Morning Music

Morning Music

Morning Music

By Jay Duret

When I open the windows of my study in the first light of morning the sound of birds spills in, a full musical program, like I have fired up a playlist of classical music or jazz. Usually I just soak the sounds without conscious thought while I write, but because I have been away for a long time, today I listen into the music like I make my children listen into the radio to identify the instruments as we drive to school. I hear chirps and chips and clucks and long cooing calls. I hear cheka-checka-checka and a dry rattling like dice shaking in a cup made from bone. I hear one bird chiding the others – tsk, tsk, tsk – in a long combined piece of advice: tsktsktsktsktsk.

One call starts on the same plane as the others but then warbles higher, loops around – a rollercoaster on one of those fantastic tracks that twists and inverts and loop-de-loops as it rackets forward – climbing higher, louder, more insistent, until it stands fully free from the other chatter. I don’t know which bird this call comes from. We don’t have much exotica here – mostly sparrows and robins and starlings, occasional blue jays, cardinals, a hummingbird or two – but this one comes from a bird that I don’t know about. For a minute, I consider doing some research. In today’s world of instant knowledge I have no doubt that if I try I will find audio recordings of the different species and with patience, diligence and determination I could probably identify which specie is emitting that fantastic arching call.

Yes, if I went at it, if I applied in this area the analytic talent that I have applied in other areas – including many far less consequential – I believe I would be able to say which bird is crying out above all the rest. And if I were to bear down on that research question I would learn much more. The sounds outside my window aren’t the sounds of gleeful pandemonium that rise from a school playground at recess. The birds below my window are making those noises for a reason. Or many reasons. Those birds are calling and shushing and and clucking and tskking for a purpose. They are hunting and mating. Mommas are schooling their chicks. Territory is being marked; alerts are being given. There are cries for help. This is a city and the birds are full of all those same urges and needs to communicate that people in my city are full of – at least this is what I bet research would tell me – and this is what I hear from my window on a summer morning listening deep into their music.

It would be, it must be, a worthwhile effort to undertake – that is why I make my children identify the instruments that combine to play Kind of Blue or The Brandenburg Concertos – but I decide not to pursue that line of inquiry today. I have been away and have come home wearied from the beating I have taken on the road. Today I don’t feel it matters if it is the thrush or the robin that looses that high topping call, the one that startles me with its insistence and glory. It does not matter if that call is a cry for help or sex or a warning to family. Today, it is the insistence – it is the glory – that I want to soak in, not the explication. Tomorrow I will bear down. Tomorrow I will follow questions to their conclusion. Tomorrow I will seeketh understanding. But today – this morning – I will let the morning music wash over me and soak down to that place in my bones where the healing begins.

****

Jay Duret is a San Francisco based writer and illustrator who blogs at http://www.jayduret.com. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in dozens of print and online journals, including Narrative Magazine, Gargoyle, Painted Bride Quarterly, December and The Blue Lake Review. Second Wind Publishing will publish Jay’s first novel, Nine Digits, later this year. For more information, see www.ninedigits.com.

Read Jay’s prior posts on this blog:

Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing (“The. Worst. Fundraiser. Ever.” She said.)

 

Arc of Truth

Arc of Truth

Arc of Truth (“I am a liar. I write fiction, that’s the job.”)

 

Nom de Plume

Nom de Plume

Nom de Plume (“The best decision I ever made was to adopt a pen name…”)

 

Queen For A Day

Queen For A Day

Queen for a Day (“The winner was chosen, I swear to God, by an Applause-O-Meter…)

 

Bridalplasty

Bridalplasty

Bridalplasty (“Twelve young woman and a celebrity-style, dream wedding…”)

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Mourning the End of Summer

Could someone please tell me where this summer has gone?  For that matter, could someone explain where this year has gone?

Those lumps there are cars.  To be more accurate, one is a Jeep and the other is a full-size pick-up truck.  There was a LOT of snow.

Those lumps there are cars. To be more accurate, one is a Jeep and the other is a full-size pick-up truck. There was a LOT of snow.

It seems like just yesterday Western South Dakota was digging out from Winter Storm Atlas, which dumped more than two feet of snow.  Heavy, wet, way too early in the season snow.  The wind knocked the official sensors out, so there is no official record of how strong the gusts were.  At least 50 and 60 miles per hour.  Those speeds were recorded before the sensor was put out of commission.  People were without power for days—some for weeks.

