Don’t Tease The Animals

 photo polarbear.jpg

Credit Unknown

 

Mom said there’d be days like this.

The twins just won’t leave me alone.  What was in that seal last night?  I can’t recall them being this rambunctious.

“Kaneq! . . . Pirta!  Would you two please go outside to play.”

Finally, maybe I can get a few minutes of quiet.

Now it’s too quiet.  Where did those two get off to?  What was that?  Did I just hear something scream?  Oh, by all that’s . . . what have they gotten into?  Did they just snare a rabbit?

Oh my goodness.  Look what you two have done.  One of those pitiful two legged creatures.  Kaneq’s got him in a hug, and Pirta is sliding up for the take down.

“Pirta . . . Kaneq . . . What have I told you about teasing those less fortunate than us?  That’s nothing more than a dumb animal.  You can’t toy with them like that.”

Did it just drop something?  These two leggers are so strange.  They seem to be unable to keep themselves warm so they wrap all this weird stuff around them.  And they play with all manner of items.  They must surely have a very protracted infancy.

What is this it just dropped?  There’s no scent to it.  Why does it want it back so badly?

“Here you go.  Just keep calm.  Twins, move away from it.  It doesn’t like being teased.”

Look how it holds that object.  You’d think it were the best cut of seal.  I’ll never understand these creatures.

“Come on, children, let’s go back to the cave and have a nap.  I think we’ve all earned one.”

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Thanks to moi and his Once More With Feeling Challenge.  I thought I’d write this from the Polar Bear’s perspective.  What they must think of us silly bare skinned creatures.  What comes to mind when you see this.  Join the fun.

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End Of The Innocence

Yorkshire Meadow by Malcolm Ludvigsen

Yorkshire Meadow by Malcolm Ludvigsen

 

Ever’ summer me an’ Bobby would get in all sorts a trouble.  It a start out the same; first day of summer break, Bobby would be at the kitchen door, bangin’ on the screen.  “Hey Mz. Peterson.  Can Billy come out?”  An’ before Mama could call me I’d be hittin’ the door an’ off the porch steps.  Not long after, Bobby be overtakin’ me.  I was always the fastest off the mark, but nobody could beat Bobby in the stretch.  Once he got his legs under him, there was no stoppin’ him.

Anyways, we’d always make a beeline through the hay fields; high and golden with the grass and pock marked with daisies.  In June, our trail was barely noticeable, but by August, we’d run a well worn path through the pasture.  The trail led to only one place; ole man Higgins’ pond.

There’s an old tire swing on one of the oaks.  Bobby would get to it first, already stripped of his overalls, flying over the pond whooping and hollering then cannonballin’ into the cold water.  This year I kept all my underclothes on; couldn’t tell ya why, just felt bashful or somethin’.  But I followed suit, giving my best Injun yell then splashing down into the crisp pond water.

As soon as I broke the surface and caught a big gulp of air, Bobby was right there ready for the game of who could splash who the most, then who could dunk the other.  It all started out as usual; waves of water flying over both our heads.  But when we commenced to dunking each other, Bobby at first seemed to wrestle harder than befor’.  I really had to struggle to get back above water.  Then he just treaded water, starin’ at me.  I got embarrassed and headed for shore.  He stayed in the water for a few more minutes then came out an’ sat next to me.  Neither of us said anything, but somethin’ had sure changed between us.

The bell rang from off my kitchen porch, an’ Mama’s clear singsong reached us all the way cross the fields:

“Willamena Mae . . . Robert Charles . . . lunchtime.”

I bolted for my overalls, and with my back turned, I quickly put them on.  When I looked back to see if Bobby was ready he was also turned away from me.  It was the quietest trip back to the house ever.  We didn’t tussle or chase or try to flush out rabbits.  That was the last summer me an’ Bobby hung out.

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Another one just under the wire.  While imagining this scene, I was reminded of many great young female characters:  John Steinbeck’s Ruthie Joad, William Faulkner’s Caddy Compson, Ray Bradbury’s Clarisse, and Harper Lee’s Scout Finch.  Thanks as always to Jeremy and his new weekly Challenge.

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Enter The Colosseum

Woman In Tunnel by Thomas Rousing

Woman In Tunnel by Thomas Rousing

 

Ophelia could hear the roar coming from the end of the tunnel.  Each time she traveled the now familiar route she was always shocked by how raucous the citizenry could be.
The dead and decaying leaves swirled around her legs silently; their rustle made mute by the sneers and jeers that she perceived.

Then at one of those strange moments where all noise ceases for just a second or two, Ophelia was struck by another sound she had not heard before; the angry yet fearful sound of a cat.  Her heart quickened.  What kind of devilry was waiting in that bright blinding light outside the tunnel.

She took a couple steps forward then stopped again to listen.  Above the din of noise she caught the growl again.  Slowly, and with more caution than she thought she possessed, Ophelia tiptoed her way to the tunnel’s exit.  And there, just inside the concrete structure, was a half grown orange tabby, trapped by some sort of snare that was placed by a careless person.  The domestic tiger growled and hissed at her then gave a plaintive cry.

“Oh, you poor baby,” Ophelia cooed as she slowly took a step toward the trapped kitten.

When she was about two feet from him she knelt down in the gravel and broken glass.  The feline hissed then cried again.  Ophelia took a careful visual inspection of how the snare was put together and how to get the kitten loose without too much trauma.

