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Publisher Richard Loller's 
Fishing and Farming Journal
For Year 2020
Index to All Journal Years

Latest News! January 9, 2021

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Scroll down for the most recent stories
The Legend of Molly Tynes and Her Ride

Frank Emerson

© Copyright 2021 by Frank Emerson

Molly Tynes.

Throughout history, the accepted view of the role of women during warfare has been one of support. Certainly, in fact and in legend, there have been numerous instances of proactive females during hostilities. Just think of the Grace O’Malley, Ireland’s Pirate Queen of the 17th century, 18th century British buccaneers, Anne Bonny and Mary Reed and the American Revolution’s Molly Pitcher. . . .One further, albeit little-known example of a female coming to the fore in time of a national emergency is the action taken by one Molly Tynes during the American Civil War. . . .


The Sad, Ironic Fate of Sullivan Ballou

Frank Emerson

© Copyright 2021 by Frank Emerson

Sullifan and Sarah Ballou.

Of all the letters associated with the American Civil War, two stand out as arguably the most beautiful and touching – certainly the best known. Abraham Lincoln's poignant, comforting note to a certain Mrs. Lydia Bixby, who had lost five sons to the conflict, is the first.

Perhaps even better known, and certainly as poignant, is the letter from Union Major Sullivan Ballou to his wife, Sarah. Written one week before the First Battle of Manassas, or Bull Run – as it was called in the North, the words are all the more heartbreaking when you realize that Ballou did not survive to go home again. . . .


In Between

Ethel Jean

© Copyright 2021 by Ethel Jean

Opened grave.

This life is not the beginning. It is not the end. We’ve been taught so all our lives, and we know it’s true because our dead visit us on occasion. Not in séance-type group settings, but individually and unexpectedly. . . .


The Journey

Rachel Cann

© Copyright 2021 by Rachel Cann

Photo of a blessing box for the homeless.

Yesterday I went with my boss of the food to the needy nonprofit to go horseback riding. It was way out of town, and she insisted on driving her rental van because my car doesn’t have heat, and she says I drive too slow. Vicky was recently written up in the news for a food program in Roslindale that didn’t meet standards of cleanliness that the city forefathers thought necessary. It mentioned she had been doing this food thingy for 30 years and was homeless. Poor people give a small donation for the food, and I don’t think they care about germs as much as the city forefathers. . . .


A Day Without

Mike Ekunno

© Copyright 2021 by Mike Ekunno

Photo of hand holding cell phone.

Leaving the office without my phone at close of work on Friday was initially forgetfulness. It was either the economics of a long retrieval sortie or lassitude that transformed inadvertence to deliberateness. So began a 24-hour phone fast. . . .


Spilling Your Guts on Paper

Maureen Moynihan

© Copyright 2021 by Maureen Moynihan

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio at Pexels.
                               Photo by Andrea Piacquadio                                   

I attempted to publish my first story during Sunday school. While the other children colored pictures of Jesus Christ resurrecting from the tomb, I penned “Happy Bird Flies Home.” It was a somber tale about a deceased parakeet who returns from the dead to sing songs and march on the head of its 8 year-old mother. . . .


Bleeding Eyes

Jacquline Musgrave

© Copyright 2021 by Jacquline Musgrave

Photo of a woman skiing.

. . . . “Look! I’M DOING IT!” I yelled as I was able to keep my feet straight and my ski’s from crossing and falling as I had on every previous attempt. It was our first ski trip, mine and my younger brother Donnie. We were with my Mom and our stepdad in a nice big rented motorhome. It was a 3 day weekend, and being 16, I had been allowed to bring my best friend Jodi. There were lots of hot guys on the mountain, and we were just trying to ski well enough to stand so we could talk to them without falling as most of them were skilled on their feet. . . .


Yet Another Statistic
My Unremarkable Eating Disorder

Helen Ruhlin

© Copyright 2021 by Helen Ruhlin

Photo of Helen.

. . . .Allow me to save you some emotional buildup and start right in with the bold statement that youd normally find halfway down the page, at the end of a sappy anecdote, or in the final sentence of a cathartic conclusion: I have, and still do, struggle with my body image. Im not in love with my physique, not infatuated with my appearance and I dont think that makes me special. . . .


