You know what you want to do today.
You’d like to see if your granddaughter wants to hop in the truck and ride over to Lake Coeur d’Alene with you to scope out the eagles.
Maybe she would balk at first. “Eagles?” she might say with a hint of a snarl. “Why would I want to see eagles?”
Sigh. You can hear it already, note for note.
She’s not a bad girl. But she’s definitely still a kid.
She doesn’t realize the whole country isn’t like this. She doesn’t understand that people most places can’t just go for a short drive and watch those big birds do their thing.
But maybe there isn’t time. There’s so much to do before Christmas.
Shopping for presents should not be a chore. You know that. You tell yourself every year.
Still, perhaps that can wait. Sure, Christmas isn’t for a few weeks yet. There remain plenty of opportunities for tiny lightning bolts of inspiration. Or perhaps last-minute desperation, which has guided you in the past.
So you acquire the somewhat reluctant granddaughter. The two of you head for the lake.
She’s quiet, bordering on sullen. You pretend not to notice.
You’ve told yourself over and over. Every conversation with her can’t start with you saying “The thing you have to understand about your mom is …”
So you roll on and finally get to answer a question. It’s an easy one.
“Well, I think the big deal about eagles is their outrageous wildness. Plus they know they’re cool. A long-ago cartoonist named Gary Larson – he went to WSU – observed that about birds of prey. And it’s true.”
You arrive at your turn-off. You climb out of the truck – don’t forget the binoculars – and walk down the road above the lake.
You gaze out over the water and wait. And wait.
Your granddaughter is not the most patient person in the world. You don’t want to know what face she’s making.
Maybe this was a bad idea, a birdbrained plan.
Then you see it. Out over the dark, dark water, a flash of white.
You put one hand on your granddaughter’s shoulder and point toward the eagle with your other hand. “Look.”
The feathered hunter glides above the water as if powered by a whisper jet. Then it slams on the air brakes and plunges its talons into the cold water.
Your granddaughter gasps and you suppress an “I told you so” smile.
Today’s Slice question: How did you listen to music when you were 13?
Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email email@example.com. Raccoons enjoy lake cabins.