Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And now, for something completely different

On the hill overlooking the river, monarch butterflies skimmed the ragged, green grass the city forgot to cut. They chased one another in a late summer game of tag as the wind began to pick up and rustle the trees.

The butterflies didn't seem to mind the wind. Their wide wings were scarcely troubled, while the branches overhead shook and the leaves rustled. They continued to fly and fight a kind of effortless Kung Fu against the wheezing current.

One little bug turned away from the swarm playing over the grass and soared out over the river. Foolish or brave, he dipped and dove over the water like a kite, flying further and further out until his orange and black wings became only a speck against the olive green rocks of the river bed.

Across the way, there were cheap, slender trees and wild grass, but nothing I could see so compelling as to leave one side for the other. What could be so important? Why? I couldn't imagine there was a better party across the river, not that there was a particularly thrilling one over here.

I watched until my poor eyes could not find the color in contrast. Halfway across the water the bug disappeared or drowned. I couldn't tell which.

So I waited and listened as the cars passed behind me, rushing along the boulevard, possibly racing back to desks before their individual bosses noticed they were late from lunch. A half-minute or two dwindled by. The rest of the butterfly herd continued with their mid-day exercises, but no sign of their missing brother who had set out for parts unknown.

Across the river, a single mutant fish only a foot or two from the bank broke through the surface in an unimpressive hop to snatch a late lunch. He barely came out of the water before falling back down with a lazy, fat flop. Whatever he'd grabbed had been flying very low and very slow. It might have come from what would have seem to something so small like a great and daunting distance.

I hoped it was a mosquito.

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