Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Bird's Eye View

The buzzard soars high over the plain that once was a lake, until it decided to move from here and drown Mirepoix. Hshe casts an eye to the east, where a small aircraft is lifting off from the tiny Puivert airstrip. Invading hir space, but no threat to this creature which can shift hir position up, down or sideways in mere seconds.

Below, the wheat fields are already harvested and ploughed, the corn is readying itself for its job as cattle food, and the sunflowers are blackened, looking moribund, but the massive seed heads are ripening for their own harvest, and their position in the food chain.

Far below, a small figure marches briskly along the dusty track. Big Walker – actually small but perfectly formed – is nearing home. Only 5 kms to go, 13 kms and a 310 metre climb behind him. No sign of him stumbling, falling and becoming useful to a buzzard.

But what is this? Only in France could it happen.. As Big Walker passes the churning and vaporous sewage farm at Nebias, he thinks he hears, above the sound of the thrashing paddles, the strains of music. As he leaves one noise behind, the notes increase in volume.

Big Walker and the buzzard can both see a vehicle parked in a field which has probably never seen anything motorised except a tractor or combine harvester. Standing next to the van is a man, of hippy appearance, with a beard and longish hair. He is playing lustily on an accordion, that most French of instruments. What is this all about? Is he not allowed to practice at home? Do hippies have homes, or people who will not allow them to indulge their hobbies? Answers on a postcard, please.

Big Walker shakes his head in disbelief. The buzzard, without moving a muscle, it seems, slips sideways and is soon two kilometres away from this strange scene.

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