Doris was literally on the fence for a while today. She walked back and forth like a nervous gymnast. When she finally jumped to my side, she stared at me a moment, ruffled her feathers and then ran like the wind. She is basically a white chicken with black painted in the shape of curling fire on her wings. When she takes off, she resembles a roadrunner, head pushed forward, body low to the ground leaving the black on her wings a few seconds behind her. Let me be clear, I have done nothing to this bird, but her emotional antics would sway any jury in a court of law if she ever accused me of even touching her. So, outsmarted by a supposedly dumb animal, I basically let her be.
Insert very strained segue here: Doris reminds me of my current protagonist in the YA novel I am writing. How? In the way she can create her own anguish and then try to blame others for the result. In the way she keeps going back to the same dilemmas. In the way she straddles the fence and observes rather than flying down to one side or the other and dealing with the consequences. In the way she experiments with leaving the safe haven of her home. In the way that it looks like she can take care of herself, but occasionally needs the guidance of the larger flock.
See what Doris is doing to me? She makes me all gooey in my insights and philosophical way beyond my capabilities. I want to bond with her, but how? To this little roadrunner/chicken, I am Wile E. Coyote, her constant nemesis who sets traps loaded with TNT. She isn't aware yet that those traps must always backfire on me. She doesn't realize that I can be a source of constant entertainment for her. Some day maybe, but for the time being, she'll eat a few bugs, make a mess out of my new garden, and leave me a perfect oval prize before she leaves for home. I think we'll be hearing a lot about Doris as time goes on.
QUESTION FOR THE DAY: In which direction does the toilet flush at the equator?
Ah, perspective. I have to say it's lovely to be in South America, high in the Andes, slogging through black flies, Kichwa, new cuisine, old house remodel, and meeting new friends. I have named the chicken in our yard Doris and although she seems deathly afraid of any movement we make and I've yet to figure out how she gets over the high wall separating her home from ours, she faithfully shows up, lays an egg in the middle of nowhere, and then retreats to her own domain. Now there's a decent neighbor. Thanks, Doris. Hopefully I'll have new friends for you to play with before too long.
Perspective today means taking a break from the chaos that is my country, the US of A, and seeing it with different eyes. To watch the way some of us act in someone else's country. Talk about entitlements. Oh boy. But the best part of perspective is to see how alike we all are. People love their children, love their country, love their friends, want what's best, have hopes and dreams, know more than they think they do, believe in a higher power or don't, want the world to still be here when the sun comes up in the morning.
As a writer, this is the best possible place I could be. The distractions are not electronic. My distractions now are crowing roosters, lowing cattle, the sound of rain on my red tile roof, a giant spider skittering across my shoes. My mind is open and refreshed, and oh do those story ideas come rushing in. I am hard at work on a new novel, two actually, one for Young Adults and one for Adults. I'll keep you posted.