Woman No. 1

A woman walked into the park with a plastic bag full of breadcrumbs. She stopped on the path and emptied all of it into a heap. Soon there was a crowd of pigeons, about 100 all fluttering and pecking over the pile of crumbs. The woman walked 20 metres from the spot and sat down on a park bench. She didn’t look at the pigeons. She didn’t noticeably derive any pleasure from coming to the park to feed the pigeons. She sat looking into the vague distance apparently oblivious to being in the park.

The closely packed group of very busy pigeons was beautiful to watch and she was missing it.

Why did she bring bread for the pigeons? Why did she come to the park? Was she satisfying an obligation?


A girl of about 7 or 8 years was walking with her mother. The mother was pushing a pram with a sleeping baby very slowly along the pathways in the park. The park is small so they went around and around. The girl held onto the handle of the pram and walked.

Didn’t she want to run?

Didn’t she want to play?

Didn’t she want to hide from her mother, to lurk behind trees and leap out and say “Boo!”

Didn’t she want her mother to time her as she ran to a distant tree and see if her time improved each time she ran the distance?

Maybe they were talking.

Woman No. 2

A woman came into the park. She didn’t smile. Later I saw she’d gone to a park bench. She was sitting there.

She didn’t come to the park to read, or knit, or meet a friend or even talk on her phone.

She just sat.