Not Missing the Story

Ever been in a public place with swarms of other people around, and realize that you witnessed something no one else took the time to notice?

I was enjoying a beautiful fall day in DC, sitting beside the front steps of the Museum of Natural History watching the steady stream of tourists pass by. A dad and his 3 kids plopped down on the steps 10 feet from me to finish their popcorn before heading in to the museum. While it was apparent each of them was rushing, the 3 year old won the award for the least tidy eating habits. When they rose to scurry inside, they left behind plenty of evidence of their feast. The windy day swirled the less massive kernels into a more scattered mess. I only had a few seconds to stew over the newly littered public space when it became apparent I wasn't the only eyes watching. A storm of urban birds came from behind me as if they were employed by the city's sanitary department waiting to do their work. Periodically interrupted by more bipeds with no regard for the important work underway, the cleanup crew finished their task with an efficiency indicating these were experienced professionals dedicated to their calling.

Posted: Sun - October 19, 2003 at 08:06 PM