Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Monday, October 27, 2008

In October

“The function of the imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange.”
-G. K. Chesterton

On my twice-weekly excursion to the skip to dispose of the rubbish, I have learned to be wary. On occasion a rustling, rummaging squirrel will not sense my presence until the last second, when I stand ready to hurl the bags- at which point the cornered animal might catapult itself from the vessel, toes splayed, teeth bared, eyes wild and hair on end, flying in the direction of my face. Or perhaps the prickled hairs were mine, bristling at the imminent prospect of being assailed by a terrified creature I happened to disturb.
I have thus learned to be wary on such expeditions, and I make as much rowdy clatter as possible when approaching the skip. I shake the sacks of rubbish, I kick the nearest bit of wood, I clear my throat. Typically the squirrel will be given enough notice to escape in safety, much to the relief of both of us.
That being said, I cannot account, nor prepare myself, for an inexplicable sight in late, frost-tipped October: that of a human neighbour sunbathing silently under a grey sky, clutching a book, in the region of the rubbish skip.
I was startled out of my wits this morning, as well one might be. Thoughts of leaping squirrels vacated my head entirely.
Far be it from me to determine the validity- or lack thereof- of stretching out on a lawn chair when one is within breathing distance of Winter, but, to be reasonable, there are certain situations when one ought to make as little noise as possible, and slip away without a word being said or a throat being cleared.


Pappy said...

Some people need more sun than others. Eating nuts all the time will make even the strongest surly. Loved the story. I laugh almost every time you paint these pictures. Pappy

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Texican, it's strange, but the last time I saw her sitting outside- was last November. She didn't sit out all summer. To each his own, but one has to wonder just a little bit. I'm glad you laughed- success!

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