Another damp late afternoon found Pepper and me puttering around the yard. As daylight faded, a red-tailed hawk soared overhead then landed in a large oak tree. I spotted another red-tailed hawk perched in the same tree, both of them somber in manner and hue in the greying light.
“It’s neat to see the hawks together!” I exclaimed to Pep, and we stopped to observe them. “I usually see just one. They must like each other. He thinks she’s smart and fierce, she likes his feathers and his way with squirrels…”
Pep interrupted my romantic reverie, worried. “Look – higher – there are two cardinals in the same tree. I’m not sure it’s very smart of them to hang around up there. Is it very brave, or very foolish?” she asked.
“I can’t quite say,” I answered. The cardinals hopped from branch to branch, sociable. It seemed like cocktail hour for them. The hawks perched silently, gravely, seriously. As if they were contemplating a funeral – theirs, or someone else’s.
“I think those cardinals are brave and happy, despite the scary hawks,” Pep concluded, answering her own question right before dashing off after a squirrel.
“I think it’s a good thing we don’t always know what’s sitting in the same tree,” I noted, though she wasn’t there to hear me.
“To the cardinals,” I said later, as my husband and I shared a drink, Pep at our feet. He was confused, but Peppy smiled.
“What about the hawks?” she asked, because that’s the kind of pup she is.
“May they live long and prosper, and may they become vegetarians,” I answered, since you might as well dream big over your chardonnay.