I thought I had escaped the traffic.

Oh, I remember those morning walks down city roads thickly layered with dirty dew. Every morning I paced to the beat of angry horns and whirring tires, drivers slapping the hindquarters of their Chevy’s, rushing against a dark deadline.

But then I moved into a bucolic cottage by the sea.

Surely things will be different here I mused as I laced up my walking shoes on a bright, spring morning. The sun winked over the edge of the marsh, and the distant spindrift sparkled over ocean crests.

But then it happened. Traffic! I live on a dirt road that hits a farm field. How can it be?

I braced myself, holding tightly to the porch rail high above the terrain. I saw them coming, but I noticed at once that the frenzy was missing. It almost seemed as if they weren’t going anywhere in particular. They didn’t stick to the road at all. In fact, they avoided the road. How odd, I thought.

There were six, no, wait, make that eight. The does were the most playful darting in between pine trees and over little puddles from the night’s rain. There was no destination. Just going. Playing. Loving.

And then just as I was getting to know the deer, along came waves of small swallows from on high. They seemed to enjoy darting toward me and then with a last minute feather dip, bouncing off a wave and shooting high into the sky with the others that called the space beneath my porch home.

Wait. What’s this? Bobbing along in the slow lane, a little cadre of plump guinea hens is tiptoeing past my front porch in their speckled nightgowns clucking their hellos, laughing at me.

I thought I had escaped the traffic.
I’m glad I didn’t.

David R. Denny


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