I am always scanning my surroundings. Most of the time that ‘something-on-the-road’ turns out to be a discarded newspaper or a fumbled plastic bag. On my way to the beach this morning I spotted a ‘black-something’. Ohh, I thought, an animal for sure!
It turned out to be a sock. I wondered who had lost it, and then I wondered if it was actually mine given that I bought five new pairs a while back and have lost all of them – except one – and whether my supposition about how the washing machine secretly swallows them was maybe wrong and that actually this is how they had disappeared – misplaced in the dunes. After a refreshing swim, still thinking about the mystery of the nine missing socks, I saw another ‘black-something’. Ahh another sock, I thought!
But it was a jackdaw, right there in the middle of the cycling lane. His hazy eyes still open. I picked the poor creature up. He fitted in the palm of my hand, his feathered skull resting on my finger tops. In a field, I buried him under the meadow sage.