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Stories by Peter Logue

At about this time of day, when everything's done and the house is shining like a new pin, I like to take some time out for myself and rest up a bit on the old Lazy Boy by the window. Relaxed, and my mind at ease, I sometimes let my mind wander. I can hear the birds outside and a neighbour's wee Sheltie yapping at the chipmunks. I hear the rain as it trickles from the eaves, hear the swish of tires on wet tarmac as a car rolls past, pulls into a driveway three doors down and I know that old mister Miller still hasn't found work.

Far off in the distance I hear the sound of commerce on the highway, people at work, sales reps, real estate agents, accountants, secretaries and laymen. Down here, in the sleepy hollow end of my little street, I am for the most part as heedless of the outside world as it is of me. Lulled by the peace of it all, its not long 'till I'm in the highlands of Scotland, back in the land of my ain folk.

Its a beautiful day as always, for it never rains on these occasions, nor are the skies ever gloomy. A curlew circles high overhead, distressed at my presence. He'll land shortly some distance from the nest, no doubt, and fake a broken wing. The afternoon sun is warm on my face and the air is heavy with the sweet scent of heather.

Through a gap in the dry-stone wall, a black headed ram keeps a watchful eye on my every move. All around me, Gorse bushes are afire with their distinctive yellow bloom and below, far below, a lone canoeist breaks the calm, dark waters of Lock Ness.

The ruins of Urquhart castle rest on a point of the far shore, tour buses in the parking lot. A school outing, no doubt, for even where I stand I can hear the squeals of children at play. The children's uniform consists of a blue jacket with a gray pleated skirt, white blouse. The tie is blue and gray also. One child stands alone at the banks of the loch, hands at her mouth as she yells to the distant canoeist, "Hey, mister. If ye cannae find Nessie, ye'll huv tae phone directory inquiries!" I smiled at that, warming to the child immediately, for I remember calling those very same words when I was a girl.

Beyond the children, beyond the castle ruins, the heather peaked hills of Scotland stretch as far as the eye can see, one rolling hind the other in a distant blue haze.

I awaken then to the sound of a Schoolbus as it pulls up outside the house, breakdrums squealing. Moments later, my son bids his friends a fond farewell and dances up the driveway, a huge smile on his face. It's then I realise that I must give myself a good shake and get on with life -- his life. I've heard that those big airplanes do go both ways. Perhaps, one day, when my children have flown the nest, perhaps I might just look into that.

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