Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Marvin lay under the park bench, shivering, his knuckles white with cold and grasping his trusty old Nikon.  He’d been visiting this park every day for the past two and a half weeks, hoping for a shot of the Baird’s sandpiper that was rumored to be visiting this small lake.  Odd that the bird was alone, and odder that it was here so late into the fall.  For the first week, he spent his time sitting on the bench under which he now huddled.  But the bird had not shown itself, so Marvin figured maybe the sight of him might be keeping the piper away.  After lowering his creaking bones to the ground and crawling under the bench, he realized he was less exposed to the fierce wind that had been chapping his face and hands all that week.  And so, every day between the hours of six and eight in the morning, Marvin lay hunkered there with his thermos of strong bitter coffee, shivering, waiting for a bird that had already flown south the day before he began his uncomfortable vigil.

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