9-11: An Alaskan Guide's Tale

Tom Carroll

© Copyright 2021 by Tom Carroll

Photo of a wilderness cabin in Alaska.

Every American can recount exactly where they were and what they were doing on the morning of 9-11, I was in remote Alaska and have a distinctly unique narrative to relate. Guiding for “wilderness” fishing lodges, or those located in remote locations, accessible only by airplane, far from towns and roads, posed specific challenges and circumstances. . . .


If You Give A Gerbil A Haircut

Anna Cattar

© Copyright 2021 by Anna Cattar

Photo of a young girl.

If you tell your mother what life was like at your dad’s house, she’ll want to keep you quiet. Before you have time to say the word rape she’ll leap to comfort you. Soft deflective words will slip off her lips “the same thing happened to me” and “I know it feels like he took something from you.” She won’t ask you why you are crying. . . .


The Mini Guides to Life's Journey

Laura Piquette

© Copyright 2021 by Laura Piquette

Photo of old man's hands.

Life can get complex. It is not that you are failing, more rather, it is you did not have the information you need when you need it. In turn, that creates us problems overtime. Leaves us wondering why if life is survival of the fittest then why don’t we have answers up to this point. . . .


One Of Our Planes. . .
WWII Veteran Tom Cox's Unscheduled Trip to the Beach

Daniel Hicks

© Copyright 2021 by Daniel Hicks

Photo of Tom Cox (on right) and his Dakota.
        Photo of Tom Cox (on right) and a Dakota.

The gypsy had long been a friend of the family, so when Phyllis Cox visited her mother in the tiny Devon village of Lustleigh she made a point of visiting the old lady’s ornately decorated caravan. But as the gypsy stared into her eyes and held her hand in hers she was wishing she hadn’t come. . . .


A Summer Twice Visited

Sienna Joshi

© Copyright 2021 by Sienna Joshi

Photo of a child at the beach.

. . . .Summers in Argentina will always stand out in my memories in sunshine brilliance; my two younger sisters will agree. We have only ever spent two summer holidays in Mama’s home country - one of which I was too young to remember more than strawberry popsicles, sparklers, and Papa Noel - but they were particularly special. . . .


High Tension

Daniel Hicks

© Copyright 2021 by Daniel Hicks

Photo by Sid Pradhan on Unsplash
            Photo by Sid Pradhan on Unsplash

I had been in Datchet, a few miles west of London Airport, before, but usually below the flight path, never above it. This time I wasn’t so sure. I instinctively ducked as a Boeing 747 thundered overhead.

The most unwelcome present I have ever received was from my wife on the occasion of my retirement. . . .


Tango of Death
Bullfighting and the International Cheeseburger

Lance Mason

© Copyright 2021 by Lance Mason

Gunman and children.
In The Resurrection, Tolstoy said, "People instinctively keep to the circle … who share their views of life and their own place in it." Yet today’s world vividly illustrates the risks of “keeping to the circle,” of reinforcing, rather than challenging, one’s closely-held beliefs. Through the various lenses of history as well as regional cultures, relative ethics, and tolerance, "The Tango of Death" attempts not to justify but to explore and understand Spanish bullfighting, a topic and tradition outside many people’s “circle,” and charged with emotion and politics. . . .


Where You Can Feel The Earth Breathe

Sienna Joshi

© Copyright 2021 by Sienna Joshi

Photo of a sunrise.

This piece is a series of memories and reflections on my transition to adulthood. It takes place during the time I traveled and studied at Aberystwyth University and includes periods from my childhood in San Diego, California. I learned a lot about myself, culture, and place during this time and it has greatly shaped who I am today. Nature has always been a significant part of my life and I wanted to pay tribute to the ways in which it has helped me feel at home, both in San Diego and in Aberystwyth. . . .


What I Have Gone Through In Spain

George Ivanov Vasilev

© Copyright 2021 by George Ivanov Vasilev

Photo of a Madrid road sign.

