Birdbath [21]

I walked over to the table and picked up the Bowie knife in its plain cowhide sheath. Pulled it out and tested the edge with my thumb- it was quite sharp. A very nice blade.
The fruits on the table were shaped and colored a little bit like ripe mangoes, but they were about 12″ long and 6″ in diameter. The skins were leathery and a little bit bumpy, like avocadoes. I sliced one, lengthwise, and the juicy interior was a beautiful fire engine red. Much like a mango, the skin peeled away from the pulpy fruit, and I hesitantly tasted it with the tip of my tongue- and then chomped down on the wedge of dripping sweetness.
It was phenomenal- there were flavors like ripe black cherries, nectarines, and honeydew melon, and the occasional tang of oranges or sweetened lemons. I ate almost half of the fruit, which was after all about the same volume as my head- and then realized the knife and my hands were sticky from the juice- and I’d made a mess of the table.
I could hear some of the chicks moving around downstairs by now, so carrying the knife and its sheath, I went down the ramp and waved at the nearest one, smiling, not sure if they’d understand human speech. He smiled back, and waved back, and buzzed and crackled a little bit at me.
I decided to go for it, “Hi there. Your dad…? … said you could show me the …waterfall?”
“Hi! Hi! Hi. Waterfall. Yes. ::buzz…headbob::” he gestured to follow him, then glide-walked on his backwards-kneed legs through what could be called a small back yard to an opening in the bushes. “Come here.”
I followed, and there was a small pathway of what felt like peat bark underfoot that passed beneath thick laurel-like shrubs for about ten feet and then curved around a large bluish stone next to a gigantic tree that vaguely resembled a cedar- except that its bark was a pale green and its needles were indigo blue.
On the other side of the rock was a wall of the same bluish stone with a pool of perfectly clear bluegreen water beneath it, a wide curtain of gentle drops flowing into it from the shelf above. The water flowed off to my right, disappearing into the densely flowering bushes along the banks. The pink sun was just barely catching the edge of the waterfall at this time of day, and the shadows and reflections gave the entire place a purplish cast.
My 7′ birdlike companion pulled a little bit of dried vegetation from a nearby rock ledge and handed it to me. It was something like dried grass but curly, and sort of looked like someone had shredded a loofah sponge and then wadded it back together. He glide-walked back up the path, waving goodbye, and I was left in my own private outdoor luxury spa.
I got undressed, dipped the grassy stuff into the water, and scrubbed up. The water was cool but not as cold as I’d feared. It was just about perfect, and there were shallow spots all around the pool, and the center was a nice deep spot where I could completely submerge.
It had been years since I’d gone skinnydipping and it felt fantastic. I floated there, soaking for a short while, and then got out and got dressed. I washed the knife while I was at it, and used a corner of my shirt dry it and then to wipe any stickies off of the sheath. I headed back to the pathway in my slightly-damp clothes just as the sun was disappearing. By now I was feeling pretty tired.
How many days had it been since going to the grocery store was normal?
I entered the house, and the four or so birdfolks there all stopped crackling and buzzing at each other to turn their heads towards me and smile and wave. I smiled and waved back, a little bit hesitantly, and then gestured to the ramp and yawned and stretched. They all made the rumbly-laughing noise and gestured to me to go on up. So I did.
“My” little corner table had been tidied up. The whole fruit that I hadn’t cut up remained, the other was gone, and the surface had been wiped down. The screened-off area had perhaps 20 cushions in it of all different sizes. Some were the size of normal bed pillows, some were six feet across and a foot thick, some were shaped like thick circular quilts, some were almost cube shaped. I crawled into the pile and began arranging it to suit me. I soon realized that there were other birdfolks in other parts of the upstairs area, behind other folding screens, who were doing exactly the same thing.
As I snuggled into the absolutely perfect cocoon of blissful comfort I’d created, I decided that I very much liked this approach to bedding down.

Published by goddesswest

I'm a painter and am writing something now. People keep asking me to put it together in an easier to access place, so here I am. Plan to get some of my artwork in here too, eventually.

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