Fluttering Wings

Delilah just loves insects and plays cat-and-mouse with them. Having bopped a fly so that it lay at her feet, I thought she would crush and eat it… but she picked it up in her mouth and dropped it near Samson, alive and kicking, so that they could both bully it.

I don’t like to see anything tortured, so I scooped it up in my hands (it didn’t protest) and pushed it outside the door. The feeling of its wings fluttering against my palms made me frown for a moment… I was reminded of a dream I had a couple of nights earlier.

In this dream, I was living alone in London. I had lots of friends there but had withdrawn from their company for a little. I needed time on my own but felt guilty. One lovely sunny morning, the sky was blue and the breezes playing, and I was having a quiet little picnic on the grass well away from the crowds. There were trees heavy with pink blossom, and I stood beside them and tried to compose a little haiku.

“The may tree blooms… no, wait. The may tree blossoms…”

Pacian came up and stretched out on the grass beside my picnic basket, heaving a sigh. “What a day. So full of crowds in the Big Smoke. We haven’t seen you around for a while. You hibernating or sumpting?”
“Oh, you know me,” I said. “Just taking time out for a while. How is Geosomin?”
“Oh, fine, fine! She was asking after you too. Are you coming round to see the new baby?”
“Oh yes, the baby. I’ve not met him yet, have I? I will come round soon; just not today.”
“Don’t leave it too long.”
“I won’t. Well… I better be getting home now. Things to do.”

I stood up and packed the food away in my trolley. Sharky was in the park too, strolling around, so I popped him in the trolley and zipped up the lid. It was the best way to get him home through the streets. I was just about to set off when Pacian stopped me. “Sharky is kicking up a rumpus.”

I opened the trolley and peeked in… sure enough, Sharky wasn’t sitting purring as I had imagined – he was half standing, wailing anxiously at me, things falling on top of him.

“Oh,” I said, “I thought he was sitting comfortably on the rug, but he’s just jumbled up in there with the rest of my stuff.” I felt upset because he had been shouting inside the trolley and I didn’t hear… it took someone else to point it out.
I pulled everything straight so that the cat was sitting peaceably on the rug again, zipped up the trolley, and set off.

My way home lay through a market… it was half empty today, but I ran into an ex-colleague, Dick. He was packing up a stall.
“Nobody’s around,” he said. “I’m taking all this stuff back to the office.”
“It’s a nice day for it,” I said. “How’s Donna?”
“Donna’s her usual self.”
Once he told me Donna didn’t like the song ‘Oh Donna, you make me stand up; you make me sit down, Donna, sit down, Donna…’ I had grown up with the song, and didn’t sympathize – till I looked up the lyrics.
“How are things at work, Dick?”
“Oh, so-so. Every thing’s at sixes and sevens just now. We could do with more workers.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said. “But it’s a beautiful day and I’m enjoying my freedom. Have fun!”

I took off, leaving Dick labouring disconsolately.

Near the candyfloss stall, a large moth whirled round and round me, trying to escape the attentions of a large red-coloured rat. The rat ran round and round me, scrambling across my clothing. They were both moving very fast, and I caught the moth and held it between my hands, trying to protect it from the rat. My heart was in my mouth as I was worried the rat would get the moth anyway, and then I would feel terrible for trying to protect it and not succeeding. It was fine, though; I took the moth somewhere safe and let it fly away… and the rat never knew. It kept looking round for it, and eventually gave up and went to get some candyfloss instead.

Meanwhile, Samson and Delilah are still torturing all the flies they can catch. Those insects have no idea what it takes to stay out of the wee devils’ reach. I have rescued three so far, all lightly battering the palms of my hands. Yesterday when they were chasing one which was waving the white flag of surrender, I picked it up and popped it out of the window. The cats watched it zoom off into the blue, then turned and glared at me.

I don’t think I’m Person of Note around here at the moment…

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4 responses

  1. Our dog Grace would rather eat bugs than just about anything. She follows behind the lawnmower and eats all the grasshoppers that are flushed out.

    We took her in as a stray three years ago, and she had apparently been on her own for quite a while. I guess the following-the-lawnmower trick was one of the survival skills she picked up.

  2. You could say she eats like a bird. 🙂
    I know, not really funny.

  3. My cat caught a fly today, but his paws are too soft, and when he lifted them up, it just flew away.

    (I wondered why I gave birth to a dream baby the other day.)

  4. It’s probably in your future — LOL!

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