Soon after the totalitarian system collapsed in Bulgaria at the end of 1989, I enrolled myself in History and Bulgarian Philology at university but I quit within a year. I was bored there. I did not like the manner in which some professors and their associates were delivering the lectures. Some of them were still lecturing the same way they used to do in the past. I disliked it. I could not force myself to study against my will. Yes, I had worked hard and I had attended evening high school classes for four years just to be able to get into university. I was interested in writing, in literature so getting into university was my greatest dream. But I gave up so easily. . . .


A Girl Who Wore Combat Boots

Rita McDermott

© Copyright 2021 by Rita McDermott

Photo of female soldiers.

. . . .When the cattle buses arrived at our destination, the doors opened to find three Drill Sgts. standing there. They were blowing whistles and yelling, “you got five minutes to get off that bus, get your gear in the barracks, and get back down here in formation. Move it.” It was then that I said to myself, “what did I get myself into?” The reception station gave a false sense of easy going cadre and low key schedule. . . .


Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Desiree Kendrick

© Copyright 2021 by Desiree Kendrick


 At a time when travel restrictions are in place, we ache for adventure. I flip the pages of my travel journals and photo albums. Italy, shaped like a boot, is my favourite shoe obsession. Here’s some arm chair travel to share. . . .


Sitting With My Boys

B. J. Thompson

© Copyright 2021 by B. J. Thompson

Punchbowl Cemetary in Honolulu, Hawaii.

This story covers my time visiting the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, aka Punchbowl Crater Cemetery, as research for my epic-length literary novel, entitled, AIR, covering the lives of six U.S. Navy sailors who end up trapped inside the capsized USS Oklahoma after the Pearl Harbor attack. And in their attempts to survive, they discover there are worse things in life, than death. . . .


Taking a Train in England - An Adventure

Victor Pogostin

© Copyright 2021 by Victor Pogostin

Photo of a British rail car.

 A coloured serpent of railway cars may look attractive and even invoke the sweetest of childhood memories, but it can be very annoying, if you risk traveling by train across the green fields of England. . . .


Coffee and Ideological Maxims in Moscow

Victor Pogostin

© Copyright 2021 by Victor Pogostin

Photo by Rachel Lees on Unsplash
                                   Photo by Rachel Lees on Unsplash

Coffee in Moscow may be as good as anywhere else, but did you ever try to buy it in the same bar of the same hotel, and yet in two different countries and even in different epochs? Well, I did. . . .


Pandemic Treasure Hunt

Marcia McGreevy Lewis

© Copyright 2021 by Marcia McGreevy Lewis

Photo of a manatee.

Letting off steam during the pandemic can lead to astonishing treasures as I discovered when taking a spontaneous car trip.  The treasure hunt delivered two golden treasures. . . .


Perception Outside Normal Capability

Cody Short

© Copyright 2021 by Cody Short 


Photo of a wrecked car.

This is a true story. The names are changed because the setting is rural East Tennessee where privacy is precious to this day, and everybody knew their neighbors in the Fifties. . . .


All The World We Seek

Laura Elizabeth Horgan

© Copyright 2021 by Laura Elizabeth Horgan

Photo of hands sharing a joint.

I've never been able to find God. But if the entity exists, I want to walk in the Holy man's shoes and pray to the heavens, become exalted in the sea of belief. My skin will be flushed, the thoughts that come and go will be tethered to the adoration of the self, and each connection we have as individuals to the great being. . . .


Early Riser/Namaste

June Calender


© Copyright 2021 by June Calender

Photo of a horseshoe crab.

The older I get the earlier I wake up. In fact, I often think I need less sleep because I not only wake up early but may spend an hour or two awake, usually between 2:00 and 4:00. I’m usually awake by 5:30 or sometimes earlier but my clock radio alarm is set or 5:50 so that I can wake up to ten minutes of classical music before a brief local broadcast of the day’s news. Local information, not national unless something unprecedented happened overnight, local sports scores and finally — the real reason I have the clock set a little before 6:00, the weather forecast. They are usually correct. . . .


Open Hearted

S. Nadja Zajdman

© Copyright 2021 by S. Nadja Zajdman

Photo of a bottle of mineral water.

