It was during the standoff with the rabbit that I met the quail. He was standing in the brush. In the fog. Deep in the dream of the morning I heard his song. Like the soft gauze of fog, his coo swirled around the hilltop. His beak opened with a smile. He laughed at the rabbit and me, wondering who would move first.
I slowly panned my camera away from the rabbit and tiptoed towards the quail. I tried to photograph him with his beak open in song. He teased me. He opened his mouth. I clicked the shutter. Too late. He opened it again. Click. I missed it by a twitch. I held my breathe. Open. Click. Damn. He laughed with a long coooo. The rabbit just stared, not blinking. "I have all day," I whispered with clenched jaw. My finger tensed while on the shutter release. Coo. Click. I was getting closer. Maybe I was trying too hard. Cooclick. Got it.
The bird laughed at my seriousness. "Got what?" he seemed to ask, his head plume darting back and forth. I shrugged because I wasn't sure. I think I just enjoyed the game as did he. Try this, he seemed to say as he hopped from branch to branch, bush to bush. "Coo!" I had to admit, I could not coo and I could not hop. My talents end at shutter clicking. Woosh. Tired of games the quail disappeared in the fog. Like the rabbit before him, he was now gone.