|He had spent most of his life leaning back
watching with detached amusement
the passionate fumblings of others.
His contentment, once solid and self supporting
began with time to shift
the outer surface to crumble.
He began to doubt and never having flirted with doubt before found himself seduced and shattered what was once a delicious form of wry self criticism came to be a ravenous devouring black cloak shrouding his every thought.
It was in this state that he began to investigate the possibilities of artificially inseminating wood grouse.
His hands, a lifetime idle, evolved through blisters to callous mats between his fingers.
He built cages and stocked them full of fertile wood grouse.
His income he secured by conspiracy He would be paid by host hunters To lie concealed in their path clutching his trembling offspring flinging them to their short term freedom up up from the grass where they would flutter in the time it took the nearby hunters to train there guns and send them tattered from the sky.
© MARTIN EWEN 1998