Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Day 5: Innocence 

I have an altogether happier roadside scene for you to imagine today.

You know that classic image of the proud mother duck with her brood of ducklings strung out in a line behind her, paddling energetically along, distracted momentarily by all the interesting sights and sounds all around, then paddling hastily back to her side, not wanting to get too far separated from their mother?

And you know how sometimes duck and ducklings will cross roads together – they even have roadsigns marking their favourite crossing places?

Well, there was this rather elegant young lady cycling serenely along the pavement – straight back, head erect, hair tucked under a loose cap, long black leather boots over designer jeans, and in close formation behind her was her brood, on little scooters. Only two of them, but arranged neatly in descending height order, with the littlest at the back bustling earnestly along, falling behind awhile – just like a baby duckling - then putting on a spurt to catch up.

I glimpsed them briefly as I passed by, then got stuck waiting to pull out across a busy main road. They caught up, and I waited whilst they crossed the road directly in front of me.

It was such a delightful scene, a happy little bubble of family togetherness floating gently through the noise and pressure and dirt and smell of an urban rush hour – the effect on me was just as soothing as if it really had been a family of ducks crossing he road. I’ve carried the image with me all day; I wish I could have told her.

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