Drama In The Backyard

Sep 20, 2018


It was a typical summer morning. Sitting on the back porch, I was enjoying the usual sounds of wildlife as I read the paper. Chirps and bursts of songs from the birds. Rustling chipmunks scurrying up the drainpipes. Chattering squirrels chasing each other in circles.


Suddenly, I became aware of an eerie silence. The birds were gone from the feeders. The rabbits, chipmunks, and squirrels had disappeared from view.


A rustling movement caught my eye. The merest flash of brown wings. It was a hawk, poised to hunt. Seen up close, it was profoundly different from the other birds -- like a lion would look next to a house cat. No wonder the small mammals and birds had evaporated. I could picture the chipmunks frozen behind the thick clematis and inside the drainpipes, hoping for invisibility. The squirrels would have hidden inside the holes in the trees.


Suddenly, the hawk was on the move, its wings extended and wide. It didn’t seem to expend much energy or move fast, but I noticed a small bird on a branch near the hawk. I think, I hope, the bird got away. The hawk settled down again, to wait for some other breakfast morsel to forget it was there.


In a few minutes, the hawk had gone, off to hunt elsewhere. The tension ebbed and the other animals returned to their routines. I picked up the paper, back to the dramas of the human world.


I’m Deborah Booth and that’s my perspective.