Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"View From the Porch" Part 4 By Nita Wilson

                       Zelda and Scott

Zelda and Scott are the two of three lone gold fish and the only survivors of a plastic bag of twenty-six brought home as fine baby flecks of gold, several years ago.  But over the first few weeks, many sadly became dinner for frogs, birds or marauding cats.  The three have bonded and made a home for themselves in spite of the obstacles.
So much rain has fallen this summer the three fish long to sit on a warm rock edging the pond and enjoy the sun reflecting their brilliant, red gold scales.  For obvious reasons they have resisted the urge to sunbathe.  Scott has been in the doldrums lately… mooning around the pond like a love-sick puppy.  Zelda and her sister have been their usual charming selves trying to keep bright and cheerful through the days of rain and clouds. But, life under water can be harsh, and there have been arguments lately.  Zelda is tired of his persistent negative self and has been visiting herself elsewhere.  She and her sister like to hide under the broken wing of a sunken angel covered with algae that rests in the curve of the pond wall.  Scott cannot bear it… he’s convinced himself she’s stopped loving him and is mighty close to making the suicide leap onto the warm bank surrounding the pond. 
“Why can’t she hear my pain?”  He wonders? 
“Why can’t he shut the heck up?” Zelda ponders? 
“Why can’t they get along?”  The sister whispers to the broken angel.  They are going through a bad time and every one leaves them alone. 
“Too much water can drive a fish crazy.”  Precious says to Bull one morning as she munches on the last sunflower seed in his little stash. 
“I know something else that can drive a man crazy.”  Says Bull as he checks to see if there is anything left in the whole yard for him to eat, after her morning ‘snacks’.
Jake the Pine Snake doesn’t give them the time of day.  Amy Birdheart worries about them, but doesn’t interfere.
Scott and Zelda have lived through so much together.  Somehow they found a way to survive as one by one their family and friends began to disappear. Their escape was nothing short of miraculous, and the story is so touching, it must be told and told again by all who witnessed; told so as never to forget, but to remember the bravery and the good heart of a little one legged Robin. 
It was the day Amy became a hero and won her place on the mighty Porch Council of Elders.  And the day Hannibal Horrible the great Owl was forced from the ‘hood.  The day was ending like many others.  The old and weak wondered was this their last… the young excited to hit the nest for another day, but all ready to call it a  night and prepare for the next dawn. The great beastly owl was circling overhead.  His is a world so safe he forgets to worry.  Strong and big he fears nothing in the backyard, except lack of food.  He cares for none of them… they are his cafeteria, his food, his belly fillers, nothing more.  The sick and the weak are of course an easier meal than the occasional mouse running under the porch out of reach.  He is cruel and beautiful, dangerous and exotic and will even stare down the human in spite of her broom; playing with her until he has had enough. Then he slowly takes flight on those huge and mighty wings, and sails to other kingdoms where there are tastier morsels and no broom-wielding witch to interrupt his regal search for dinner.  Amy had been keeping an eye on him all afternoon.  Hannibal was of course suspected of grabbing the twenty-three little fish as they got too close to the top of the water… perhaps looking for tasty mosquitoes or ants half drowning, half swimming from their fall from Bill, the giant Chinquapin Oak that covers almost half of the back yard.  The whole yard had been privy to the mystery of the missing fish.  The losses in the pond had caused loud commotions from the house with the squeals and shrieks of the human… arms akimbo running after Hannibal Horrible when he got near.  
Today the swiftly moving shadow of the big bird overhead was frightful to behold with his big wings making ripples on the surface of the pond.  Amy knew Hannibal Horrible was about to attack… he was circling lower, toying, tormenting the three fish left in the little pond.  The human had chased him off several times the day before, but she was nowhere to be seen.  Amy was scared, hadn’t she known fear herself from that slow moving shadow.  Hannibal looked from pond to porch, the fish were going down and under pieces of broken marble, but it was no good; the big bird had perched on the upper section of the fountain, no shadow played on the water, no danger could be seen or sensed from underneath the bits of pink marble in the bottom of the pond.  The mosquitoes and small water spiders were still flitting and playing across the surface of the water and it would be seconds before one of the fish rose in false security to the top of the pond to feed.  Amy had to act fast.  She flew to the porch, flew to the window, flew helter skelter around the porch, yelling for Bull and Precious to come and help, but they had long since disappeared into nests in branches so close together the big bird couldn’t get them.  Bull felt a little ashamed, but had to calm the bosom heaving quakes and fears of Precious who was having a massive anxiety attack.  Amy was not giving up…

No comments:

Post a Comment