The morning air is crisp and cold. There's a pink glow in the morning sky. I cross a dry creek bed, then climb up a rise and surprise a covey. The quail dash about, hither and yon.
They remind me of the mechanical ducks in the shooting gallery at the skating rink. She was trying to teach me to skate. I was hopeless. My ankles kept popping in, then out. I’d jerk forward, then back. Finally, down I’d go. Sometimes just to make her laugh. The last time we went there -- when she told me -- I wouldn’t leave. I stood at the gallery and kept shooting the ducks. Clang, turn, clang, turn, clang, turn. She stood with her arms crossed watching me. Finally, she left.