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  • Writer's pictureLinda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs

Excerpted Inspirations #44

"I think it was Bion who saw it first, but we've all seen it. Timothy will rush out to the big meadow, his once-timid tail waving ecstatically. He looks adoringly up at the sky, wagging, listening, and the swallow comes to him, flying very low, and then Tim will run along with the bird while it flies, back and forth, round and about, in great parabolas, all over the big meadow. Then the swallow will fly off and up, and Tim will stand looking upward, swishing his tail and waiting for his friend to return.

"It has been a great joy to us to watch this amazing friendship. Day after day they play together, and the game never palls. There is nothing of the stalker or the hunter in Timothy's actions when he is with the swallow. Occasionally he will accidentally flush a pheasant, and

then his tail goes straight out and still, and one forepaw curves up and he points. But with his swallow, his tail never stops waving. The two of them are lion and lamb together for me, a foretaste of Isaiah's vision. When I watch them playing together in the green and blue, it is a moment of transfiguration.

"And it seems especially right that it should be shy, frightened, loving old Timothy rather than any of the other family dogs who are around Crosswicks during the summer. By and large they don't even seem aware of what is going on, and have shown only the mildest interest in Tim's atypical ecstatic behavior."

-Madeleine L'Engle, The Irrational Season (1977), p. 192 "The Swallow" (upper left) drawing by Linda Odhner "Timothy" (lower right) drawing by Liz Kufs

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