The wanderer throws his seed in the air in the field. Birds eat of the seeds. The seeds crack in their beaks and the sound is pleasant.
(Joyful fractures from nature’s infants)
The wanderer’s face is old and rough, chipped out of marble, tough and wise, the face of an emperor. He listens to the sound of the birds eating, his hand atop his dog’s head. He listens and sorts out the noises.
(A flinty, filthy fool looks at the birds)
The wanderer’s dog keenly watches the birds with grey eyes, one paw lifted up as if to dash forward at an instant, snout in line with the flock. The dog leans forward, trembling slightly, but knows better than to dash forward. The dog hears much more than the wanderer, yet does not realize the meaning.
(Dogs seek but never find)
From the outside, the pair seems to be frozen in time, crystallized. The sage wanderer and the poised dog watch the flock of eager birds, which gobble up the seeds greedily.
(A waste of life for the sake of birds)
One by one, the seeds are snatched up by steely beaks, cracked, chirped, cawed and swallowed. The flock rises as one and disappears swiftly beyond the horizon. The sunset is orange, and the field is bathed by a harvest moon in a cloudless sky. The wanderer lets out a sigh.
(A life is complete)
He has seen many moons, and has grown tired. The birds have flown away, and the seed-sack is empty. As the sun sets, and the dog lays down, the wanderer ponders his journeys. Many lands and many fields have come and gone under his knotted feet, and he has always managed to find seed to throw, to find the birds to come and crack the seed with their beaks.
(It is a thief who wastes what he has been given)
But the seed is finally gone. The sack is empty. The sun sets. The dog sleeps, and the wanderer lays his head down for the last time. He is no longer a wanderer, but an emperor, a poet. Only he commanded the birds and the dog with such poise and knowledge, and seeds have never been put to such a noble use. The orange sun turns to red.
(True nobility finds poetry in the field of existence)
It has been a mournful day, a wonderful day, and a scarlet day. The pools of orange and red poured by the sun slowly flow back toward the horizon, towards the birds that do not remember what has happened.
(A red-letter day for the lord of the seeds and fields)