12  More about Ducks and Flying

Bingley and I were sitting together, draped over the back of the couch, hanging out like two leopards perched on tree limbs.

Two ducks, a male and a female, dropped into the back yard flapping and squealing.

“How do they do that?” he asked.

“Do what?”

“Fly–fly so high.”

“They’re built for it:  the feathered wings, lighter body than you’d think, the confidence to try–not self-reflective enough to think they can’t.”

He turned and gave me his Mr. Spock look.

“I’ll bet I could do that,” he said, musing and looking back as the ducks spotted us and flew off.

“Maybe,” I said.  I thought he was joking and expected him to burst out laughing, but he didn’t.

Once, when we were trying to catch a fly, I saw him leap after the fashion of his tiger jump.  He sprung off the couch, more out than up, extended a paw, and swatted the fly.  He must have covered about five or six feet in the air.  That may have given him ideas, though he was younger and thinner then.

Later I was sitting on the couch reading with my feet up.

I’m not sure about this part, but I thought I saw out of the corner of my eye an object, about cat-sized, flying through the living room at about waist height.  It covered the length of the room and disappeared quickly into the hallway.

I hopped over to look and saw nothing more, so I went into Bingley’s room, and there he stood bathing himself.

“Did you just see something?” I asked.


“Oh, something flying by, maybe down the hallway?”

“You feeling all right?” he asked.

“Yes, fine, thanks.  So you didn’t see anything?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“So you’re not telling.”

He smiled and continued bathing.

“Test flight?” I asked.

He turned to me and said, blank-faced and deadpan, “You never know.”

He’s pretty much right.  I very seldom know.  Maybe sometimes.  Maybe.