Saturday, June 6, 2015

When the Beauty Comes, Trust Returns, Too

Green and quiet is the word. In the Pennsylvania north woods, the animals can relax, now, they are safe from the dangers of the human gunners. No more sticks that zing from the trees, no more men and women in pumpkin suits tramping through the woods looking to take a doe or buck. Even the Coonies left to get ready for the line that moves in the nearby village, where the pretty humans sit and funny-like noises come from the moving shinny things.

But the big ones still advance carefully at night, the sounds of gunfire ringing in their ears. They cover the forest by keeping hidden behind trees. They've seen their brothers and sisters fall to sudden sleep just after the smell, the thrashing noise, the movements, and the booming sound that can come again and again.

Eventually, the big ones move out in open areas when daylight comes. They begin to trust their instincts given to them over millions of years. For Mr. Terry's Neighborhood is their home, where they will live and die.

The gentle deer begin to trust, too. Missing many of their relatives when summer arrives, they begin to fatten up on available food. The buck's antlers begin to grow, which draws the ladies, but also draws the fire from the men and women in the pumpkin suits. Near the zinging season, the bucks will rub the velvet off their antlers and prepare for another genocide season.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring in Mr. Terry's Neighborhood

Spring comes slowly in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. But when color first pops from the ground, when life stretches out from the soft, soaked earth and the sun warms up; when the snow fades then disappears — the animals in Mr. Terry's Neighborhood are the first to notice.

The birds tell the deer when the unwanteds come. These deer have survived the hunted times, first in the fall, when sharp sticks that kill zing from the trees and from cross dressers hidden in hedgerows and amongst fallen trees. Then, when the cold arrives, men and woman in Dick's Sporting Goods' pumpkin suits come for the deer in large numbers. They push and drive through the woods, and the deer run frantically from ridge to ridge. In Mr. Terry's Neighborhood, it's what the deer call the 'genocide time.'

But it's the turkey that fear spring the most. Fake talkers fool the birds, and talk sexy to the proud male gobblers —  that the Blackfoot called, omahksipi kssii — meaning "big bird." The gobblers listen to the chattering of the fake hen, the 'yelp, yelp, yelp, cluck, cluck,' made by the hiding humans.The turkey inch closer, not sure, following the fake yammer, looking for a mate, their spring urges out of control. Then suddenly — fooled by the fake yakking — their life ends with a shotgun blast — most times a head shot, with the thick feathers and skin of a turkey making penetration difficult, even for 12 gauge double 0 buck shot.

Then the big  boys wake and stretch out. Spring means new life for Ursus americanus, the Pennsylvania black bear. They begin a search to quell a 400-plus pound appetite kept dormant over several months — when the ground is frozen with ice and snow. The big ones seek food, and plenty of it, scarce in the spring woods of Mr. Terry's Neighborhood. Sometimes they'll turn to unattended trash cans and bird feeders near the human populations. But later, the gunners will come for them, too. The bear will hide deep in the thickest part of the Pennsylvania woods, but the persistent human gunners will eventually find some of them.

Cousins to the grizzly, these short-faced animals have survived in Mr. Terry's Neighborhood since the ice age. Not hunted for their meat, but for the trophy of "bagging a bear," bragging rights within the human populations.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Special Edition: The Miss Janie Olympics

Never  heard of  the Miss Janie Olympics? Well, then you've never been in Mr. Terry's Neighborhood. It's actually a private affair. As you can see, the deer are strung out across the ravine keeping the Unwanteds away. Unwanteds? If you are reading this, count yourself one of them.

But since you are a Neighborhood reader, Mr. Terry will educate you about the Miss Janie Olympics in his Neighborhood.

On the East end of the ravine, the turkey stand guard. A Sergeant of Arms, proudly displaying his beard and watching and waiting for the Unwanteds. The animals don't want nobody finding out about the Miss Janie Olympics — fearful that  genocide season will be changed, bringing the men and woman in pumpkin suits.

Run and Peck Event: With deer judges looking on, the turkeys race across the forest sniffing out Mr. Terry's cups of Miller Lite, which he hid in the snow. They have to stop, suck up the beer, and take off running, looking for the next cup. If a turkey misses a cup, that idiot is disqualified, and the deer get to drink it. The turkey that gets to the finish line first without puking, passing out, or slipping and falling — they do have lawyers in the woods — will be the winner.

Relay Turkey Trot: In groups of five, the turkeys will circle the north woods hill several times. Notice the beards. Only gobblers can run in the uphill relay trot. The winning team gets to attend a party in Mr. Terry's garage with plenty of  bottles of Miller Lite on hand. And get this, about 10 hens have also been invited to the party. The real hens, not the fake Unwanteds, who hide in the woods and talk sexy with their fake calls during genocide season. Mr. Terry would never invite them.

The Run and Fly: In this event, crows are judged by how they run and fly. Since turkeys are experts at running and flying — especially when 12 gauge buckshot has been unleashed and heading toward their posterior — they are the judges in this crow lift off event. You see the crows lining up to be next.

