I am meant to frighten. I am a presence where there should be none, amid the cucumber leaves and the green bean stems. My success depends on how many unwanted vermin I can keep away; mice, rabbits, birds; nibblers.

In my younger days I stood tall and proud, shades of bronze with silver feathers upon my chest. My yellow eyes glowed in the moonlight. Evil warning scared away the robbers, looking for their evening meal.

Now my closed wings are washed out from the burning sun. My eyes sallow, bleached, not quite so menacing. Sometimes a blatant bird will actually sit upon my shoulder, cawing to his friends not to fear me.

I dream of being that fierce warrior once again; guardian of this garden.

I shiver as the warming sun begins to disappear. A pair of yellow finch briefly land upon my head, pecking at my eye, before they fly off.  Although I will last longer, I am envious of the animation all around me; messengers of beauty and interpreters of life