I heard passing cars, horns honk, people making stupid comments or asking questions. I stayed focused on the black top moving toward the cottage.
I lowered the big crane onto the sand in the open field, facing the cottage. The instant its feet touched the ground its head dropped into the S position.
Before running around to the back of the cottage where I knew I’d find my mom, I looked into its eye. I saw no flicker of awareness. The same blank stare I saw when I first looked into its eye … was it less than an hour ago?
I pictured myself walking along the gravel road, minding my own business, listening to the dog hunt through cattails unaware of all I’d see and think and feel less than an hour later standing next to the crane in front of the cottage, having carried it home cradled in my arms. So many experiences crammed into such a short period of time.
I ran to the back of the cottage. I told my mom about the crane. I told her it was beautiful. Maybe it was sick but I could feed it frogs, nurse it back to health.
I took off running around the side of the cottage, anxious to get back to the bird. Halfway there, I looked over my shoulder. She was standing motionless, her mouth open.