Monday, May 25, 2015

My Office Stinks or Why Raising Pheasants Inside is a Bad Idea

I clicked the Play Video icon on my friend's
Facebook page and stared at the beautiful pheasant
walking in his back year. When we moved to Kenmore
in 1990, I'd see pheasants in the meadows along the river.
That was before my sister's dog ran loose and chased them away.
I found pheasant chicks on Craigslist and built a small pen
of cardboard with a tarp bottom and chicken wire top.
I called Brenny to see if she'd go to the feed store with me.
We picked up all the gear they told us we needed
and on May 16th we picked up my eleven ten day old chicks.
They were tiny and fuzzy and very cute.
What I didn't know was that they would stink.
Eye-burning stink.
I don't care though. Now they have quadrupled in size in
a week and lost their downy coats.
I left the chicken-wire top off their pen when I dashed
for water and five had flown the coop.
They were on the windowsill pecking at the glass trying to get out.
I got them back in the pen and gave them
corn on the cob and juicy watermelon.
When they get a treat they like they
trill. Just like the Tribles on Star Trek.
The rest of the time they just peep, peep, peep.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Library Fun at Blackwell Elementary With "Sophie's Squash"

I tinkled my little chime that sits on the counter.
"Good afternoon class."
I smiled out at the three rows of first graders
beaming up at me as I perched on my fancy, padded, swivel stool.
"Good afternoon Mrs. Nixon." Said twenty-five toothless sweeties.
"First I will read you, "Sophie's Squash" and
then you can read me "That is Not a Good Idea."
I focused the document camera so Sophie and her squash were
six by eight feet high. The lush colors of the greens
and market sprang to life. Sophie loved her squash.
Everyone loves someone or something at least once in their life.
She has a surprise after putting the rotting squash in the soil
and waiting for the snows of winter to recede.
Bernice has sprouted new growth AND she produces two babies,
Baxter and Bonnie, who look just like their mom.
"Let's draw Bernice, shall we?"
"Okay, look at the screen. Oops. Ugh.
Bernice looks like a bowling pin.
I'll try Bonnie. Uh oh, she looks like a Candyland piece.
Baxter will be perfect.
Oh no! He looks like a peanut.
Well, do your best kids."
"Look, look Mrs. Nixon!" They all hold up their workbooks.
"Hey, no fair! Your squash look better than mine."