Thursday, April 29, 2004

My Feathered Friend

I've been asked to post this story again, since my writing website
Tales From The Land of Entrapment has been down for awhile....
This is a tale from our former home of twenty years. Apparently the
new owners moved in and started pissing off everyone, not realizing
they now live in a hornet's nest--a family of warring neighbors that goes
back hundreds of years. The neighbors are not happy that the newcomers
are dealing out some of their own medicine - bulldozing, cutting down
trees, replacing beauty with rocks and gravel, noise and traffic -
just like they did all those years!
So it is with some nostalgia and no regrets I present this...
Tale from the Land of Entrapment:

(This is also a post for May 1 - Sound and Place on the collaborative weblog/wiki
for Writing About Place, Ecotone Wiki)

My Feathered Friend

In the '60s we protested for peace--now?--we'll settle for some peace and quiet.

Our home in Corrales may seem peaceful, yet with the whizzing traffic up front at the road and the barnyard cacophony in back, it is hardly ever quiet. A houseguest emerged from his slumber one morning with a puzzled look on his face, asking, "Is there a zoo around here?" The cows' mysterious mooing is like a cross between a rusty gate hinge and an elephant mating call.

Our second-story bedroom opens out onto a deck facing west towards the irrigation ditch and the rising escarpment. You can hear everything at once from up there?those cows, horses, burros, goats, sheep, yowling tomcats and howling coyotes, literally. Bullfrogs and crickets throb through summer nights occasionally pierced by the eerie feline cries of peahens. Church bells bong on Sunday morning, while hot-air balloons hiss and drift over the field, accompanied by a chorus of barking dogs.

Mornings we awaken, depending on the season, to honking geese, raucous crows, chortly finches and sparrows squabbling; the strange and wonderful sandhill cranes cruising by; woodpeckers working at the eaves, or comedic roadrunners chattering, challenging a watchful cat.

Sometimes I lie semi-awake in bed listening for my favorite bird, so small I?ve never seen her, yet she returns each spring with her distinctive song?a long story with a question mark at the end. She arrives with a big voice by the time the apricot trees burst into blossom, alive with an industry of bees.

Other days are less pleasant--rude awakenings to the sounds of my neighbor?s recreational bulldozing, incessant beeping front-end loaders and backhoes scraping, chainsaws, road construction and heavy equipment hitting it hard at 6 a.m.

continue reading at myfeatheredfriend.html