GOD'S CREATURES

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Love can be found in various shapes and forms.
This is a true story, one which I experienced one hot summer day in my hometown of Toronto.

Submitted: July 15, 2016

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Submitted: July 15, 2016

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1263647_stock-photo-old-woman-hands

She is very old.

The lines that crease her sunken cheeks stretch parchment-like across the bones of her dry, sun-burnt face.
Her body lurches with each tentative probe of a wooden cane and, holding on to the iron bar of a tattered buggy with her other hand, she moves forward in a lopsided manner.

She smells bad.

The old black sweater and skirt that never leave her body reek from months of unwashed neglect. Her shoes, sandal-like in appearance, slide dangerously under her fragile frame as she hobbles from one sidewalk dustbin to another, hoping to find a discarded treasure to add to her collection.

I have watched her for years as she combs the alley-way trash cans of my neighbourhood mumbling to herself while shooing away something unseen that hovers around her face.

Today she makes her way on to the road, mindless of the blaring horns of oncoming vehicles. She retrieves a dead pigeon that has just fallen from the sky, while an angry falcon squawks overhead at the loss of it’s prey.

Gingerly , she places the bird on top of the worn buggy, and continues on.
I follow her, wondering what on earth she is going to do with a dead bird. Take it home and cook it?

She approaches an inner city park. I discreetly keep my distance.
With much effort, she stations her buggy up-right. Gently taking the pigeon in one hand, and supporting herself on the side arm of a park bench, she lowers her body to a kneeling position on the grassy path beneath her.
She lays the pigeon down and reaching into a side pocket of her buggy, produces something I cannot see.

After several minutes, I can’t resist a closer view.

Her hands are covered in dirt. I see that she has been using a silver soup spoon to dig a hole in the soft earth. She looks up at me.
“Every one of God’s creatures deserves respect” she says, placing the bird in the hole she has made in the earth.

“Amen to that” I say softly, and walk away, leaving the woman to her work, while shooing away something bothersome that circles her head.


© Copyright 2017 Lionel Walfish. All rights reserved.

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