These are the wild animals I can sight on any given day in Flyinge: magpies, crows, jackdaws, ravens, rooks and pheasants. A pair of swans, a wedge of geese, a muster of storks stalking spindle-legged behind a tractor. Hedgehogs, often flattened. Once in a while, a hare. Once in a while, a rabbit. Far off in the fields bounds the occasional roe deer. The rest of the small creatures are so infrequent as to be invisible, the large ones the stuff of myth and encyclopedias.
I don't know if it's because I am so acutely aware of the lack of furry creatures in my home that the absence of them seems so glaring everywhere. I miss chipmunks and squirrels, that ubiquitious chattering company. I want to pet something and my children won't hold still.
All around us, the sunshine steams off the snowmelt. The background chorus of songbirds swells into a crescendo: spring is on the way, they sing. I stop and inspect branches, admiring the new jewelry each hedge and tree and bush is sporting: tiny green gems, pearly buds. Martin laments the end of winter; no more snowballs, no more sleds. "Spring springity spring," I warble, and we harmonize on endings and beginnings.