Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The plop of apricots hitting the ground outside our bedroom French door was the first sound to interrupt my sleep. A pleasant way to start my day. But then…. a tremendous racket from our backyard birds, the austral thrushes (Chile’s robins) and the White- crested Elaenia . The clamor could mean only one thing – CAT. The squawking  grew louder. We've had several baby birds and parents feeding in our garden lately. I leaped out of  bed. Outside, I scanned for signs of a feline prowler, but found only a large pile of feathers on the grass. I felt sad. We feel responsible for the welfare of our garden frequenters. I know the cat was just doing what cats are wired to do. I wondered what robins feel when a baby or mate is lost.

Robin racket was immediately followed by the loud voices of the two men who practice boxing at 7 a.m. in a patio just over the wall from our garden and open bedroom French doors. They seem to be unaware they have neighbors.

This afternoon as I watered a few plants in the garden, I startled a robin….an injured robin. It was an adult and, in spite of missing a large portion of feathers on one wing, it was able to fly to another corner. Perhaps it will recover. Amazing it was able to fight off a cat larger than he or she.

A quick change of subject…I want to talk about tattoos. Two repairmen came yesterday, both heavily tattooed. I was particularly curious about a large face tattooed onto the forearm of the most muscular fellow. “That’s a cacique,” he said. “A Mapuche Indian chief.
“Which one?
“Colo-Colo.” On the backside of his arm he showed me a tall araucaria tree, native to the Mapuche territory. On his other arm he had a bar of music. “I’m a musician,” he said. “I sing and play the guitar and the bass.”

If I were to go for a tattoo, what would I choose? Maybe a sequoia. Or a woodpecker. Or a tarweed flower?

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