It was in the clove of seasons, summer was dead but autumn had not yet been born, that the ibis lit in the bleeding tree.
He seemed all head, with a tiny body which was red and shriveled like an old man's. Everybody thought he was going to die-everybody except Aunt Nicey, who had delivered him. She said he would live because he was born in a caul.
One day I took him up to the barn loft and showed him his casket, telling him how we all had believed he would die.
We were downin Old Woman Swamp and it was spring and the sick- sweet smell of bay flowers hung everywhere like a mournful song. "I'm going to teach you to walk, Doodle," I said.
After we had drifted a long way, I put the oars in place and made Doodle row back against the tide. Black clouds began to gather in the southwest, and he kept watching them, trying to pull the oars a little faster.
He was sitting on the ground, his face buried in hisarms, which were resting on his drawn-up knees."Let's go, Doodle," I said.He didn't answer, so I placed my hand on his forehead and lifted his head. Limply, he fell backwards onto the earth. He had been bleeding from the mouth, and his neck and the front of his shirt were stained a brilliant red.