While Ophelia worked at the snare the orange kitten hissed a time or two but never struck out at her.  His terror was overpowering, but he understood that she was trying to help.

After what seemed like an eternity the little feline was loose.  He did not immediately bolt which gave Ophelia an opportunity to scoop him up and look at the injured leg.  There was severe abrasion to the skin, but it didn’t appear that anything was broken or deprived of blood flow.  She settled him into a more comfortable position in her arms and he made no attempt to escape.  Together they exited the tunnel and into the hustle and bustle of the cityscape.

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Thanks to Jeremy and his new weekly Challenge.

Check it out and join the fun.

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Burning Bridges

credit: iggy | original @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/iggy-ceran/5306880835/in/photostream/lightbox/ photo prague.jpg

Credit: Iggy

 

If there is one thing that I’m particularly good at it is burning bridges.  Over the years I’ve torched more than a few; disappointing both friends and family.  None could be repaired, but over the last few years I’ve tried to build new ones.  And I think I’ve done a pretty good job.  I’ve got a wife, a baby on the way, a good if boring job, and we’re about able to get our own flat.

But here’s the thing.  That itch that leads to blowing up my life and destroying those around me, well it’s begun again.  I’ve tried to ignore it which only worked for awhile.  Then I tried to pacify it by taking off from work for a pint every now and then, or going for hours long walks in the middle of the night.  But the itch persisted and has now made it clear that the only way I was to get any relief was to burn my newly built connections.

I sit on the hill overlooking the city.  An old, regal city full of history.  Something I could not say about my own life.  I look down to the river and count the bridges; exactly the same number as the connections in my life I was about to ruin.  The sun peaks over the horizon casting the metropolis in a warm golden glow.  With a cleansing sigh I stand up and sling the back pack across my shoulders.  My feet set to walking, striking the match that lights my beautifully created bridges afire.

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I am so glad Moi has restarted the Once More With Feeling Challenge.  His picture prompts almost always got my creative juices flowing.  What comes to mind when you see this picture?  Write it, post it, link it.

Posted in Fiction, Once More With Feeling Challenge, Stream of Consciousness, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Diamond Drops

 

DSCF3201I wish I could photographically capture the rain/dew/fog droplets that cling and shimmer on the needles of the doug fir trees.  As the filtered sunshine of the lifting fog catches each tiny diamond drop, they dance and vibrate and shine.  No celebrity event could hold a candle to the stunning jewels that the trees are displaying.

It’s another beautiful day here.  We had a bit of a shower yesterday afternoon and night which provided the adornment for the trees this morning.  As the ground warms with the sun’s rays, wisps of fog rise up and chase each other in the light breeze.

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Winter Wonderland?

Here it is, late afternoon, January 26, 2015.  It’s dry outside, very light wind, filtered sunshine, and about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  Quite frankly, we haven’t seen any real winter here in the Pacific Northwest this season.  Of course, last year we had quite the snow storms in February and ice storms in March, so I realize winter is far from over.  But I would never have imagined getting a picture of Poncho, out on the tractor, doing some field prep for this coming spring and summer.  Isn’t he the cutest thing on the tractor?

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Even Ginger got outside and enjoyed the sunny afternoon.

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We did have a very brief snow event back in November.  A whopping two inches fell.  And it stuck around for almost a week because the temperatures were quite cold at the time.  But since then only rain.

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Not much snow pack in the Cascades either which doesn’t bode well for this coming summer.  Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, today was spectacular, but I sure hope we get some regular winter weather soon.

Posted in Creative Non Fiction, Ginger, Photography, Stream of Consciousness, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Pale Rider

Caleb stopped shoveling for a moment to wipe the sweat that beaded on his forehead.  He rested his arms on the tip of the shovel’s handle and stared at the nearly filled in grave that he had been working on.  In the heavy air of the late June evening Cottonwood “snow” swirled around like fragments of sin that were a part of him.  Caleb didn’t find any pleasure in his job, but he found a certain satisfaction in the weight of the responsibility.  An eye for an eye tempered with thou shalt not.

He bent back to his task and once the last shovel full of dirt was thrown onto its resting place, he took a piece of old weathered fence board and placed it at the head of the grave.  He picked up a small handful of the newly placed dirt and tossed it against the makeshift tombstone.  “May you find peace and forgiveness in the next world,” Caleb stated softly as way of eulogy.

He returned to his napping companions, a sturdy grey pack mule and Palomino stud.  The shovel was securely placed in the mule’s pack beside the scythe.  Then he went up to the horse’s flank and pulled a ledger out of the saddlebag.  He flipped to the ribbon held page and crossed off a name.  There were many crossed off names.  He looked at the next one on the list, closed the ledger, and put it back in the bag.  As Caleb swung into the saddle, the stud woke from slumber and his ice blue eyes scanned the scenery.  “Looks like we head to Nevada next,” Caleb whispered to his mount.  Without any signal, the pale horse turned its head and began plodding west.

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What a way to end the year than with a great prompt from Jeremy’s Hello Wednesday Challenge.  I took a bit of a liberty with the prompt to make it fit.

This week’s lines of poetry are:

  1. Thus unlamented let me die – Solitude by Alexander Pope

  2. My dust will find a voice – The Answer by Sara Teasdale

  3. Fragments of sin are a part of me – Appellate Jurisdiction by Marianne Moore

If you use this prompt please link back.

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