Yesterday was Rose Monday. It’s the German version of Fat Tuesday, so I threw a dinner party. It was very gay, with much drinking, and generally a good time. But, there was an awkward moment.
One of my older male friends, in the middle of the main course, dropped his fork, clutched his chest, and exclaimed “My God!”
We all thought “Heart attack!” However, he immediately pointed outside — with one hand, while the other lifted a large glass of lively champagne to his lips. We all looked to the yard. But for a wildly swinging bird feeder, there was nothing there.
“Did you see? A huge hawk swept down out of the tree and picked off one of the sparrows,” he declared, breathless and revolted.
His wife shook her head. She hadn’t seen it. But she hadn’t been looking outside. No one had. So, no one else witnessed the event.
I turned back to my friend. I wasn’t sure what to say. That sort of thing happens periodically in my yard. A feeder draws in small birds and small birds draw in big birds of prey, which I happen to like seeing. The red shouldered hawk is part of the fabric of my yard, as are the sparrows. Nature simply took Her course.
“it was horrible,” he continued, with a deep shudder.
“No worse than you.” I dropped my eyes to the decimated quail (our state bird!) on his plate.
“True,” he replied, without missing a beat. “But at least his bird was fresh and hot.”
At which point my jaw dropped. Then we all laughed and adjourned to the yard to hunt for feathers in the fading light. There were only hawk feathers strewn about, indicating the raptor had missed his mark. My friend felt better then. So much so, he had a second quail.