Addled by JoeAnn Hart

By JoeAnn Hart

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Sample text

Be natural. ” Charles had been exasperated. ” “Striving. ” Steeve had stroked his severely clipped beard and studied Charles. ” Finally, some decent golf advice. Charles waggled his club and breathed in deeply as he relaxed his hands, but then a chunk of air lodged at the base of his throat. How had a moment of peace degenerated so quickly into another opportunity for anxiety? He shifted his weight to his left foot and rotated his shoulders. —and that gave him an edge. Even an inch or two made a difference in being able to assess the lay of the land.

Knock me down with a feather,” he’d said. ” He’d touched the little bird, awed by the newness of life. He’d heard its parents coming through the brush, and although they had no teeth, the business edge of a gander’s wing was a powerful weapon. He ran his hand over the gosling and blew hot breath on him to keep him warm until they arrived. There was no fear in the little fellow’s glassy gaze, only openness. Even adoration. Barry had never felt anything but ill will toward the creatures that ate and dug their way through his greens—the deer, rabbits, voles, and who knows what else, but the worst were the geese.

Fact of the matter was, ever since Gerard sent him to addle eggs out on the island in May, he was a changed man. He’d only found one active nest so late in the season, but he’d done his job, luring the mating pair away with cornmeal in order to shake their eggs to sterility. But the first egg he shook broke in his hand, and instead of a runny yolk, a wet chartreuse gosling fell to the bottom of the nest. “Knock me down with a feather,” he’d said. ” He’d touched the little bird, awed by the newness of life.

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