3 — Meeting Abigail

Chapter 15, page 68

QUACK!” The noise caught him completely by surprise, jolting him out of his concentration, jerking his attention toward the trail to Ted’s house. There at the edge of the clearing was Abigail, looking right at him as if she expected a welcoming response to her greeting. At first Walter was a little irked at the interruption, but amusement overcame his irritation. Saying nothing, he slowly climbed down from his chair to sit on the edge of the porch. She watched and waited, as if reevaluating her freeze/fight/flight options, then took a few halting steps toward him. Walter smiled, hummed a little tune, and tried to emit warm friendly feelings. After a few more steps, Abigail stopped in a sunlit area and sat down. For the next ten minutes, they both just sat there, motionless, gaping at one another, waiting for the other to make the next move. Walter’s patience crumbled first: he slowly rose to his feet, and as soon as he did, Abigail stood up, on full alert. He turned slowly, stepped back onto the porch, and sat down in his chair. She watched all this, appeared to consider it momentarily, then turned around to waddle slowly back to the edge of the clearing and disappear down the trail. Walter tried to regain his thoughts and return to his contemplation, but Abigail’s image remained lodged front and center in his mind. After five minutes, he gave up and went inside for his afternoon nap.


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