Thursday, April 14, 2005


On clear Spring mornings like this one, when the sun blasts above the far shore of the Lake and pokes warm gold into every piece of night on the mountainside, the first individual to lay claim to it all is King Pheasant, who squawkously proclaims his title over and over from various vantages so that we all may hear who on rare occasions lie abed in quest of but a few more sacred Zs, and when I finally give up, get up, get dressed and go downstairs to bask in the sun's full largesse there is his majesty himself right out in front of the house, standing tall in the sun on a high stack of cut bamboo every bit like a family crest, the very Lord of the Morning, fatter and fancier dressed than I remember him – these must be prosperous times in the kingdom - claiming that area as well and letting his perfectly camouflaged wives and children, to say nothing of would-be usurpers, know right where he is.

Then when I go outside to start my motorcycle for the winding ride down to the train the air is silent: the bright aristocrat is nowhere to be found. He has relinquished all to me, for the nonce; then when I leave he takes it all back again for the use of himself and his family. Actually it would be the perfect democracy, if my Lord didn't get up so early.

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