Chapter 3

Lefcardia opened her eyes.  Daytime!  But what time of day could it be?  The wind had finally laid down.  Skies were bright, but shriveled rhododendron leaves showed icy temperatures.    Ice could be sharp on Lefcardia’s paws.  If she had to go outside, she could try and jump from moss patch to moss patch.   But why go outside on a day like today?  

Lefcardia looked around her nest.  What a mess.  The storm had done a lot of damage.   Her tiny night table had tipped over and its leg was broken.  Her looking glass had fallen off the the wall and slid under the rug.  Broken bits of nest covered the floor.  ‘This is too much work for me,’ said Lefcardia, and pulled her covers over her head.

The church bell gonged, and Lefcardia counted.  One, two , three, four, five, six, seven.  She felt happy to know she had not overslept, and even happier for the sunlight.  Just a few weeks ago, the skies were dark at seven bells.  Dark December, Lefcardia called it.  Now, on this last day of January, the skies broke a little brighter.  Spring was on its way.

From under her covers, Lefcardia heard the sweet song of a cardinal, and wondered what he was doing.  Lefcardia heard a second cardinal answer the song.  She unburied her head and poked out of her nest to watch a cardinal family at work in the cedar tree.  A very red Dada cardinal, a soft pinkish Momma cardinal, and two teenage punk rock parrot cardinals were at work rebuilding their nest, which must have been damaged in the storm.  

To see the cardinals singing as they carried bits of fresh twig into the old gray cedar tree made Lefcardia happy.  She moved about to get a better view, and before she knew it, she was out of bed and gathering what she needed to make a pot of tea.  

She ventured just outside her nest to gather a bit of snow and a few pine needles.  She put them in a teapot, which she placed in a sunny window and set up the amplifier.  While the tea steeped, she rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, folded her snuggly blanket and cleared a space at the dining table.  What a mess, she thought to herself as she looked around.

She poured herself a cup, and as she sipped, she made a plan.  Why not redecorate?  Lefcardia had lived in this same pine tree for more than a year.  This was a chance to get new furniture, maybe even change the location of windows and doors.  She had wanted a writing desk for some time now, and this was the chance to get one. Lefcardia felt happy as she imagined different possibilities.  

She drank the last sip of tea, and wondered where she might rebuild her kitchen. Step one was clean-up, she told herself.  And then she stood up and got to work throwing everything out of her nest.  She did not stop tossing old stuff from the treetop until she was left with nothing but a hollow orb.

If you awake to a great mess

And see too much work lies ahead

Pull the covers overhead

Don’t be too quick to leave your bed

The light will come, a song will come

A plan will take shape in your brain

And when it does, you will see your way

And find a happy day again

Lefcardia January 31
Winter weather station
Winter weather station

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