Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Season's Greetings?

It is late May, and the season is rather in advance: we've had lots of warm weather for weeks in this continental climate zone between the Vosges and the Black Forest, through which flows the Rhine; the birds drop stolen cherries in my garden and neighbors offer to sell cherries. The birds are very noisy out in the back yard; I stopped filling the bird feeder with seed a couple of days ago, because they haven't eaten all the seed on the ground (spoiled brats!), I don't want them on the ground because the cat killed three last week, and they ought to be able to feed without my assistance under the current conditions (I do leave water). The height of the grass, which I didn't mow for a month because there was no rain, enables the cat to sneak up on the birds, but I've cut most of it (by hand) for at least 3 or 4 metres radius from the (empty) feeder.

Despite the birds' racket and the noise I was making in the kitchen, I heard a tune. My radio was off, the tune was soft. But intriguing. "Jingle Bells"! But of course! I went to look out, and sure enough the neighbors' youngest child (about 10 years old) was standing in her open window with her clarinet "practicing". It is the end of the academic year, exams are imminent, so she is "reviewing" what she is supposed to have learned this year. But "Jingle Bells" between Ascension and Pentecost?

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