Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: FINISH (05/26/16)
TITLE: A Worthy End Product
By Elaine Hemingway
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Sonia gathered the soiled linen and added it to the already loaded trolley ready to go to the laundry.
“It seems five minutes is about the limit of what you can manage” she murmured to her unresponsive patient. “You were doing so well this morning – until you fizzled out,”
She rubbed cream onto his feet and ankles before tucking the duvet around his legs and adjusting the bed’s foot panel slightly for some elevation.
Carrying an empty drinking beaker in one hand and a plate of half-eaten food in the other she walked through the house towards the kitchen, pausing as the frenzied activity round the bird feeder caught her attention.
No danger of them starving, she thought as she stood watching. I practically had to force feed Martin this morning, and only by feeding tablets one by one onto his tongue did I manage to get some liquid into his system.
A smile lit her face in the sunlight coming through the window as she watched a mother starling attending to two fluffy fledglings with open beaks. They were big enough to have left their nest and almost the same size as their mother, yet still expecting to be provided for. They were taking that provision for granted to the extent that she had no time between the deliveries to first one then the other as they jostled each other for prime position on the perch. Undaunted by the squabbling twosome, a sparrow and two finches were competing around the seed container.
Martin had enjoyed making the feeder the previous year, when he was already battling to concentrate and trying so hard to remain active and productive. The months had taken their toll in the deterioration of his condition and he was able to achieve less and less, the bird feeder being virtually the last item to be completed. Only the weather vane had been added after he had planted the construction into a plant pot base which Sonia had filled with Primroses and small bedding plants. Then, for some weeks he had enjoyed the commotion generated as the birds discovered the location and started to appreciate the bounty - only a few short weeks before the downhill progression of his illness.
Sonia turned away reluctantly to place the dishes in the sink, but then, walking back towards the bedroom she noticed that a goldfinch, trying to reach the seed, now sadly depleted, was finding the level too low for his tiny grasping beak.
“At least I can help you,” she muttered, going back to the kitchen for a bag of mixed seed.
A few minutes later she returned to the bedroom, finding Martin sleeping as usual. She sat on the edge of the bed and stroked his shoulder pensively.
“I’ve just been checking out your bird feeder,” she told him, wondering if he could hear through the mists of his semi- consciousness. “It is so popular now that the young birds are checking out the area. I’m so pleased you made it for us and I hope the neighbour who wasn’t so appreciative can also now enjoy the end product.”
Martin opened his eyes and looked up at her. “What did you say to her?” he mumbled, before closing his eyes again.
“I said that no sparrow was going to fall on our patch,after she commented on the possible messing on the cars. And it’s true. Once you finished that feeder, our birds have been cared for, my darling.”
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