Posted underAnimals, Cartoons, Humor, NaBloPoMo, Sayings and Platitudes, Sci Fi - Fantasy - Time Travel
There is a herd of elephants in my living room. Sometimes there are so many elephants lolling about that there is hardly enough room for me to settle down, have a cup of tea and watch the Red Sox on a warm summer evening.
They are the elephants of my childhood. Snidely grinning elephants. Scary elephants. One pachyderm carries a belt. I know he’s going to beat me. Others smile sweetly. I don’t to trust those smiles. These are not real. The smiles are camouflage to hide an evil so deep it makes my blood turn watery.
For most of my life I had a recurring nightmare. I would be sitting in the middle of some particularly bucolic setting, a field, meadow or alongside babbling brook. The day would be perfect. Blue sky, puffy clouds and sunshine. I was happy. Content to sit and watch the birds, bunnies or butterflies. In the midst of this bucolic setting, the cute little creatures would transform into flying or crawling little monsters that would swarm over me. I’d wake up screaming, drenched in sweat.
The monsters were never the same twice. Sometimes they looked like spiders or snakes; other times, they resembled nothing in the real world. Perhaps they could have emerged from the primordial ooze or a sleazy horror movie.
Always there were many monsters attacking simultaneously. Escape was impossible and in any case, I was paralyzed with terror unable to run, barely able to scream. Only waking ended the attack. But not the fear. The fear stuck around.
The dream sometimes went away for a few months, but inevitably returned. And so it continued for more than forty years. Finally — a lifetime later — all the little monsters came together and formed a face. My father.
My eyes snapped open. I was fully awake and understood.
I never had the dream again.
This is about as local as I can get! All these were taken recently in Uxbridge in the Blackstone Valley. I wish I could add more, but this is enough for the servers to handle. Thank you prompters for giving me something to work with Always looking for an excuse to post pictures of our beautiful town.
This was swan territory. Many geese live nearby on other ponds and along the banks of the many rivers and streams of the Blackstone River watershed. But this pond belonged to the swans and the swans and the geese, like the rival gangs in a turf war, don’t share.
The geese scouts are already in place, unbeknownst (apparently) to the swans.
Swans will happily share their nesting grounds with ducks and divers. Herons pose a serious threat to smaller fowl (all fowl are smaller) because they will eat the eggs and (if they can get them) the young of ducks, geese and swans until the babies are big enough to defend themselves.
Herons are more solitary and like loons, build nests in places hard to find by people or and other birds.
This spring, the geese came to the pond. In an expansionist move that broke all previous treaties, they moved in and actually took over a nest belonging the a pair of lordly and bad-tempered swans. It was war. We were there when the geese conducted a surprise raid on the swans.
First, the geese surrounded the nest and infiltrated. Geese are faster, organized and more mobile than swans. Swans are bigger, heavier and hold grudges. Geese can take off and land easily from almost anywhere, land or water. Swans need a long running start across flat water to get airborne. They are virtually helpless on land, bodies so heavy they can barely waddle. They are disorganized. Swans aren’t good rank and file soldiers, but they compensate with long memories and seriously bad attitudes.
The geese surrounded the nest while one of the two swans was away. The timing was good for the geese. With only one swan to defend against the attack, the lone swan was out-flanked.
The battle continued while papa swan paddles back to the nest. But he’s taking far too long.
The odds are not with the swan, alone, defending her turf. Where’s her partner? Paddling like mad, but he was on the far side of the pond … and will not be back in time.
So what happened? We came back. There were no sign of geese, but the swans were still there. They must have rebuilt a nest elsewhere, because there were more than the usual number of cygnets.
Feeding happily, sharing space with Mama Duck and her ducklings.
Taking the family for a stroll while papa duck keeps watch o’er the ramparts. No geese here!
The kids venture out on their own. They are now big enough to defend themselves and are likely to survive to maturity. It’s not, mind you, that I have anything against the geese. But they have taken over the majority of ponds and lakes in the valley. There are far fewer sites where swans breed. If they can’t share space — and clearly, they can’t — than I’d prefer this place for swans and ducks.
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