Microfiction: The Pheasant Who Stared at the Sun

Judd Henderson took his normal morning walk at eleven o’clock. He liked the spring. The scent of cut grass, all but forgotten over the winter, heralded the arrival of warmer weather.

The park to the left of his usual route had grown wild with tall grass and a smattering of wild flowers. Standing in the meadow was a pheasant; a male by its colouring. The bird remained quite still, head tilted back, eyes fixed on some point in the sky.

Pheasant in the sun

Image courtesy of Dr Joseph Valks

Judd paused beside a park bench and observed the motionless pheasant.

How peculiar.

The bench’s occupant – an indescribable man, hidden as he was behind a broadsheet newspaper – briefly lowered his screen and regarded Judd. He then resumed reading without comment.

Judd left pheasant and man to their business and continued his walk. He made a slow circuit of the park, pausing periodically to examine an interesting flower or beetle.

When his circular route brought him back to the bench, the man was still there. From behind, all Judd could see was a black hat and duffle coat. He imagined the man must be uncomfortably warm, but each to their own. He sat on the unoccupied end of the bench and glanced at the newspaper man. It had taken Judd some time to circumnavigate the park, and yet the man seemed to have made little progress through the news.

The meadow opposite now stood bereft of pheasants. Judd leaned a little closer to the man beside him.

“I see that pheasant is no longer staring at the sun,” he remarked.

The black clad man abruptly folded his newspaper and tucked it under one elbow. He withdrew a brown paper packet from inside his coat, placed it on the bench and strode swiftly away. Judd considered the packet and then the man’s retreating back.

How peculiar.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this little tale about miscommunication. Leave a comment with your thoughts if you like.

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