Starlings On the Edge of Her Kingdom

Robin took the plate and led Mark into the sitting-room.  The sun was well into the sky, casting enormous patterns of light across the dark carpet.  The two posts of the window formed pillars of darkness stretching off toward the far wall.  Robin skipped over the shadows--an old habit.  Mark followed suit, laughing as he did.

The view of the ravine showed her rows upon rows of trees turning from green to rust under the chil touch of autumn.  Nto a single house was visible  For long moments, Robin would often stand in front of the window and pretend that she was a Queen surveying the broad expanse of her domain, endless vistas of nature.

Two ancient coffee-can bird-feeders were crowded with starlings fluttering back and forth, a veritable mob in flight..  A couple of predatory squirrels hunched on a distant tree, skittering back and forth, trying to decide if they could make the jump.  And, branches above, two crows squawked at each other.

Robin took the scene in, feeling herself drawn inexorably out into the crowd.  She understood birds.  She envied them, even.  They were simpler, more honest, more direct.  Birds never lied to you.

"Such deep thoughts."  Mark said, half startling Robin.  She'd gone off again, following the flight of her thoughts, leading her away...    Mark was so unlike the last three lovers. He was dark and lithe where her usual preference led her to the burly strong-jawed type. 

"Just thinking it would be so simple to be a bird..."  She felt herself trail off.   She felt the slow flush creep up across her chest and face. Mark was smiling though, and it wasn't difficult to let herself get drawn into his warmth.  A small bird's only concern was food and family.  "They don't worry about job-security or get depressed."

 "A little bird would drop frozen from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself."  Mark said, his own eyes momentarily distant.

 Robin cocked her head to one side, curiously.

 "D.H. Lawrence."  Mark shrugged.

 Robin mopped the remaining egg with the last crust from the english muffin.  "You read poetry?"

 "A little."  Mark said slowly, seemingly uncertain if he should be guarded.  "I could tell you that I'm far too manly for poetry, if that's what you'd prefer."

 "No."  Robin reassured him.  "It's different.  It's nice."

 "Good.  I prefer not to lie."  Mark eyed her plate.  "You were hungry."

 "Famished."  Robin smiled.  "I think you wore me out."

 "We'll have to build your stamina up."  Mark said.  "After all, winter is on it's way."

The End

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