It started a long, cold winter.

That led into a short, cold spring; which then gave us a cold, wet summer.

And that has me pretty bummed out.

I love summer.  And not just because my birthday is in August.  (Hey, who doesn’t love presents?)

Therefore, I will be spending this Labor Day weekend, mourning the summer that never was and hoping against hope (or at least against the Farmer’s Almanac) that this upcoming winter is more hospitable than last!

Nichole

Nichole R. Bennett has been an avid mystery reader from a young age.  Her novels, Ghost Mountain and Sleeping Bear, are available from Second Wind Publishing. When she’s not writing, Nichole can be found doing a plethora of crafty things, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, or spending too much time online.  Oh, and reading.

But not hanging out in the cold.

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La La It’s Love by Ginger K. King

It’s undeniably unique.  You know what phrases like the honeymoon stage, the warm and fuzzies, and all gooey inside are referring to even if you’ve never been in love. Even the words “in love” let us know that it is a state of being.  We can be in the state of love or out of it but loving is an action.  So what’s the difference?

Being in love is a euphoric adventure.  It can be quite a strong bonding experience, and it can be a strong aphrodisiac. Sometimes it masks things that are normally warning signs that the person may not be right for us, or could even be dangerous.

Loving by contrast is a much deeper connection between two people where the best interest of the other is the highest need.  This is not a state but a choice.  For many loving starts with the state of being in love.  For some the affair ends when the magic slows and trouble creeps in.

In my upcoming debut novel The Diamond Road I begin a series of books centered around loving in difficult situations.  We know that even with faith, the difficult can be made possible.  However faith only promises possible, not always easy.

 

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Let’s Be Honest by Sherrie Hansen

I’ve repeatedly been told that people love my books because my characters are so honest. In Blue Belle, my second Wildflowers of Scotland novel, honesty – and the periodic lack of it – is one of the main themes of the book. This week, after several more instances of being told that my characters are so real  that people can’t wait to find out what happens to them, and that they love my writing because it’s so honest – it’s gotten me wondering, how truthful am I really, as a person and a writer?

Blue Belle Front Cover Draft

It’s much easier for me to be honest under the guise of fiction. People who read my books might wonder if some of the humiliating experiences that are detailed in my books really have happened to me. They may think – did someone really say that to her, hurt her that deeply, take advantage of her, steal from her, or make a fool of her the way they did in the book?   Although all but a few close friends will never know which parts of my books are somewhat factual and which are complete figments of my imagination, if I’m honest, I have to admit that most of the horrid things that happen to my characters have very likely happened to me in one form or another. (Ah, the sweet anonymity of the qualifier…)

Storm sun beams

I, and most people I know, come from a stoical, northern European tradition of keeping your troubles to yourself, and not embarrassing yourself or your family by revealing too much information about personal matters. No one I know likes having TOO MUCH INFORMATION, except perhaps my husband, who has sometimes wished that people would feel free to be more honest with him (he’s a pastor). The rest of us tend to stay as far removed from the dreaded disease of opening up to people as is humanly possible.

Scotland Duart Castle - Mull

It evidently takes a few years before these secretive behaviors are learned, because for years, my family has teased that we should never say anything in front of my young nieces and nephews that you don’t want repeated. I’d love to reveal a few choice tidbits of information that my nieces have told me over the years, but I won’t. I don’t want to embarrass them or the people they were talking about.

CIMG0650

We learn from our teen years on that it’s better not to talk about certain things. We learn to camouflage our emotions and keep secrets and pretend that we’re not really being abused or feeling anxious or depressed or angry or a host of other undesirable emotions. We train ourselves to discount our feelings. It doesn’t matter. I’m fine. No – really – it’s okay. We try so hard to convince ourselves that eventually, most of us do. As we sink deeper and deeper into denial, those around us are often all too eager to buy into the lies. Which of us really wants to deal with a friend who’s having a rough time? Most of us prefer to accept the pretense that everything really is fine, even if we know deep inside that it’s not.

cropped-bluebells-08.jpg

In these days of political correctness, we’re taught to keep our thoughts about our faith, our political beliefs, and our opinions about anything that really matters, to ourselves. And we all know what happens when the truth comes out and the press gets a hold of it – and it’s rarely pretty. So we cower. We back away from the truth and hide behind walls. We truly believe the lie that if people knew what we were really like, they wouldn’t like us. And because most of us are so unaccustomed to dealing with open, honest people, we – sadly – tend to back away from people when they do tell us more than we like to know.

