Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Most Unusual Invitation . . .

A very hot spring morning brought a disheveled flea bitten Gizmo out of his hole. He said he gets alot of strange mail but this card was different . . .  it smelled like lavender and was postmarked from "London". It seems it was from a couple of very distinguished English swans, in regards to a garden party at Buckingham Palace followed by a glide down the Thames with "Queen". I am not totally sure who "Queen" is . . . is she a special swan? It also said a special representative from the palace would greet him at a place called Heathrow.

A garden party!!! Yes, a day to taste fresh new vegetarian delights. Perhaps a new worm or snail with fresh dew, and tea.  YES!!! I am going!

So much to do! . . .
     A passport---no, I have never needed one besides
     A breast pack filled with berries, mint, watercress,  and CORN
     A diaper preferably green--yes, sometimes geese wear them on long trips
     A compass and map for strange places
     Money--no, I have a visa card

With some feather adjustments I should be already to go . . . and one last fond farewell to a grinning toothy Gizmo!

The trip to the airport was just a few dips with my wings.

It was an easy walk into the airport, I just followed some children, they thought I was a toy!!!!!!! I am NEVER taken seriously! The security guards gave me a most agreeable pat down and checked my diaper (REALLY!). I kept my breast pack - lunch, you know.

Hours later the plane finally landed, I looked about for the palace representative--I even called "Queen", "Queen", "Queen" . . . nothing. Glad I brought the compass and map. A quick flap of my wings and I should be at the palace gardens . . .

Flying in over the gardens I saw the swans . . . so elegant and regal, glad I brought extra corn. After an awkward landing, there I was in a beautiful flower garden with two swans gliding on a small pond with several noisy frogs (they probably want to be kissed). Is this Heaven?

No eye contact! No how do you do?! I think they looked right past me . . . well, I WAS invited! They won't even speak to me!!! and I came all this way! I paddled closer--no luck, maybe it's the diaper. I'll get rid of it. I will offer corn--no luck.

Ok, ok, I just remembered the word, "Queen"--"Queen." They pointed to the palace with a very stiff English tone said I had better learn to curtsy!----I can do that. How will I know when I see "Queen"?--
"No, dear, it is THE QUEEN and you will know her by the crown she wears. "Ohhhh, a crown, like flowers in a circle?" Nothing. Well, guess I will walk over to the palace.

After leaving wet webbed foot prints and green calling cards no "Queen". "Queen," "Queen," "Queen!"

Well its getting dark and I am exhausted, well past riparian bed time, a beak of corn, and then goose dreams. Maybe I will just take a sleep in one of these very big beds! Tonight will I dream of "Queen"?

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

There is a sadness in the land . . .

Life is fragile! Spring brings many challenges to life on the riverbank. Our days and nights are filled with terror--roaming predators and sounds of cries. I have been up and down the riverbank checking on homes . . . friends, neighbors, and even our enemies.

     Last Thursday at first light the quiet was shattered by a small cry from the road. Minnie Possum, my friend was trying to cross the road after an early morning visit to the corn pile. She was hurrying and NOT looking. A terrible ugly car came whizzing by hitting her--I hurried to her side feeling helpless. She had blood on her face and one eye was hanging out but she was ALIVE! I gave a flock call which brought her friends to help but how helpless we were! I flew to the front door of the mill and called for the Man With the Long Blue Apron to come out! He was beside himself with despair! I suggested we call 911 and Cornell University!!!---aren't they supposed to help us!? Poor, poor Minnie. The sheriff came with flashing lights and promptly said he could SHOOT her! I ran circles flapping my wings . . . no, no, no, PLEASE SAVE HER!!! The Man With The Long Blue Apron wrapped her in a blanket and lifted her into his car and drove with the sheriff's escort to an animal doctor.

   We waited and waited--the doctor said there was no hope for her--her jaw was shattered and her eye gone but deep inside her pouch were ten babies all snuggled together nursing--safe. Minnie tried so hard to live. A wildlife rehabilitator was called to care for the babies . . . poor Minnie was dying! Oh it was so terrible, the despair so great. The lady took the ten babies to her hospital/ rehab center in Fair Haven where they would by nursed and given a chance to live in the wild, free. But I will never see Minnie again. She is gone--no more sharing our breakfast corn. Minnie was always so lovely, cheerful and motherly, always wiped our tears and gave us a hug. I hope she knows from the other side of the rainbow that her babies were saved and they will have a happy safe life. I hope she has lots of corn and arms that hold her and gentle peace.

   So . . . life is fragile for us along the riverbank and roads, please stop and help us when you see we are hurt and in trouble. But---take us to an animal doctor, they know best what we need and how to feed us. Pause and remember Minnie.

   Until next time . . .