Tafts Corners in Williston, once a bucolic scene of cow pastures, now houses a sprawling complex of stores whose architecture seems to have been inspired by Albert Speer, Hitler's building-meister. But a few undestroyed meadows do remain, and it was between two of these uncut meadows that I was wending my way in my car a few days ago, on my way to buy mulch at Home Deport.
Fortunately, traffic on Harvest Lane was unusually light, and I was able safely to hit the brakes and come to a stop when a Mama Snipe, followed by two youngsters too immature to be able to fly, impetuously crossed the road in front of me.
But - horrors! - though Mama had no trouble hopping up the concrete curb on the other side of the road (where she disappeared into the field weeds), the kids were left behind on the road, peeping helplessly in the gutter, incapable of mounting the curb.
The roadway there is strictly two-lane, with no shoulder. I pulled over as far to the right as I could (but still in the roadway), put on my flashers, killed the engine, and hopped out.
Baby #1 was pretty easily corralled and tossed up over the curb. Number 2, however, convinced that I was going to kill it and screaming at the top of its tiny lungs, scooted back and forth along the curb, eluding me. Meanwhile, as I was pursuing it, I glanced back at the road and saw a long line of vehicles now backed up and motionless behind mine, which despite my best efforts, was blocking the lane..
Finally I nabbed #2 and tossed him up over the curb where he disappeared into the weeds in a flash and, I trust, joined his family.
Then I got back in my car and cleared out of there as fast as I could, grateful that I had neither been run over or arrested.
The babies, in case you are interested, reminded me of downy brown-black-white-striped marshmallows with toothpicks for legs. They were very pretty creatures, and when I picked them up felt ever so soft and downy, and weighed . as much as a feather.