“There’s omens for magpies and ravens, but what about seagulls?”
They were sitting on a.bench halfway up the gorge trail, bare knees touching, looking at a flock of seagulls landing and taking off with no apparent rhyme nor reason.
“Oh, there is.” JJ bullshitted with the flare Dary loved. “It’s not as.well known because seagulls are kinda ugly, and so is the rhyme.”
“Oh yeah?” Dary challenged. “One for…”
“One for…” The seagulls squawked at each other. “One for the quiet of a morning spent alone.”
“Ah, solitude.” Dary nodded. “Always a good thing. So two would be a pair, then?”
“Of course. Two for the comfort of your lover coming home.” J found a grin growing. “Now, of course, in some versions, it’s two for the news of a loved one coming home, which is thought to be about the wars, but that’s not the version I was taught.”
“You have some good education going on somewhere.” Dary chuckled. “I heard it was something like Two for the comfort when your dog brings home the bone, but I bet that’s something someone made up who didn’t have a loved one to come home to them made up.”
“Well, it’s nice to have someone to want you to come home, or at least visit,” JJ offered. “Let’s see. Three for a foe and four for a friend, which is nice and tidy. But, ah.” JJ paused. Sometimes when these conversations happened, when Dary fished for JJ to make something up, the things just came, and that could get, well, weird.
“And either way this sign means that something’s gonna end.”
Shit. JJ blinked. Where had that come from?
“Five for a voyage; your feet are set to roam…” Okay, that was okay.
Dary’s knee wasn’t touching JJ’s anymore.
Six didn’t come to mind, so JJ made something up. “And six for the strength beneath the silt, the sand, the loam.”
It kind of sounded like death, but it could be interpreted in a number of ways. Dary seemed to be relaxing again.
“Seven for the feeling that something’s going wrong—”
Oh, no. JJ really hated it when this happened, although normally Dary liked the sort of things that JJ “made up.”
“And, and.” Come on, let it end on a good note. “-and if you get past seven, then you need another song.” JJ chuckled. “As I said, it’s a bit rougher than the magpie rhyme.”
They looked at the seagulls. Four of them were pecking away at what looked like someone’s discarded sandwich.
“Ah. Ahem. Look, there’s one more over there. I think, I think my feet are set to roam again.” Dary stood up. “Shall we?”
JJ looked at the four-and-one seagulls and couldn’t help but fear that something was ending soon. “Let’s. I hear there’s miles to go before we weep. I mean. Ah. I mean sleep.”
They headed up the gorge, leaving the seagulls and their omens behind.
One for the quiet of a morning spent alone,
Two for the comfort of your lover coming home.
Three for a foe and four for a friend,
And either way this sign means that something’s gonna end.
Five for a voyage; your feet are set to roam
And six for the strength beneath the silt, the sand, the loam.
Seven for the feeling that something’s going wrong—
-and if you get past seven, then you need another song.