Scotland - Celtic Cross

We often hear the phrase, children are refreshingly honest. If that’s a compliment, and I think most often it is, then I’m thrilled to be told that the characters in my books are wonderfully appealing because they’re open, honest and real. As I “grow up” as a writer, I promise you I’ll do my best to keep that “childlike” quality in my writing. And for those of you who know me personally, I’ll attempt to be as candid as I can in my real life, too. People love my characters because they’re flawed, human, and vulnerable. Just think how much closer our relationships, marriages and families could be if we were all a little more honest with one another. We’re promised, after all, that “The truth will set you free. ” (John 8:32)

Grace Corner - Bleeding hearts 2

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TJ’s Freshman Orientation

cell“Has he called?” Hawk Man sounded more nervous than usual.

TJ sat on the edge of his worn sofa, his fingers wrapped around a cold one. “Not yet, man.” He took a long sip, the icy brew soothing his own nervous throat. It had been a stressful if not a profitable night.

“But…but he’ll call, right?”

He set the bottle on the scarred coffee table and rolled his eyes. “Of course he’ll call, Hawk Man. The three of us is runnin’ buddies. He said he’d get in touch as soon as he ditched the cops that was followin’ him. We just gotta give him a chance, is all.” He upended the pack of Camels and tipped one into his hand. A flick of the lighter, a deep drag and he felt his knot of nerves unwind. “Now would ya relax? He’ll call.” He blew smoke toward the ceiling.

“How much loot do ya think we got?”

TJ drained the rest of the bottle and stretched out on the sofa. “We got three bags filled with dough. My guess is each one had close to a quarter mil in it.”

Hawk Man whistled low. “Three-quarter million. That’s a big haul.”

A slow smile spread. “Yup, we’ll be livin’ high.”

cigarettesFour hours later, Hawk Man lay face down on his bed, deep in slumber. And TJ sat staring at a crumpled pack of cigarettes and a phone that would not ring. His first serious lesson in life well and truly earned.

Calvin Davis is also author of The Phantom Lady of Paris.

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Tikkun Olam, by Carole Howard

If you ever want to feel every one of your years (I was feeling 57 of them on the night in question), try to sleep in one of those smelly, orange, molded plastic chairs in an airport.  Not for a nap, but for the whole night.

My husband and I were among the hundreds trying to contort our bodies into the elusive “comfortable position,” occasionally giving up in favor of the gritty floor, on Christmas night 2002.  This was not at all the way we’d envisioned starting the two-month volunteer assignment that was the kickoff to our retirement.

It had been a crispy-cold blue-sky morning, snowing lightly, when we left for the airport.

“We’re doing it, really doing it, Ca!”

(“Ca” meant Geoffrey was very excited.)

“Do you think I packed enough Pepto-Bismol?”

“Stop worrying, it’ll be fine.”

Yes, I thought, it would probably be fine. But that didn’t mean there weren’t gazillions of details to worry about. And, besides, it wouldn’t be fine if we didn’t have enough Pepto-Bismol, which I knew from experience you can’t get in other countries.  Certainly not in a village in the north of Senegal.

I knew I wouldn’t get any co-worrying from Geoffrey – “It’ll be fine” was his mantra – so I kept it to myself.  Well, mostly.

As we drove, the falling snow accelerated until we felt as if we were inside a snow globe.   Still, we had no idea of the night to come.  We waited at the gate, then boarded the plane – Hooray! At last!  Then we sat.  And sat.  We were de-iced, we pushed back. Hooray!  At last!

Eventually, we had to return to the terminal – airport closed, no cars or planes in or out –  to spend the night.  Uh, why was I doing this again?  Because it would be fine.  And fun.  Right.

*          *          *

In a way, kicking off our retirement with a travel adventure made perfect sense, since we loved to travel and had done plenty of it in our 30 years together. Looking at our extra passport pages was almost like looking at our photo album.

It’s just that we hadn’t planned to retire quite so soon.

We’d had satisfying but somewhat untraditional careers as consultants. For the last twenty years, we’d worked together, out of our home.  Ten steps from the bedroom to the office, hoping the dog didn’t bark while we were on the phone with a client, leftovers for lunch in the living room.  As far as I was concerned, the work – teaching various communication and management skills in a corporate setting – earned me a living, kept me mentally challenged, and allowed for great scheduling flexibility.  It didn’t, however, ignite my passions.

