The SconeLady is quite popular with the cats of St Ives. Almost always one will pad softly in my direction, pause for a bit, listen for my beckoning call, and then sidle up. This makes any walk a good walk. Mostly, the cats have been aloofly friendly, but yesterday this sweet kitty-woo was friendlier than any woo-cat has ever been. It was very satisfying.
This event took place just as I approached Lelant, and the venerable former home of Rosamunde Pilcher, favored author, story-teller, and beloved creator of Cornwall story-arcs. As I have said before, nobody does it like Ros. I'd been walking down the hill toward her house on what seemed like an ordinary day in May; a background of soft noise colored the surroundings, until suddenly, there was a quiet and a peace as noticeable as sun above me. I'm telling you, there was a hush surrounding that house and those grounds. This phenomena happened only within that stretch of road, of garden, of grasses, and of the house she was born into. I just knew that once a person passed all of that, the ordinary came back. It was uncanny.
As I stood gazing, a voice behind me said, "Do you see that bird?"
I looked back at the voice, and saw a girl pointing to a nearby bush. I said, "What bird?" There were any number of spots that could hold any number of birds, none of which were obvious hideaways.
"Oh! That pure white-breasted one, just. there... And then I saw it. She called it a leucistic robin. "It's a robin with a white breast instead of a red one. They are very rare - they hardly ever show themselves. This is your lucky day!"
I asked if she knew anything about the house, and she said, "I think Rosamunde Pilcher used to live here. And that bird comes here. He likes it here. It seems to be his home..." This seemed reasonable. If I were a leucistic robin I would want to live in the spot where Mrs Pilcher lives too. The girl left, and an older couple soon strolled past.
"Do you see that bird?" the woman asked me. Amazing! She, too, pointed out the robin, but called it an "albino robin". She spoke of Rosamunde Pilcher, who had died in February (I felt a sad pang again, thinking of this), and that this albino bird had started coming here. The bird sang its heart out for us, and I did feel as though it had been my lucky day.
I walked on, then, and only a few feet past the property, normalcy returned. Horns honked. Children laughed. Crows cawed. I looked back at where the little bird had sat on its bush, but the spot was empty. The song had gone. Until yesterday I had never heard of an albino robin, but now that I have heard of one, I'm going to start watching out for them. Something tells me, though, that unless I make the trek back to that house and those grounds, I won't find one. She sings for Ros.
See you along the way!