Over the hedge

Was the painting really worth $750? A bird would help with that decision.

"You have won an original watercolor by David S." the voice in the telephone said. "It is worth $750."

Wow! Excitement. Anticipation. I couldn't wait to see it.

Then, when it arrived, disappointment: This is it? This is worth $750? But what do I know about art? I must be missing something.

I will consult with Cousin Marlene. She has a good eye. She can teach me the fine points. I will show it to Marlene after I take my son Steve and his friends to the airport next week.

Rain threatened that day, so the large unprotected watercolor was carefully laid against a board and placed in a plastic garbage bag. "Careful with that luggage," I said to the boys as I watched the sky, hovered over my artistic cargo, and worried.

Then, relief. The boys and their luggage were safely delivered. The sky cleared. The painting was safe. On to Marlene's house. We hugged; we chatted.

"Come out to the car and see the $750 painting I won," I said.

We walked outdoors, opened the trunk, and unwrapped the watercolor. At that precise moment, a bird flew over and pooped on it. Marlene didn't like the picture, either.

Connie Scharlau

Arcadia, Wis.

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