When my parents died within two years of each other, I got the message:  Mortality is real, life is short.  Putting things off can be a mistake.  We’d always intended to join the Peace Corps when we retired; maybe now was the time.  On reflection, though, we realized two years was too long to be away from Geoffrey’s elderly parents.

Then something amazing happened.

I was leafing through “World Vision,” the magazine for returned Peace Corps volunteers (of which Geoffrey was one).  I almost never looked at this magazine but that day I flipped the pages and spotted an ad for “Volunteer Assignments from One Month to One Year.”

We checked out the sponsoring organization, American Jewish World Service (AJWS).  It was primarily a funding organization, providing grants to non-profits around the world, but they had a small Volunteer Corps through which they paired mid- or post-career professionals with non-profits who’d requested people with specific skills.

All we had to be was skilled (check, got that) and Jewish (check, got that – sorta).  We applied.

Our interviewer asked us about our motivation and our experience with culture shock.  He wanted to know about our transferrable skills.  Most importantly, to us, he assured us that secular Jews like us met the requirement as well as our more religious counterparts.  The idea behind the organization was not to spread Judaiism, but to encourage American Jews to  follow the ancient Hebrew imperative, “Tikkun olam” (“Heal the world”).

Tikkun olam:  We’d never heard of it before but knew instantly we’d always believed in it.  We signed on to work with an organization in Senegal, a predominantly Moslem country, that was introducing irrigated agriculture so villagers no longer had to depend on the sparse rainfall.  We’d help them write a Strategic Plan.  Cool.

*          *          *

The morning after our torture-chamber night in the British Airways terminal, the snow stopped and the airport opened.  We were glad we’d kept toothbrush and toothpaste in our carry-on luggage.  We flew out.

As it turns out, I’d taken enough Pepto-Bismol with us. And aspirins, Tylenol, toothache medicine, canker sore medicine, cold and flu medicine, cough drops, bandaids and lots more, all in hermetically sealed Ziploc bags.  And it went fine, as we’d both known it would.  Much more than fine.

During our stay, we learned a lot about irrigated agriculture.

During our stay, we learned a lot about irrigated agriculture.

Have you ever done volunteer work?  How did it turn out?  And, if not, do you think you ever will?

 

 

 

 

*     *     *

Carole Howard is the author of Deadly Adagio, recently published by Second Wind Publishing.  She is working on a travel memoir (I Didn’t Know Squat: Volunteering in the Developing World After Retirement), from which this is an excerpt.

 

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Some People Are Just Lucky

Like I said, some people are just lucky. There is no other way to explain it and I’m one of them. You’ve all heard the cliché, “It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts.” Another one is, ”It’s better to be lucky than smart.” Well, I am very lucky in that I know (via the Internet) Mike Simpson and the fine folks at Second Wind Publishing who are the “who you know that counts” part of the clichés.

churchstepsIn the 3 years since submitted my first novel to Second Wind Publishing, I have signed contracts with them for five books. The latest to be released in a month or so, is Body On the Church Steps. Now really, one just does not expect to find a naked body in front of the church. One might find a nude body in front of a bar, or club maybe, but certainly not in front of the church and certainly not dead. And why was it put there and who put it there? Well that is what the story is all about, and it’s going to  more than the police to solve this mystery.

Final MSS Cover frontThe book before that was Murder Sets Sail, released just last month. There is no mystery here. The reader knows right from the first chapter who the killers are and whom they are planning to kill. The question is can the intended target escape? Of course they can. That’s what an adventure/action novel is all about, isn’t it? This is a fun read. A friend of mine told me he got up to give their infant son his midnight bottle and instead of checking his cell phone he started to read the book. His son finished his bottle and went back to sleep and my friend couldn’t stop reading. Next thing he knew it was time for the 4 AM feeding.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]The Telephone Killer was published December of 2012. In this one the serial killer calls a television station ahead of time with clues as to who he will kill next. Although those clues are correct, they are often misleading.

So there you have 3 novels that have seen “the light of day” so to speak.

prison-bars-2The 4th novel, A Short Futile Life has a tentative release date of December 1 of this year. It is unlike anything I have done before in that it is a near-future political drama. A war hero works to help a man be elected President only to discover that the candidate planned all along to make the Presidency of the United States into a dictatorship. When our hero tries to expose the dictator, he is of course, arrested, brought to trial (a rigged trial), found guilty and executed. No picture of the cover for this one, but maybe something like this.

