Once around the pond was more than enough. We hurried back into the car, started the engine and turned up the heat. Our shivers lessened. The windshield and our noses slowly began to defrost. We felt the coziness of cloth seats as warm air blew above and below us. I started to feel my fingertips once more. “Well that was fun.” It wasn’t going to be easy to get me to go back out there in that cold wet air. “Maybe we can drive around a bit and see what other birds we can see…”
“From the car!” Hawkeye knew my words and my sentiment.
We discussed where we could go next. Home wasn’t an option. Perhaps there was another way to park and see birds on the opposite side of the pond. “Where does that road go? Turn right here.”
“Which way?” Hawkeye asked.
I smiled and clarified my statement. “Turn right, ‘right’ here, please. I think we might find the backside of the pond this way.”
I was wrong. The only way around the pond was by foot and these two little feet of mine were only now beginning to thaw. It would be awhile before I would ‘warm up to the idea’ of getting back out. For now we’d do some bird watching from our car.
As we turned down a street in the neighborhood behind the duck pond a shout came form the backseat. “Look!” This shout I heard. Hawkeye heard it too and safely slowed the car.
Fifty feet off to the left, in the front yard of a mid-century garden home, stood what looked to me like two faded lawn decorations of short and squatty flamingos. Did they loose their legs? These things happen overtime you know.
“What are they?”
Of course there’s always those neighborhood hoodlums that run around ruining everything. Taking bats to mailboxes wasn’t enough for these goons, now they were attacking lawn decor!
As I was lost in my thoughts, a positive identification was made.”Those are Egyptian Geese! Wow! What in the world are they doing here?”
This ain’t Egypt, I said to myself, ready to give my standard ‘are they lost’ reply. I’d been there, done that, so instead I said, “That is unusual. Isn’t it, Mimic?” As it turned out I was glad I held back the humor.
“Very.” Mimic said, his face shining like the sun on a summer day.
Just like his mother’s always has, now his smile had the warming effect. I wasn’t cold anymore. I learned something, sitting in silence, staring at a rare goose with my wife, daughter and son. No matter how bitter life in this old world becomes, it’s family that keeps us from freezing.