Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Rhynda is daily studying a Mallard because she is a zooligist and because she was born in the Year of the Duck. She works in a large metropolitan zoo, and she specializes in the one duck kept in a cage of one wooded acre, bounded by a black wrought-iron fence such as mark trails in city parks. It is two feet high and there is space for the passage of any bird between the rails and also this mallard can fly as well as any.

Yet she doesn't. She daily paces out her ritual. Rhynda has diagramed her route, and she sees it resembles a giant skull in profile, and she notes always the duck ends her walk at the limits of what would be a huge grin.

Then something occurs to Rhynda. She is idly plotting her own various movements since she left home some years back. A circuitous pattern from Florida up through North Carolina and over to the midwest and back down to Texas and then over to Mobile.

It forms the outline of a skull in profile! She is so amazed. Maybe fate has designed her very existence!

But her travels are not complete. She has yet to describe the grin. On the map, she sees where she must go to match the pattern of the mallard in the zoo. There is a small burg in the middle of nowhere, and she immediately pulls up stakes and heads out for that destination.

She is working now as the checker in a local supermarket, and living in a cabin way out on the outskirts. In the night, one month after she has arrived, there is a feathery thump against her window. Instantly she jumps to jerk open her door and rush outside to investigate, for she has come to believe in signs, you see.

It's just another dopey dove.

1 comment:

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