Take and Give

The breakfast nook where I usually write gives a clear view of the house across the street. This works out well. My neighbor is recently widowed, and I like to keep an eye on her place.

The other day, two teenage girls stopped on the sidewalk outside her fence. I watched as they lingered near the big tree on the easement. They were talking, maybe arguing. I went back to my work. When I glanced up again, one girl was reaching through my neighbor’s fence.

I came to full alert. What was she doing?

The girl plucked a flower and walked out of sight behind the tree. A few moments later, she reappeared and marched purposefully toward the fence. She took another flower.

I scooted my chair back, intending to go outside and put an end to this. But she was headed for the tree again, while the other girl looked on. I hesitated. What was she doing? She went back to the fence, where she plucked another flower. Then back to the tree.

After several more trips, they left. I let a few minutes pass, then went outside and crossed the street.

This is what I saw on the ground behind the tree.

Bird funeral

Only then did I remember the small dead sparrow I’d seen on the sidewalk a few days earlier. How sad, I’d thought, and kept going. This girl saw it, too. But she did something beautiful.

Can you see it?


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