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Kay Wade

a bird swimming in water


‍No one wants to see the national symbol flail. Or do they? We watch it happen this week on Lake Jocassee: a mature bald eagle flailing its way to shore. The bird’s powerful wings reach forward, row back, reach forward, row back: a perfectly executed butterflystroke. Its tail—white as snow—is held above water and stretches wide. Is it a rudder? A ballast? A stern? We creep its way, another boat zooms by for a better look. Eagle flushes in alarm, flaps heavily, and with great effort rises out of the lake, its strong yellow talons gripping a fine, fat fish. But the fish is too big, too heavy, and is dropped at water’s edge. Eagle disappears into pine trees around a point of land. We turn away. There are other sights to see. Later, we spy the bird again, standing on rock just above the water, pulling entrails from the fish like thick strands of spaghetti.




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