Listen… listen. Head tilted, eyes half closed, the man listened. The thrush sang so enchantingly today. If luck was with him, he knew that he would not have to wait long for the answer from the other side of the bushes. Yes! Listen... there was the female… ah, she did not disappoint him. Oh, just listen… a little concert, all for free.
“Would you like to have French beans for dinner?” His wife’s voice beside him cut through the duet of nature. Everyday concerns returned with a little jolt, and the birdsong receded into the woodland background. The man turned towards his wife with a disturbed glance. What in heaven's name was she talking about?
"What did you say?" he asked rather brusquely.
"If you would care for French beans tonight, maybe with a braising steak?"
"Woman! What has gotten into you? How can you think of braising steak right now?"
"With French beans." his wife added kindly, apparently unaware of having done anything wrong. "You do like that, don't you?"
The man looked at his wife as if at a stranger. Was it really possible to live on a totally different wavelength after so many years together? The thrush was now singing its heart out, right above them. Could it really be so that she did not even notice? He was astonished. His wife's reaction was beyond his comprehension.
"Why are you looking like that? Did you lose your tongue?" She nudged him, uncomprehending. "Or do you prefer French toast with rhubarb? It's at its best at the moment!"
Oh dear lord, she really did not hear the bird. The man inhaled with a slow whistling sound, pulled himself together, then patiently answered: "No, French beans is fine, you already have them in the house, after all." He thanked the thrush in spirit for its beautiful song. "Come dear, let us walk further," he said, and took her hand with a gentle gesture.
That evening at the dinner table his wife was very quiet, toying with her food. A little concerned, he asked: "Anna, is something wrong?"
She seemed to come from far away, answering him with a distant look: "How enchanting that was this morning. Did you hear it too? First the male, and then the answer of his lady friend... two voices, one song!"
She paused a little, pondering, as if nodding in agreement over something.
But it was her husband who bowed his head in silence at her words: "As long as I keep a greening twig in my heart, the songbird will always come."
To the memory of my mother who always kept a greening twig in her heart.