A fly drops from the morning sky onto the mirror surface of a lake. Twitch, twitch, concentric ripples expand with each movement. She flips right, moves left, circles right, and dances left. A fish appears under the fly. He sucks water through torn lips. Each gulp brings the fly closer. He examines the fly only to swim past to deeper water. She wiggles and begins to lift from the pond. He returns, lingers, and swallows the fly.
Like tranquil whitecaps float on a sea of green, chickens bob and dip, bob and dip as they scratch and peck for food on a hillside pasture. “How many chickens do you have?” I ask.
She bounded across the abandoned 36-hole, 400-acre golf course. I hadn’t expected an encounter on my October walk. She couldn’t be with the bank, could she? They foreclosed on the property ten months ago. Perhaps she was a guest at Loon Lake Lodge like me? Sam, the former owner, invited his lodge guests, adjacent lakeside condo owners, and the general public to walk on the golf course when players were absent.
Chiree, chiree, chiree a killdeer’s warning pierces the crisp morning air. With a hop and scuttle she moves sideways from our approach. We step onto mottled, ashen-yellow, and grey pavement, the color of her body. She drags an extended wing behind her.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1966
The Freightliner diesel truck turns toward me. Blah, the klieg horn and the squeal of brakes cut through the night. I turn my motorcycle beyond the truck’s brilliant headlights.
“Hey kid, I almost hit you.” A silhouette in the truck’s window leans toward me. “What are you doing here at this time of night?”
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a coach, musician, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.