100 Yard Dash: No animal can bolt through the woods faster than deer. Especially when they are trying to outrun a .30-06 slug headed their way. This is a rare Mr. Terry photo of two deer doing a finish line celebration, similar to what they do in the NFL. They jump up and slap hooves and would do a goal post dunk, too, but there are no goal posts in Mr. Terry's Neighborhood. Only Mr. Terry could get a shot like this!

For the 2016  Miss Janie Olympics, Mr. Terry promised to put up goal posts for the deer.

The turkey are not the only forest inhabitants that watch through Mr. Terry's windows. The deer do too, and they see how the baseball players on Mr. Terry's flat screen blow snot from their noses to clear things up, before stepping in to hit. But sometimes, as shown above, some deer need help getting it out. Well, why not, they don't have hankies in Mr. Terry's Neighborhood. Are you kidding me? So this deer is banging it out.

I bet you never saw a turkey clapping. Well, thanks to Mr. Terry, you see one now. This overly excited turkey is clapping as the turkey relay trot is passing by. The turkey is actually standing on it's three toes — that's correct, too, because I Googled it. There are three toes on each turkey foot. So don't get so smart!

Now here are three deer judges after the run and peck event sponsored by Miller Lite. The deer look tipsy. That's because they got to the hidden cups before the turkey. In fact, the one on the far right is puking his guts out. And the one in the middle is about to pass out. These Miss Janie Olympics are swell, don 't you think?

 And if you think only the deer get loaded during the Miss Janie Olympics, well, guess again. Look at this gobbler. He so loaded he's staggering back down to the party in Mr. Terry's garage, where the hens are waiting. Yes, indeed, the Miss Janie Olympics are fun for all!!

Don't you think the forest dwellers need it after getting shot at in the fall?

The end!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Turkey Class at the Mudges

Gobblers Anonymous Club (no hens invited here)

The Human Class

"Okay listen up. Everybody here? Where's Corban?"

"Oh, he was at the crapper, sir, when we last eyeballed  him. He was takin' a dump by the dumpster, but he don't have no woods pass."

"That's good, that's good, keep using human phrases like that, 'eyeballed him, ' that's yummy, Ignacio."


"Yes, Yehuda?

"Is we ever gonna get inside the Mudges to see things for real?"

"Never. Listen, Yehuda, see them shinny  things Miss Janie has hanging on the wall by the time teller? Them things is where you want to stay a long way off from, understand? Ain't no way you want to become a Butterball, or worst than that, a casserole"

"Is that what they call pots, sir?"

"Yea, Mustafa. The closest you want to be to a pot is when them straggly human half poults is smokin' somthing."


"What now, Houston, can't you see I'm teachin' a human class?

"What's that shinny round white thing I see through the open door?

"That's where the humans take a dump. Now quiet, I'm lecturin."


"Oh, hell, now what? I'll never get through the  curriculum. Agustin, fix your snood. You look like a recipe."

"Do the Mudges celebrate genocide day?

"Only once a year!"
(Mr. Terry recently took this photograph from inside his home.)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Legend Has It That Shrek Is Born

Once, while out hunting, the turkey ran into the deer. The deer asked the turkey how he hunted game. "I can kill anything I can get my beak on," said the turkey. Then the deer said, the homosapiens cherish our flesh and come into the woods to put our flesh on their tables. "Indeed," replied the turkey, "but they never get us all. We have safe haven here in Mr. Terry's Neighborhood."

Then the wise old crow said to the deer and turkey, "A ghostly buck will rise up to put a curse on the men and women who come to the woods seeking your flesh. They wear pumpkin suits so they don't shoot each other. They trample through the woods and make a mess everywhere they go. But the ghostly buck will have the final say on who survives and who doesn't."

This ghostly buck named Shrek, will become so famous, homosapiens will honor him in movies that other homosapiens will watch, said the crow. But being a ghostly buck, the old crow said, he will never fall to the zinging sticks or booming clubs the men and women in pumpkin suits carry to do their dirty deeds.

Even when the cold and blowing snow comes, the old crow said, Shrek will keep a watchful eye on Mr. Terry's Neighborhood. For legend has it that Shrek will live a thousand years and will never be destroyed by the men and women who trash the woods in Genocide Season.

And, the old crow said, Shrek will protect the gentle ones, who sneak through the frozen woods at night in Mr. Terry's Neighborhood. For even the gentle ones, the old crow said, will escape the zinging sticks and booming clubs of those who come here seeking the flesh.


The end.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Great Photography and Great Poetry

The night is there, it comes and goes
   the long cold winter for them it shows
They wake at dusk and shrug off sleep
   to hunt and prowl for the food they seek

On wing and hoof, they are so bold
   when woods are dark with ice and cold
The hunter comes from the town nearby
   to steal life beneath a watchful eye

They ban together on hoof and paw
   follow me says the raccoon maw
Come with me through the darkened night
   you'll be safe with me until the morning light

This bear survives the daytime hunt
   to nurse her cub with a nod and grunt
For the hunted finds no delight
   until dark comes in the broad daylight

Poetry from the book: "I'm a Poet and Don't Even Know It"
By Henry Whatsworth Longbaker