my way around the world
And laughed to hide my tears
As one by one those that I’ve loved
Are overcome by years.

I’ve lived and loved and run the course
The end is now in sight
I’ve fallen but I’m fully fledged
And ready to take flight.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

The Frog Prince

I had been in the garden with the dogs before locking up the house for the night. We were all glad to be going indoors for the rain had been falling steadily for hours and the garden was a sea of puddles. The light was on in the sitting room dimly lighting the conservatory and as I opened the door I thought a leaf blew in ahead of us. The younger dog ran ahead, sniffed the dark shape and backed off and I realised he was looking a very smallfrog. Pushing both dogs ahead of me I fetched a soft duster from under the stairs, dropped it over the frog and bent to pick it up. Too late, before I could hold it firmly it had slipped through my fingers and hopped through the door into the sitting room where it sheltered under my desk.
No good leaving it there, I thought, goodness knows where it would be by the morning. I would lose it and it might be months before I would find its small dried-out form behind a book case or some other piece of furniture too heavy to move in the general course of housework.
I waited quietly and eventually the dark stranger hopped out from under the desk making for the hall. It sat and gazed up at me, its dark eyes shining in the lamp light. I dropped the duster again and this time moved fast enough to grab its small form. As I carried it towards the garden door I felt its tiny cold body move in my cupped hand and I murmured ‘Don’t worry little one, I’m not going to kiss you and force you to turn into a human prince.’ Gently I released him into plants that grow around the pond and listened to the leaves rustling as he leaped away.
Will a handsome stranger knock on the door before I lock up tonight, I wondered. Of such things are fairy tales made!