“Mourning doves are just country pigeons,” she argued, “and squirrels are no better than rats.”
What could he say? They’d been over this same ground a hundred times, a thousand times. He had wanted to move to the country and he couldn’t budge her until they’d both lost their high power jobs in the city. They had to make some fast decisions before their savings ran out.
They bought a falling-down farmhouse in upstate New York. She hated it. Together they fixed and replaced and painted, though their furniture never really suited the rooms. Electricity flickered in storms and she used up all the long-tapered candles. Then something changed.
For the first time she saw the sun rise without scaling the sharp edge of buildings. She heard growls and yips in the night. She learned you could make morning coffee yourself, and have pancakes drowned in syrup that came out of their neighbor’s maples in spring, boiled down to an amber thickness as priceless as gold.
She grew out of her pantsuits and stuffed her new curves into size-larger jeans. She wore plaid flannel shirts, and Pradas were traded for workboots. Her nails never grew long enough to warrant a manicure at a salon.
“Listen,” she said, “hear that?” and he told her it was nothing, just mourning doves. “Damn birds woke me up again,” he said. She smiled and scattered dried corn for the squirrels.