Sunday, August 21, 2005

in the sunday silences between jumbos

i really don't mind being right on the noisy centre line with the two parallel heathrow runways because i love the grace and precision of airplanes/aeroplanes and will always marvel as they circle and swoop down after their ten-thousand mile leaps of faith

so in the early light i stand at our window in my posh blue pyjamas and admire three identical british airways giants crossing the space above us in succession

outside our window is a lush triangular green lawn about sixty yards by fifty by forty with nineteen trees where fifteen wood pigeons are foraging in the short grass, a squirrel scavenging in a rubbish bin at the far side, and the most elegant and athletic young black cat who pads lightly across the green from left to right and through the trees with his sharp eyes already on the squirrel who sits on top of a steel door munching a large piece of stale bread

the cat instinctively hides in a shadow beneath a car for a minute, possibly hoping the squirrel has a short attention span, and then moves to another shadow beneath a wheely-bin only about ten feet from the squirrel's perch where he crouches for another minute

the squirrel chews thoughtfully until the cat trots towards the door and then the squirrel launches himself out into neutral territory, at right angles to the cat's approach, the bread still in his mouth, and races in a tight curve around the back of another car and then makes a straight line towards the trees which the cat came from two minutes ago

there are twenty yards to go and the cat catches up fast and the gap between them shrinks from fifteen feet to five in about two seconds but then the squirrel makes a wonderful leap about four feet up the tree trunk and scrabbles up into the branches leaving one disappointed cat sitting ten feet underneath, back arched, tail swishing and twitching, but then calming down and sitting and waiting

the squirrel finishes his bread at leisure and then climbs higher to the outermost branch, steadies himself while it sways and bends before leaping far away into the next tree

game over

later, as the loved one emerges slowly from her dreamland, i suggest that if she really loved those fluffy little squirrels then she'd already be knitting their socks and mittens for the coming winter

no coherent or printable reply is forthcoming