I promised myself that I would add one of these stories here every time I told one. I tell them at one point or another throughout the summer. There will be no chronology - not yet anyway - nor will there be much of a schedule. You never know; I might add a story every day and I might not. This is my life. Every day is an adventure.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Frightening Evolution of Birds

As a cat sees it.

A girlfriend gave me a kitten some years ago when we lived in a little 10' by 12' cabin. It had two windows and a door, a tiny shelf for a kitchen and some shelves. The rest of the space, what we didn't need for turning around in, was filled with the wood stove. During the course of the winter, little tweety birds fluttered around outside our front window. It was cold, so I took to sprinkling a bit of corn flower on the outside windowsill. It served to bring the tiny birds a lot closer, and our kitten would sit on the table, which was under that window, and avidly watch those little birds, chattering away with excitement.

As spring wore on, the birds got a little bigger, and as it got warmer, the kitten, named Ishtar, got to play outside a little. She discovered camp-robbers, little gray birds maybe two or three times the size of the little tweety birds, which had moved on.

Some time later, we were visited by a flock of magpies, in fact, one of them drew little Ishtar way up into a tree, but she made it down.

In the continued evolution of things that go fluttering in Ishtar's world, a raven stopped by for a visit. Since he was still around a second day, I tied a chicken neck to a tree branch so it hung about two feet from the ground. Too far up for the bird to reach while standing. He was really rather funny to watch as he tried to get it. Ishtar wasn't brave enough to go after this one so she stayed on the table and chattered at it through the window.

A few days later, the god who makes all things grow bigger simply got way out of hand. Ishtar was sitting at the window, anxiously awaiting any fluttering creature the great outside had to offer, when suddenly an otter (bush plane) flew low over the house in preparation for landing somewhere behind us. That was just too much. I swear you never saw a cat move faster. She was off the table and across the floor, under the kitchen shelf as far behind whatever was there as she could get.

With a little encouragement, she came out of there, but things that go flutter outside the window weren't so interesting anymore.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cold Shower

The very first year I worked out on the river, the lodge I worked at had two separate buildings for the camp bathrooms. One of them also housed the washer and dryer, giving me reason to be in the building. One day, a man came in, his arms full with his change of clothes and assorted toiletries, obviously intent on taking a shower.

I told the man, the propane was out and that he should just go to the other building. It wasn't as if they were clear across the camp from each other. If the buildings had been a couple feet closer, they would have shared a corner.

"Oh no," he says. "I don't mind a cold shower."

"The water's real cold here," I warned him. I did. The water in the river comes directly from a glacier and I doubt it ever gets warmer than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. And since the water for the shower houses comes from a well that's not really all that far from the river. I know a glass of cold water from the tap is every bit as cold as a glass of water from the frig, maybe even poured over ice-cubes - refreshingly cold, but too cold for a shower.

Needless to say, the guy didn't spend much time trying to take a cold shower. He came back out and said, "That water's cold!!!"

All I could say is, "I told you so."