It was bitter, the winter of 1959. An epidemic of Hong Kong flu raged through the city. The disease felled Mum, Daddy and me. We were compelled to quarantine. Who would take care of my infant brother Michael? My mother’s sister and her husband weren’t an option. My father’s siblings couldn’t be trusted with anything. Through a network of neighbours, a woman was located on Goyer Street. Her name was Katarina Trautmann. In an audacious dash for freedom, Herr and Frau Trautmann, with their two teenage daughters, escaped East Berlin in 1953. . . .



S. Nadja Zajdman

© Copyright 2021 by S. Nadja Zajdman

Photo of a bottle of mineral water.

Of all the grandparents I never got a chance to know, I feel closest to my mother’s father Lucian. Perhaps it was my mother’s vivid storytelling that made him seem accessible. I’ve inherited his talents and his temperament; so I was told. Sometimes I fantasize that I can time travel to Poland in the 1930s and meet my grandfather Lucian. . . .



Jareen Imam

© Copyright 2021 by Jareen Imam


Photo of old man's hands.

. . . .After a long stretch of silence befell us, she told me a short story, no more than two sentences, about my great-grandmother’s life. Although, at that moment, I didn’t recognize how important it was because my mother said it so fast, without inflection in her voice, or reflection in her eyes. But those few lines inspired me to write a short story about the last day of my great-grandmother’s life. . . .


Tackling Terrorism Unarmed

Samir Kumar Jha

© Copyright 2021 by Samir Kumar Jha

Photo of old man's hands.

This is the Memoirs of an unarmed soldier. This article has been written with the following four purposes in my mind :
  1. To make Govt. of India and Govt. officials aware what was happening in this area
  2. To make people of Non-north east aware what was happening in North-East India
  3. To provide people the necessary skill to function effectively in this belt
  4. To provide some permanent remedy to these problems. . . .

The Right To Bare Arms

Joy Mayfield

© Copyright 2021 by Joy Mayfield


Photo of drooping lower arm.

I never thought about my arms specifically until 2006. That is the year my mother forewarned me, “Your arms will turn on you one day.”. . .


The Mean Reds

Joseph Michael Webb

© Copyright 2021 by Joseph Michael Webb

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash
                                                                     Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

The Mean Reds illustrates the evening of the ‘surprise’ suicide of my sister many years ago; showing the crisis, despite stigma, that is mental health care and what can happen to just about anyone. . . .


That Special Game

Nikita Jain

© Copyright 2021 by
Nikita Jain


Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash
                                          Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

Never take off your clothes in front of anyone”, my Mom said while cooking in a kitchen. I was standing near her. Those were the days when she had started telling and teaching me about household chores and cooking is anyway an important skill. I was about to turn thirteen four months later. We had invited one of our closest family friends ‘Singhals’ over for a dinner. . . .


The Wellspring

David Urubshurow

© Copyright 2021 by David Urubshurow

Photo by Simon Hajducki on Unsplash
                                    Photo by Simon Hajducki on Unsplash

I’m in the shade of an arbor created by the water from a nearby wellspring that also gives this oasis its Mongolian name: Bulgan.  Notwithstanding the leafy canopy, it’s scorching hot and bone dry! I’m here because an imprudent impulse overcame my usual good sense when traveling through inhospitable environments: I yearned to eat cold watermelon in the middle of an unforgiving desert. . . .


Butterfly Morning

Judy Zwirblis

© Copyright 2021 by Judy Zwirblis

Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash.
                                Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash

The flowers swayed back and forth as if music was in the air. It was mid-July and the summer heat was lingering over my garden. I had planted a package of wild seeds that spring, not knowing what would turn up. I was pleasantly surprised as they blossomed into a mixed display of color and kind. Although small, it was a most lovely garden. The red, violet and orange colors brought the tiny visitors that day to taste their fragrant drink. . . .


Steal This Book

Alan Herman

© Copyright 2021 by Alan Herman

Photo by the book.

....There it was! I was rotating the tall upright rack checking out the paperback choices, in a drug store in Provincetown, Mass.

"Steal This Book" That's the book I was looking for. And I did, steal that book. After looking around, I took it from the rack and hid it in my bag....


My First Day Going to Work During A Pandemic

Emily Howse

© Copyright 2021 by Emily Howse

Girl putting groceries into car.

