• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 08

No Birds Need Apply

We load up to leave a fishing village along the Delaware Bay
on the New Jersey side for a Levittown that goes by the name
Willingboro, once a farming community willing to be winding
streets of five different models in sections called Somerset,
Hawthorne, Pennypacker, Buckingham, Millbrook, and Garfield.

We leave with a dog called Ruff who came to live with us
because the rug by the door was warm. In the beginning,
neighbors called and asked us to let him out for nightly
rounds of dinner. When they no longer worried, he stayed put.
Also in the car are a rabbit and three cats. We all get along.

In charge of transportation is a buttoned-up redhead called
Murphy. Why he hooked up with this menagerie remains
a mystery and I’m not talking about the animals. Two cats
give up on the newly designed suburb and move home
on their own over 75 miles of backwoods trails.

Eventually, the other inhabitants follow the cats’ lead.
We are very good with buses and timetables. I learned
to not carry much when I travel. Once I boarded a plane
for New Orleans with just a large purse over my shoulder.
It makes you look suspicious when you enter the room

of a man upon arrival that way. I went back and forth
to London frequently for weeks with just a small carry-on,
often questioned in Customs. I now live in the desert.
I have not moved in 45 years. I still take in animals,
one at a time, if it’s a good match.