A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bea lived an unremarkable life. She was a pink watering can, made of clay and shaped like a pig. She'd been purchased as a gag gift for a woman who had a fondness for pigs. For a little while, the woman used Bea to water her flowers. But then she got a sprinkler system, and Bea was relocated to a rotting bench in the back corner of the yard. 

Beneath the bench were rocks, and sunning himself on those rocks was a brownish-grey lizard with a blue tail. The lizard's name was Fredrick. He arrived at that spot every day, and every day, Bea watched him. Fredrick was different than the other creatures in the backyard. He wasn't loud like the bees, or sly like the spiders. The squirrels made Bea dizzy and the German Shepherd frightened her. But Fredrick was calm and and seemed to observe the comings and goings of those in the yard thoughtfully. 

As the days passed, Bea's fondness for the lizard deepened into something like love. Can a watering can love a lizard? Well, why on earth not? 

For the first time in her life, Bea was happy.

And then something happened. It only took a moment, but to Bea, the seconds seemed to slow down and stretch themselves out. First, a shadow passed overhead. Then there was a screeching sound and a dark shape plummeted to the earth. Bea saw wings, and claws, and a horrible open beak. 

Fredrick darted for cover, but it was too late. The crow snatched him up but then miraculously, dropped him. The lizard lay on his back, too stunned to move and the bird swooped in for a second attempt. Bea knew she had to do something.

Without hesitation, she hurled herself off the bench and shattered into a hundred pieces on the rocks. Startled by the crash, the bird flew away and Fredrick escaped to safety.

Death wasn't the way she thought it would be. Bea was in shards, but somehow she still felt whole. And the happiness she'd discovered with Fredrick was still there.

To an unremarkable watering can, that was a very remarkable thing.

1 comment: