THE OLD WOMAN SAT, SOFTLY singing, on a blue wooden chair in the vast cobbled square, rippling a carpet of birds with each cast of her seedful hand.
Tall jagged buildings loomed on all four sides — blocky and black-windowed, granite-yellow in the light of the dying sun, their shadows not quite lengthened to cover her frail red-shawled form. The air was cold her cheeks red as the birds fought for dried corn and cracker crumbs.
A tall man strode toward her — dark blue and broadshouldered, cap visor shading all but his dour mouth.
She rolled with the blow which sent her sprawling.
Fluttering clucks roared, arose, the birds swept round and round him. He raised his arms, alarmed; they were wings and he dwindled, his voice now one chirp among hundreds.
She felt herself, sighed, and satisfied, arose; then shifted her shawl and sat, singing softly, scattering seeds.