Date: Sat, 6 Jan
1996 19:29:43 -0500
Shoshana's story about Bear made me want to tell the worst incident of diegesis Clyde played on me years ago. But first I must get up and tend the fire.
Fire is stoked. Two cats on the hearth rug, one on my lap. Clyde still in the kitchen. So here's the story.
We were vacationing on Ocracoke Island, N.C., many years ago when I was young and easily misled. Clyde had gone off shell collecting near the ferry terminal on the north end of the island. He promised me he would be back at the motel at some designated time so we could catch the ferry.
The time came and went. Still no Clyde. Finally he arrived and we headed up to the north end of the island. I was ticked at him and being very silent as we parked in queue waiting for the ferry. We were watching a flock of sea gulls in the parking lot. They were all standing on one leg.
Clyde pointed out the one-legged gulls and began to tell me how sad it was that when a gull lost a leg it was ostrasized by other gulls and had to travel in flocks with other one-legged gulls. I began to come out of my pout (which was, no doubt, the whole point) and asked how gulls lost a leg. He said that surf crabs lurked in the waves and came out to pounce on the unsuspecting gulls and then chomped on their leg. The escaping gull would take flight and lose it's leg.
He painted a very sad scenario. For years after that when we visited the coast he would point out other flocks of ostrasized one-legged gulls. I would always sympathize with their sad plight.
Then several years ago while we were walking on the beach something startled a flock of one-legged gulls and they all put their other leg down, ran along the sand, and took flight. I looked at Clyde with dawning horror and he just laughed and laughed.
I felt quite betrayed. To this day, birds that stand on one leg piss me off. Last year I walked the beach muttering at the gulls to put their other &^%$( leg down. Final indignity was when I came home from the coast last year and went down to the boat house in Oak Ridge. There on the gravel path to the front door was a huge, fat Great Canada goose standing on one leg. I <never>!