Archived Story

Clara on Highway 11

Published 4:25pm Thursday, June 28, 2012

Oddly, the moment I had her- one hand carefully around the base of her neck and one hand around her body, keeping her wings compressed against her sides she stopped struggling instantly although was rather vocal in her opposition. And once inside the truck on my lap, she was as good as gold: she sat up expectantly and took in the scenery looking both straight ahead and side to side as we drove slowly home. Anyone passing us on the road would have seen what they might fancy to be a white periscope rising and falling from the front seat.
The dogs scattered, the cats hid and the horses spooked as I lifted her gently down in front of the barn. She wandered around for a bit, giving little honks and wagging her tail feathers from time to time.
“She looks like a Clara.” I said, thinking aloud. “I think Clara’s a good name for her, don’t you think?.”
“Whatever.” said Paul, making his way back to his game. “And I’m done playing Animal Cops for the day, so if you feel the need to rescue a badger, or something, call somebody else.”
Shrugging my shoulders, I continued to watch Clara make her way around her new digs, exploring, sampling a few Japanese beetles, and then lying quietly in the shade. A few hours later, her natural instinct kicked in and she made a bee-line for my riding arena and then waddled straight through the smaller of our fields on route to my neighbor’s pond. I tried to follow her but she disappeared into the woods and I felt awful- I’d rescued her from the road but who knows where she was now heading? She could be savaged by a dog or coyote or find her way back onto the highway. And in the coming days, depressingly, there continued to be no sign of her.
Then yesterday, as I was heading up the driveway on route to the grocery store in the late afternoon to satisfy a craving for salsa, a flash of white caught my eye and there was Clara, standing out like an enormous, sore thumb amongst a flock of Canadian Geese, all wandering the banks of the pond and searching for dinner. Utterly content and accepted by the rest of the flock, she chatted with them and took momentary pauses to groom herself and give her wings a flap.
All together now, ‘Ebony and Ivoryyyyyyy.!’

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