Boat Pond- Digital
Collage 5" x7"
"Adler, Darling! Get off that bird right now!" demanded Mrs.
Milford from the edge of the pond.
"Make me," replied the boy with a smirk.
"Young Man! You do not speak to your mother that way!" The
elegant woman wagged a finger at her son. The boy turned his gaze to
the magnificent teak-decked model ship bobbing beneath his feet.
"Adler, birds carry terrible diseases. You don't want to come down
with something, do you?"
"I don't care," he replied defiantly reaching out and stroking
the swan's sweeping indigo neck.
The woman's face turned crimson, a rictus of outrage blossoming there.
She sputtered, unable to find words."That's it!" she yelled.
Hiking up her skirts she stepped over the curb and into the shallow
boat pond. The boy's eyes widened, but his smirk remained. He watched
her wade toward him. As she approached, he swung around in his mount
and draped his arms around the swan's neck. The great bird started paddling
toward the far side of the pond. Looking over his shoulder he saw his
mother snatch up his beloved ship. "Give that back," he called.
"Your yachting days are most definitely over," she called
across the water.
"Give it back right now!" cried the boy.
"No," she answered.
The boy turned from her and leaned over the swan as if whispering something
in its ear. The bird began flapping its great wings and started to rise
above the water. The mother paralyzed watched as her son took flight.
"I'm never coming home, you...you boat stealer!" he shouted
down to her.
Mrs. Milford watched as the bird sailed out of the park and across Fifth
Avenue. Dashing from the pond, she ran up the berm to the wall at the
park's edge just in time to see the bird smack into the first floor
window of the townhouse across the street. Her son sommersalted backward
off the swan and fell into a neatly trimmed hedge. Weaving between oncoming
traffic, Mrs. Milford, soaked and furious collared her son and dragged
him from the bush to his feet. "I don't think this was the fairytale
ending you had in mind," she said with satisfaction.
Adler did his penance that summer at the piano in his family's living
room, barred from the boat pond for the remainder of the season.