A red breasted pilot

Six months after I purchased this book, I finally started reading ‘Heldere Hemel’ (‘Clear Sky’) by Tom Lanoye of whom I told you about when it was the Week of Books. It starts with a pilot who used his ejection seat to avoid a crash with his plane.
Then I heard a bang behind me. A robin was on the ground after it evidently hit the window.

For years I worked at a department store where some mice bothered us for a little while. Traps were placed and sometimes the small creatures were taken by this supervisor, who held them under water. Those poor things!
Once I took one of these jailed mice, home with me in a cardboard box after closing time. I set it free in the fields on my way home. Only much later I was told that indoor mice are domesticated. They can survive in a home, store, or canteen, but in the wide open world they are lost. Eventually they die of starvation. Perhaps drowning them was less cruel?

The same dilemma was bugging me with the crashed robin. The bird was on her back for over a minute, and I decided to put on my jacket, hat and shawl to go outside. Right then she spun around and seemed to be back on her feet. I took off my garments and kept on the lookout so no cat could harm her. But what else could I do? So after ten more minutes I was about to get my coat again.
But that second time I didn’t need my winter clothes. With dazzling speed the red breasted pilot took off and disappeared behind the trees. It was as if she took control by using her ejection seat.

I chose not to finish my book that day. What if it didn’t have such a happy ending as my encounter with the robin was?

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This post is also available in: Dutch

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