The HawkI thought I told this story months ago, but I saw it today on one of my post subject lists, and I can't find it in the archives, so I guess it's time.
I hang out at a restaurant near Eli's school on days when I'm picking him up, spending some time testing Girdiron Solitaire and working on design.
I walked out of there on a Friday afternoon, ready to head over to school, and I saw a hawk. On top of an SUV.
This was very, very odd. Hawks don't just hang out on top of cars.
Up close, it's easy to see that hawks are damned impressive, physically. They're big and powerful. Intimidating.
I noticed then that there were two other people in the parking lot, and they were watching.
Then I saw the bird under the SUV.
It was a small bird, a sparrow. It was either injured or flew under the SUV in desperation to avoid the hawk. It just stood there, in the shadow of the SUV, and the hawk stood on top, waiting.
This wasn't going to end well for anyone but the hawk, obviously.
It was mesmerizing, really, and powerful.
I was running out of time, because I needed to get to school, but somehow I couldn't leave. Just before the moment when I absolutely had to drive off, the little bird took off, flying in a ragged pattern toward a parking garage a block away.
When I last saw the bird, the hawk was only ten feet away and gaining.
Like I said, we all know how this ended.
When I picked up Eli 12.9 (then) from school, we talked about his day, like we always do, and then I told him the story about the hawk. He was mesmerized, just like I was when I saw it happen. When I was done, I said, "Now what do you expect me to say about the moral here?"
There's always a moral.
"That you have to be strong and powerful, because you want to be a hawk, not a sparrow," he said with certainly.
"Wrong," I said, and his face arched up in surprise. "What I'm going to say is that you don't have to be the hawk. There are many wonderful, successful people in the world who are not hawks. They help the sparrow, and they still reach all their goals."
"You don't have to be the hawk," he said quietly, with a little smile. "I did not see that coming."