Today is the first day I will be at work where I’m required to get my temperature taken and be required to wear a mask.  Worried about this because what if one of the people I work with ends up with a fever and I’ve worked with them.  Could I possibly get COVID 19? . . .


Checkered Career Across Three Continents

Migel Jayasinghe

© Copyright 2021 by Migel Jayasinghe

Map showing continents of the world.

I resigned my job as a Sub-Inspector of Police, after nearly five years of service in Ceylon, because I considered immigrating to the UK. My underlying motive was to return to my studies and improve my chances of achieving an affluent, enviable, life-style. I applied to the British High Commission in Colombo and was awarded a priority voucher to enter Britain. I was 26 years old. . . .


Guardian Angels

Rebecca Langley

© Copyright 2021 by Rebecca Langley

Photo of a flat tire.

One four degree February morning, I’d been up late finishing a paper for my Russian Lit class and decided to drive home in time for church with my family. I’d pulled enough all-nighters to know: it’s usually better to just stay awake rather than sleep for a couple of pitiful hours. . . .


A Portrait

Laura Elizabeth Horgan

© Copyright 2021 by Laura Elizabeth Horgan

Photo by Michael Discenza on Unsplash
                                    Photo by Michael Discenza on Unsplash

. . . .The people I knew worthy of a tale barely had two pennies to rub together to make a third. But they knew how to put together a good time like it was nothing more than a cocktail. I drank them up, intoxicated and drunk on the lives and doings of the people around me who seemed to be all in, all the time. I rode on their coat tails and enjoyed the view. . . .


Fifth Grade

Etti Hazan

© Copyright 2021 by Etti Hazan

Photo of a a little girl with a big pack.

Last fall, my daughter turned 10 and began attending the fifth grade, mask and all.

In Italy, where I grew up, fifth grade is a big deal because it marks the end of elementary school. Students who complete ‘quinta elementaretake a test to qualify for middle school. . . .


Fear and Fire

Etti Hazan

© Copyright 2021 by Etti Hazan

Photo of a grease fire in a pan.

I had neither seen nor smelled the fire. I knew it had been there, because I had been told about it. The woman had survived, but her cat had not. . . .


A Few Hours in Frankfurt

Etti Hazan

© Copyright 2021 by Etti Hazan

Photo of a plane at Frankfurt airport.

In April of 2005, I flew from JFK to Rome, FCO to join my parents for Passover. The flight itinerary included a stopover at Frankfurt airport.

Frankfurt, Germany - 5:45 AM local time

As our plane touches German ground, I immediately experience a wave of conflicted feelings. This is my first time on German soil. Considering I have just spent over 7 hours on a German airline, with ample space and good in-flight service, my sentiments are kind of ironic.

The feelings more or less dissipate once I enter the actual terminal - after all, airports are in a generic league of their own. My ever-dwindling Yiddish allows me to butcher the German language while purchasing a much needed espresso. . . .



Dodging A Scam

Talara Nolan

© Copyright 2021 by Talara Nolan


Photo of an angry sea.

My story is called Dodging a Scam. It is something that happened to me before I had a daughter. While this sort of thing happens all the time online now a days, back when it happened to me it was not so common. I did meet my then boyfriend online and this is how he tried to get me to marry his brother in order to bring him from Canada. I am grateful that I was able to get out of that situation, as I now have my daughter. . . .


Big Foot, Big Deal

Laurel Hendrickson

© Copyright 2021 by Laurel Hendrickson


Photo of "big foot" footprint.

. . . .Gather round the campfire and let’s freak ourselves out by talking about an Oregon folklore favorite: Bigfoot! Most people have at least one story about something uncanny that they’ve experienced but don’t have a good way to explain. This is the crux of Bigfoot fun- someone heard or saw something strange in the wilderness and a special glee comes from it maybe- just maybe- being Bigfoot. . . .



Eve Levinson

© Copyright 2021 by Eve Levinson

Photo of three rhinos.

This story was part of an incredible month trekking and camping across eastern and southern Africa. We had been on multiple safaris, gone up in a hot air balloon, rafted the Zambezi River below Victoria Falls, yet meeting rhinos in Zimbabwe was truly unforgettable. . . .


