She arrived in the dark. “No, not just dark,” she thought, “The fog is rolling in.” “At least I’m alone,” another thought, and then she laughed at herself because there were plenty of no-see-ums arriving to keep her company. Or drive her crazy. She opened the back of the van and rummaged for the can of OFF that she kept there, and doused herself. There was a slight glow in the sky as she took a couple of pictures at the first bridge, her first stop, and then, anxious to get to the second bridge, her favorite, she moved on, .
It was darker there, foggier, even though she had driven only a minute up the road. She got out of the van and set up her camera. As she glanced around she looked to her left and caught a hint of a shape in the murk. Was it him, she wondered, hoped? She always looked for him when she came to this place. She used to see him every time she was here, but then he was gone, just gone. If she saw a fisherman she always asked if they had seen him, but they didn’t seem to know what happened to him either. She didn’t come as often as she used to, but still she always looked, and she was always disappointed. She aimed her camera in that direction, hurrying in case he disappeared into the gloom. “Of all days to come out without the zoom lens,” she lamented, mad at herself for choosing to grab the little camera only in her haste to get out the door. “Wait,” she thought, she could zoom with her phone, even if it didn’t take a sharp photo she’d be able to know for sure if it was him. She clicked a picture, but still wasn’t sure, she needed to put the photo into her computer when she got home. She crossed the road for a better angle, afraid she’d spook him, but he didn’t move as she took a few more pictures.
Then there was a voice, calling, “Hey Fred,” it said. He turned his head instantly, and then quickly moved toward the sound. “Hi Fred,” a man’s voice. She saw him in a pool of light from the street lamp, smiling as he tossed something to Fred. And now she was sure it was him. One-foot Fred was alive and well, she now knew for sure. The sunrise hadn’t been much, but she drove home smiling, happy that she had come out that morning after all. The iPhone shot…
2 thoughts on “The Lurker…”
Makes me wonder what the story is behind that missing foot…poor bird. I find myself praying it wasn’t some act of cruelty. But he’s obviously adapted well despite his no longer being a bipedal.
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Actually I was told by some fishermen who actually told me that he was called One-foot Fred, is that it was due to fishing line. Poor thing, I’m sure that was horrible however it happened. The one guy I talked with who had seen him this last year told me he watched him hunt, and he was still good at it. Fishing line is lethal to the birds who hang around people looking for a handout.