Feathers

by Jim

When I was young I loved to walk on the beach. I liked to walk barefooted on the wet sand. The waves would come in and hit the sand and turn into foam.

Sometimes I’d chase the wave back to the ocean. Sometimes the wave would chase me to dry land. Sometimes I’d trip and fall. I’d be covered with sand. I’d laugh and the ocean would laugh at me. I would go in the water to wash the sand off. Once in awhile I would see some seaweed and pull it in to dry land. I’d stop along the way to build a sand castle and pick up sea shells.

In the afternoon you would see a lot of birds, mostly seagulls and some sand pipers. This is where the problem started. If you got birds, you got feathers.

My dad said, “Never, and I mean NEVER, touch a feather.” When I went to the beach, I’d step over feathers. In the ocean, go the other way. Sometimes on the beach it looked like you were playing hopscotch, jumping around so you didn’t step on a feather. He said they were dirty and carried diseases.

Yesterday I saw a feather in the doorway. I stepped over it. I got a paper towel to pick it up and throw it away.

Strange the things you remember from long, long ago.

April 13, 2011

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