A Cold Drink

I opened the back door yesterday morning to a white stiff yard — grass frozen, the dregs of fall leaves frosted, the air biting. It was so cold I blew white smoke. Movement caught my eye. A mockingbird stood on the ice-covered pond beside the patio. There was a silver-dollar-sized hole in the middle where the fountain runs continuously. The little bird was drinking water. He turned to look at me. He wasn’t afraid … took another sip … turned to look again … slid sideways so he could keep one eye on me, while quenching his thirst. I stood for a moment and watched. I didn’t want to scare him off. I worried about how cold his little feet were on the ice.

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