The Voice, by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

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                           - 11 -

HYDE PARK, LONDON



Hyde Park was crowded as my daughter Alissa and I trotted
our horses out from their East Street stables for their much
needed Sunday "stroll." Thanks to global warming, the
growing hole in the ozone layer and an ominous shift in the
Gulf Stream, British weather now resembled Miami's and
despite the dire warnings of a few exasperated
environmentalists, the whole city of London seemed to revel
in it.

The horses loved it too, my white mare Juno, prancing and
strutting her cadence just ahead of Alissa's black stallion,
Attila, the way she had back in her traveling circus days.
For fear they'd be packed off to a slaughter house, I'd
picked the pair up after the last big top folded, but in a
short time I found them to be a source of endless enjoyment.

At first I thought it strange how the horses had come to
mean so much to me here in London. But then I seemed to
enjoy many things here that had meant nothing to me back in
the States.

It wasn't that I disliked the land of my birth. It was
that America had never completely felt like home. Nothing in
America seemed as genuine to me as the old world and its
meanings and as my alienation grew I had fallen into the
past.

That was why the image of the Black Knight lingered. Like
a swimmer stirring the muck at the bottom of a dark pool,
I'd raised something long dead and now he clung to me. As we
trotted across the park, his silent presence seemed to hang
over the conversation like a dark cloud.