Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I have no quarry but I'm grinning from ear to shining ear.

I was cruising a backstreet and saw a flock of geese grubbing in the grass. P stared at them all in longing. One looked different, and as I made a turn I called K.

"I'm driving behind Corporation X, and the other day you were talking about small geese. I think I see one, it's a goose but sized like a really big duck. It's got a bit of white on the wings and some orange around the beak. Color's like a hen mallard."

"That's a speckled goose. Go catch it."

"Think so?"

"They're about five pounds, as opposed to sixteen. Your bird can take it."

A jackrabbit weighs five pounds. No problem. "Later."

I drove back in (P looking in longing yet again), and pulled over, readying for a U-turn. A GMC SUV was 150 yards down the street, coming my way. I took my turn, P popped onto the glove and I dropped the window. Drive drive drive... out!

P unerringly went for the speckled, grappled with it, had it well enough. The Canadas bailed. The crows, appearing from nowhere, yelled. Even I stopped for a second, amazed. I was just about to turn and the damned GMC had come up (how did he get here so fast?), and I had to wait another moment. Just as I pulled up, the goose wangled out of P's grip, stumbled across the road and heavily pulled into the air.

P stood on the grass in shock. I stopped the car and tried to wave him back in, but he wouldn't come. As far as he was concerned, he'd caught it. From the car lot across the street, a sedan had stopped. I looked at the driver. She looked at P. Eventually she said, "Call the police. That bird's injured."

"Yeah, I will."

After she drove away I got out and tried to entice P back onto the glove. He walked away from me, pissed that I hadn't instantly leaped out of the car to back him up. In those moments, a thousand second-guessings. I hadn't really needed to U-turn. I probably should have waited the 30 seconds it would have taken for the GMC to pass. When I offered him a whole quail leg, he came up to the glove. He certainly deserved it and the other quail leg I gave him afterwards.

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