By December, the old gull has readied his body of bone, a tad of muscle and feather, as best he can, for the icy blasts of blue Texas northers. Even his head feathers, having inconspicuously
assumed a grayish white aspect, have paid their subtle homage to the cold as if some benevolent god ripped a shred of winter sky and grafted it seamlessly to his skull. Come spring,
his hoary little heart hardened by survival to a marble of solid ice, he’ll strut, laugh like hell, and tug over his head the jet black hood of the executioner.