It wasn’t easy for the Heavyfoots to adjust to their new way of life. For instance, Mr. Heavyfoot liked to shoot turkeys and partridge for his supper. Now, he had only pigeons and crows around the apartment building. When his habits got the best of him, and he loaded up the rifle and fired at the pigeons, a police car arrived and an officer had a long talk with him about firing off a gun in the city limits.
The officer’s day was off to a fine start. That morning, she was told by the captain that she’d be promoted soon, and because the officer was happy, she let Mr. Heavyfoot off with a warning.
Mrs. Heavyfoot scolded her husband after the officer drove away.
“What were you thinking?” she exclaimed. Mr. Heavyfoot poured a coffee and gazed at his wife.
“I guess I just had a hankering for fresh roasted bird,” he said.
Mrs. Heavyfoot flounced to the sofa and sat down with a thump. It was an old sofa. She turned on the television and ignored Mr. Heavyfoot. He went out to the balcony. He wondered if the lady across the way was home yet.
Mrs. Heavyfoot didn’t know about his spying. She spent her time either watching television, cleaning the apartment (for she liked the newness of it all and the way the rooms looked when they were neat and tidy – so different from the home they’d left. For it was bare wood boards on the walls and no amount of cleaning could make the place as appealing as this place.)
Still, Mrs. Heavyfoot wasn’t happy. She missed gathering eggs from the henhouse every morning, and she missed the garden. She was homesick.
Mr. Heavyfoot continued at his post on the balcony, except when it rained. Then, he brought the telescope indoors and took it apart and cleaned it. He knew that his gazing at the woman over the way was wrong, and he knew that he might even warrant another visit from a police officer, but he was hooked, as surely as the fish he loved to catch.
The neighbors downstairs came up one afternoon, while Mrs. Heavyfoot was watching General Hospital. They knocked and she answered the door.
“Hello, how can I help you?” she asked, hoping they would leave before the soap was over.
“It’s about the noise,” said the tall, thin woman. She looked at the man who stood beside her.
He nodded his bald and shiny head.
“You need to keep the noise down, okay?” he said.
Mrs. Heavyfoot blushed. She wasn’t used to confrontations like this.
“Oh, I didn’t know we made noise. I’m sorry.”
The couple looked at each other.
“Well, the continual stomping across the floor, right above our heads is annoying. Please stop that.”
“I’ll be more careful,” said Mrs. Heavyfoot.
“Good. It would be appreciated. Have a nice day.” With that, the tall woman turned and walked down the hall, followed by the chubby man.
“Who was that?” asked Mr. Heavyfoot, poking his head into the room from the balcony door.
Mrs. Heavyfoot explained.
“Oh, my. One of the minuses of living in an apartment, I guess.”
“Yes, and I’ll be tiptoeing after this, for fear I’m stomping as they called it.”
Mr. Heavyfoot returned to the telescope and Mrs. Heavyfoot returned to the soap which was nearly over for the day.
It went on for some time, the telescope and the television.
Then the police arrived.