Finally the 5th novel, Endangered Species, with a tentative release date of March 2015, is a terrorist/adventure novel in which a group of terrorist devises a way to kill all the residence of a major US City. I have no idea what the cover of this book might be, but the team at 2nd Wind will come up with something fabulous.

Did I say I was lucky? Now wait a minute. Lucky has the idea of no reason for one’s good fortune; you know, like “dumb luck.” I think “blessed” is a better word. It implies that there is some force working on your behalf. Maybe that is what George Lucas meant when he had the characters in the Star Wars movies say, “May the Force be with you.” Well, there is certainly a Force with me and it is Mike Simpson and all the team at Second Wind Publishing.

Thank you, Gang, and May the Force be with you!

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Paul’s book The Telephone Killer published by 2nd Wind Publishing is now available on Amazon and from the publisher. Kindle and Nook versions just $4.99. – Soon to be available as an audiobook.

Murder Sets Sail  now available from Second Wind Publishing and on AmazonKindle and Nook versions just $4.99,

Body On the Church Steps coming soon from Second Wind Publishing.

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Get the facts right and the magic takes care of itself

Fantasy author Malcolm R. Campbell is new to Second Wind Publishing with the upcoming publication of his novel “The Sun Singer.”  This is his first post on the famous Second Wind Publishing blog.

One of my father's textbooks was my first "writer's Bible"

One of my father’s textbooks was my first “writer’s Bible”

My father was a journalism school dean, the author of multiple journalism textbooks and active in multiple journalism education organizations. When one grows up in a journalist’s household like that, he accepts at an early age that in reporting, the facts come first in news stories, features and (yes) in editorials and reviews.

When I taught college level journalism for several years, I was forever surprised at the number of assignments students turned in that left out the important facts—the who, what, where, when, why and how. I wrote the lead to a made-up news story on the board and asked the class what they thought: “Random officials announced here today that somebody done somebody wrong somewhere.”

Naturally, nobody could find any actual news in that opening paragraph. Without identifying the guilty parties, I then read the leads to several of the news stories turned in the previous day. Most were missing facts and, worse yet, some included the reporters’ opinions about the real or imagined facts. Goodness knows, when a lot of a news story is muddy, the reader won’t even believe the stuff the reporter gets right.

Journalism was a previous life for me. But it still has a strong impact on my fiction. I am very picky about the facts behind even the tallest tale and the most wildly magical characters.

Case in point: my contemporary fantasy adventure novel The Sun Singer is set in Glacier National Park. Even though most of my readers probably haven’t been to the park, I want my descriptions of trails, mountains, lakes, the old hotels, the animals and the trees and wildflowers to be a hand-in-glove fit to what a reader would see if he stands where my protagonist stood.

Needless to say, my father never said “get the facts right and the magic takes care of itself.” That’s my evolving theory, though, and I’m sticking to it. As the writer of fantasy novels and paranormal short stories, I see facts (real locations. real historical events) as jumping off places. You’ve probably heard that the best lies are those that include a smattering of verifiable truths. I see magic in fantasy fiction the same way.

With the facts nailed down into a solid foundation, the magic is not only anchored in place but it begins to sound plausible. Not that my readers will put down my book at the end of the day and try to conjure up spirits or fling lightning bolts across the yard. But while they’re reading, I want the facts to hypnotize them into believing that the magic is also real.

Plus, when readers see the facts are right, they’ll have no way of knowing for sure just where the fiction in the tale begins and ends. Like any beautifully told lie, a well-told fantasy includes as many facts as possible. After that, the magic takes care of itself.

–Malcolm

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No Wake Zones in Minnesota

When people refer to Minnesota, “Land of 10,000 Lakes” is often included as the tagline. There are officially 11,842 lakes that are ten acres or larger. Wright County, the one I live in, has about three hundred lakes within its 714 square miles, so you don’t have to go far to find a place to fish or recreate.

In addition to water quality and its management, lakeshore property owners are also concerned about preserving their shorelines. Depending on the lake, some have sandy beaches, some have clay to the water’s edge and have added rocks to make them more accessible, others are on a steeper grade and have built retaining walls with steps down to the water, as a few examples.

