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On the Right Side of Life (story)

by Richard L. Provencher  
2/08/2012 / Short Stories

The woods are alive with rain-drenched leaves, softening steps on today's hiking trail, a nature voyeur with camera and binoculars. Got up early, washed then drove down a quiet Alberta road, composed of oil blending with rock, like a black snake humped in a straight line far ahead.

Parked, got out. Shoulders back, fingers clenched in pockets for warmth, foot forward, hat-pressed tightly for warmth; now into the woods. If only the trail was dry, feet could ease across the soft ground, heel not pounding on hardened surface, but oh well. Satisfied now? Yes.

My route passes by a slough of murky water, good for ducks; dozens of them as they feather in flight, no time for bonding right now, only for scooting on by. Oh for a dip in that pond, to feel coolness on tired feet, wetness against my backside, should be soothing.

But I'm not a canvasback comfortable in the slough with feathers probably itchy, need a good washing. My feet press forward, lift and up and on, like a moose. If I were a duck I'd nibble on those protruding weeds, maybe ambush a bug or two.

Or, perhaps dive amidst the flotsam gathered below the surface. But thankfully I'm not a Teal or a Mallard with greenish tinge show-casing my softness below a furry looking head. French fries, burgers or even a slice of watermelon is more to my appetite.

Ahead is an outline of pole-fences, a marker for home distance not so far away, where comfort awaits, a blend of coffee with two eggs, sunny side up, perhaps a slice or two of bacon. The trail finally ends, a circle of hiking complete, car parked in the shade. If I'm lucky, a side order of Dexter steak will add joy to my inside view.

* * *

Richard L. Provencher

Richard enjoys writing poems; many of which have been published in Print and Online. He and his wife, Esther are also co-authors of stories and a print novel. They are "born again" Christians and very busy in their church, Abundant Life Victory International, in Bible Hill, Nova Scotia.

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