IF there was ever a morning as bright and beautiful as today, Ma' Robin had never seen one. Along with the earthy scent of pine, the wind carried the sweet perfume of Azaleas and the ripe odor of freshly mowed grass. Wafts of smoking meat rose to meet her nostrils which made her nauseous. She liked her meat raw.
A crowd gathered below in the park, so slowly that she barely even noticed. Voices and laughs floated to her ears from a spot where children hurled an orange disk back and forth to each other. A small, brown dog barked, not of malice, but of joy, at everyone in sight. He ran large circles around the entire throng of park-goers. His tail wagged happily, the point of which was white, and looked like a moth fluttering about the park. A man clapped, and the dog went and ate something from the man's hands. Then he ran away again, to drink from the stream that winded down through the park and around Ma' Robin's tree.
A great fuss was brewing. Brightly painted trucks pulled into the park. Children cheered in awe. Even the adults were ecstatic. A carnival had come to town.
Then someone, a quaint and succinct character that spoke in a twanging sing-song voice, introduced himself and the rest of his entourage to the townspeople. To the accompaniment of giggles and laughs, clowns with happy faces (ridiculous faces) began to entertain them. So, too, came the strange ones.
"Meet Flap Jack," the man said. "He can stretch his face into any shape. Go ahead and tug at it, little ones. It's like rubber..."
"And by the way, have you met TINY from Smallville?"
A tiny little man with tiny little legs waddled out of a trailer. TINY was written in big, tall letters on the trailer. Obviously, irony was the theme of this little man.
"Be careful when you pick him up, children. He bruises quite easily. And please do not take him home. Your parents would be terribly upset if he got into your refrigerator! In spite of his small appearance, he eats quite a lot. Who knows where he puts it all?"
Everyone gathered around the little sing-song man as he showed off his sleight-of-hand, and his cascading card tricks that mysteriously hung in mid-air or leaped from one hand to the other. He danced with the clowns: a square dance, an Irish jig, and then some mysterious dance from a faraway land that nobody had ever seen before.
Throughout the week, Ma' Robin watched as her park was transformed into a jubilant fair. A great red wheel had been erected against the sky. She watched it go clockwise, and counter-clockwise, in many circles. People applauded and laughed from inside of little cars that circled around the wheel, as they got to see the town from a vantage point that Ma' Robin had simply taken for granted.
A tent was erected, too. A parti-striped canvas of red and white, and this is from where the most loud and boisterous voices came at the first hint of twilight. People entered the tent erect and left hunched over, and they staggered into and on top of one another like worker ants on a dung pile until the wee hours of the morning.
Ma' Robin was lazily resting on her eggs. She dined on little red termites that inadvertently wandered into her reach. Across the park, a male robin slightly larger than herself scouted his territory.
Pa' Robin had dark black feathers, much darker than Ma's. The feathers glistened around his narrow, red chest, which was the size and hue of a bright, plump cherry. He leaped into the air and soared over to a higher tree branch on the opposite side of the park to watch the hordes from there. His eyes occasionally wandered over the sky looking for any predators that might want to swoop down and take their eggs for a meal.
♫Tseeup!♫, he called to the hordes of people below, 'Stay Away!' He looked towards Ma' Robin for approval, who daintily combed her feathers with her beak.
As long as he was there, Ma' Robin knew everything was alright in the world.
Below Ma' Robin's left wing, one of the eggs began to stir. She adjusted her position to get a better look and saw a tiny beak emerge from one of them. Ma' Robin chirped happily in her nest and ruffled the feathers on her back. Pa' Robin responded in a like manner from his branch. She closed her eyes, adjusted her seat, and fell asleep to the soulful wail of calliope music.
To Useless Shard #6 ⇒
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All poems and stories on this web page are (C)Copyright 1996 - 1999 by Ronald Rand.