In high precipitation years, lake, river, pond, and ditch levels rise in conjunction, creating any number of problems. This past year, our area had nearly seventy inches of snow and was also the second wettest April on record. So as the snow was melting, instead of soaking into the saturated ground, the water gathered in low areas, including the lakes, and shorelines crept closer and closer to peoples’ homes. Waves on the water, either from strong winds, or motorized vehicles, can cause erosion. A bank in one of our county parks collapsed into its lake this spring during a high wind storm.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) established high water no wake restrictions a number of years ago on certain waterways to address this problem. In the last few years, a number of lake associations and lake improvement districts in Wright County have requested to be included in no wake restrictions. There are different levels of restrictions, but the most common one is when water levels reach the high mark, motorized vehicles, which can produce good-sized waves, are not allowed to go more than 5 miles per hour within 300 feet of the shoreline. On some lakes it’s within 150 feet.

According to the Minnesota DNR website, “All water surface use management starts at the local unit of government – town, city or county, depending upon where the lake or river is located. Any ordinances proposed by the local unit of government must have a hearing and be approved by the DNR before they can go into effect.”

This past June, the DNR declared emergency no wake zones, allowing local jurisdictions to impose restrictions for 30 days, or until levels receded below high water marks. As is the case with many rules and laws, I don’t think no wake restrictions would be necessary if people would use common courtesy and common sense when recreating on lakes and rivers. Do you have similar laws in your state?

Christine Husom is the author of the Winnebago County mystery series.

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Out My Back Door — by Norm Brown

My backyard consists of a five foot wide strip of San Augustine lawn that abruptly drops away down a rocky brushy hillside. Sometimes it’s surprising what appears just beyond my rear deck. Over the years I’ve spotted deer, raccoons, armadillos, and coyotes from the porch or through my kitchen window.

Twin Fawns

Twin Fawns

Usually this requires seeing the wild animal before it spots me and runs away. This spring, however, I had a brief visit from a little critter that apparently came to my yard specifically to see me. It was a bit strange, but touching in a way. Outside the light was dimming as the sun was about to set. I had just settled down in my easy chair to search for something worthwhile on television, when motion outside drew my attention. I stood and looked out through the glass backdoor. At the bottom of the steps to the rear deck the fuzzy little face of a gray fox was looking back at me. I turned and went for my phone, thinking I might snap a quick photo before he took off. When I turned back I was amazed to see the little gray and tan animal actually walk right up to the glass door and briefly look at me inside. He turned and went back down the steps as I approached the door. At this point most wild things would be long gone, but when I quietly stepped out onto the porch, I was shocked to find him sitting peacefully on his haunches beside my birdbath. I moved right up to the wooden railing and tried a couple of shots with the cell phone. The light was too low to get anything but a fuzzy blur with the phone’s camera, but the fox continued to gaze calmly back at me. I hurried back inside and upstairs to retrieve my Nikon camera. Unbelievably, when I returned to the deck he was still sitting there, as if posing for his close-up. We were not more than fifteen feet apart. I snapped away, even talked to him. The usually invisible focusing beam from my camera twinkled brightly from the eyes of this nocturnal forager. Even when I used the flash, the little animal never flinched.

Evening Visitor

Evening Visitor

As the light completely faded he finally got up slowly and strolled into the brush down the hill. It seemed to me the fox had been trying to communicate something to me, sitting there looking me in the eye like a puppy. Later, while uploading the photos to my computer, it occurred to me what this visit had been all about. The day before I had decided to throw away a loaf of white bread that had been in my freezer for weeks. Before it hit the trash can, my son suggested I put some of it outside for the birds to eat. Nothing seemed to touch it during the day, but the scraps were all gone the next morning. It was pretty clear then that it hadn’t been a bird that scarfed down the tasty treat during the night. The fearless little fox had returned in hopes of getting more. Although I don’t make a habit of putting food on the lawn to attract who knows what, I couldn’t help but regret that I hadn’t understood what my patient visitor was trying to communicate to me: “Got any more of that stuff?”
A few weeks later I saw the fox once again during daylight hours, trying to catch a squirrel or other small rodent behind the house. He must live somewhere nearby. I hope to see my tiny neighbor again.

Fox from kitchen window

Fox from kitchen window

 

“Bother me tomorrow.
Today I’ll bear no sorrow.
Doo…Doo…Doo…looking out my back door.”

John Fogerty and the Creedence Clearwater Revival

Norm Brown is the author of the suspense novel Carpet Ride, published by Secondwind Publishing, LLC.

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