augury doggerel

Wednesday, June 26, 2002


Last night in the sky, the swallows reenacted the Battle of Britain, and the trees were dangerous with magpie gangs. And on our quiet street, a fine surprise: a hedgehog in the middle of the street, stopped but unhurt, sitting still, nose to the cobbles, paused between front gardens on the right and a stretch of grass on the left.

The woman picked the thorny hedgehog up on a magazine and kept it at careful arm's length � every hedgehog runs a private circus of dancing fleas � then slid it on to the lawn. The hedgehog waited until we were out of the way, then slipped its belly through the cool grass to, of course, a hedge where fat snails, some of which have spent the night at our place, come out at night to slide over the walk.

We didn't wait for the crack of shells and the suck of fresh escargot. We had our own mushrooms to fry and tomatoes to slice, our own night and day to consume.


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