MAGPIE TALES: The Ring of Nedra
Perhaps it's only fitting that her ultimate demise and departure were wrapped up with that pewter creamer.
Everyone in our building had problems with Nedra Haberton for as long as I could remember. She was always snooping through other's mailboxes or playing Wagner at pitch volume a 8 a.m. on Sunday mornings. And then there was that pewter creamer she would tote up and down the stairs and hallways. And she was always banging on it with one of her collection of souvenir spoons. Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, Banff, -- she had them all. She claimed that she had to d clang it to call back her cat Merdev whose typical response to it was the jump the back fence and not return for hours.
It was in the final months that the clanging became more frequent and at odder hours. One Monday at 4 a.m., we heard the clang, clang until the manager came down and pulled her arm away. "But Merdev is missing!" she exclaimed, even as we all stood around her and Merdev glared at us from her bedroom window, his calico fur bathed in the amber light of her Tiffany lamp.
I wasn't there the following week when two of her nieces came to escort her to wherever they felt she would be safer or at least less of a nuisance. Word was that it was a speedy exodus, and they only packed a few of her clothes, coming back later to have most of her belongings and sending Merdev to the local SPCA.
Apparently they never knew about the creamer or cared not enough to remove it from the fourth floor hall where she had left it the last night in the building. Only now that she is gone have I come to value a tiny remnant of Nedra, and on Saturdays when I have the focus to remember, I will clang it lightly twice for her.
Labels: Magpie Tales