Crocodile Tears

Dawn Llewellyn-Price

© Copyright 2021 by Dawn Llewellyn-Price

Photo by Joe McDaniel on Unsplash
                                        Photo by Joe McDaniel on Unsplash

There’s a good road, a not so good road, and a bad road’ Bernard our safari bus driver had warned us as we left Nairobi Hilton, its foyer awash with a great white wave of cricket bags. . . .


A Crow Named Charlie

Shreya Jha

© Copyright 2021 by Shreya Jha

Photo by Simran deep Singh on Unsplash
                  Photo by Simran deep Singh on Unsplash

A for Abtoss, B for Bulbul, C for Crow.’

I learnt to recite the alphabet with the names of birds. Abtoss was my baby word for Albatross, not the easiest word for a child to pronounce. I’m not sure if this is a true recollection or a figment of my memory. Probably the latter. It is a fact though, that birds have been part of my life from almost the beginning. . . .


Encounter with a Young Giraffe

Rachel Friedman

© Copyright 2021 by Rachel Friedman

Photo of a giraffe.

. . . .One of the lovely things about living in Los Angeles is that we’ve got a great zoo. It's not quite as famous as the one in San Diego, but we still have a bird show, a petting zoo, and a secluded area for baby animals. During one memorable period, these baby animals included giraffes. . . .


Swimming With Serpents

Joli Villella

© Copyright 2021 by Joli Villella

Photo of a snake on a tree branch.

Just as the two summers prior, I could feel the excitement bubble over in my stomach chasing away the last tendrils of anxiety, my ever present friend, as each mile carried us further away from civilization and closer towards freedom. I knew the moment I stepped from the packed van and breathed for the first time in a year true nurturing air, all my cares would fade away into nothing as mother nature flooded every sense. This was the healing power of the Buffalo river, the sight of our long awaited adventure. . . .


The Three Snakes

Naputt Thiravorachai

© Copyright 2021 by Naputt Thiravorachai

Photo of a snake.

Over the course of my life I have encountered three different snakes, not to  mention various others. I do not know whether it is a stroke of luck to meet such interesting and exotic animals, or a series of unfortunate encounters. . . .


Jack in the Box

Chloe de Lullington

© Copyright 2021 by Chloe de Lullington

Photo of a jackdaw.

I think the day the jackdaw arrived would have stuck in my mind even if it hadn’t been forever immortalised as the day the jackdaw arrived. The main reason for its notability was simple: Mum was having some Me Time. Mum didn’t do Me Time. A full-time carer for a disabled husband and two primary school-aged children (one of whom – yours truly – also had a chronic illness of her own), she never went anywhere without us. . . .


The Hippo Story

Michaya Marsh

© Copyright 2021 by Michaya Marsh

Photo of a hippo in a glass pool.

My whole life, I have felt intense connections with animals of all types. For hours I would perch on the windowsill to watch and identify the gold finches and black-capped chickadees. If my parents ever lost me, they knew to look outside and find me following a snake or holding a newt. I would wander with the wild hares in Western Washington forests and wade in the icy Pacific ocean to catch a glimpse of the sharks in the waves. My mother quickly called me back out, much to my chagrin. An unquenchable curiosity for all forms of life has filled my whole being for as long as I can remember. . . .


A Regular Guest in the Guest House

Janis Boguzs

© Copyright 2021 by Janis Boguzs

Photo by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash
                                        Photo by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash

I adore being close to nature, to get away from the city's rush. Thereby I choose to go to one guest house, owned by my friends and located in the middle of a national park. There can be enjoyed everything there: relaxation beside the sea, late evenings under the stars, all spectre of flora and fauna of nearby forest and the guest house yard itself. . . .


Caught It For My Father

Ellen Urowitz

© Copyright 2021 by Ellen Urowitz

Photo of a white fish.

About twenty years ago. My father was still alive. I don't remember how old. He must have

been fifty five ish. Still working everyday. Never packing a lunch

Always going out for morning coffee afternoon coffee.

I'm sure he's been drinking regular. That's four dollars a day times five.

Wondering why he's short on money. Thank goodness I'm working so I can help out. . . .


Seven Hundred on the Planet

Bettina Gantsweg

© Copyright 2021 by Bettina Gantsweg

Photo of an Uganda gorilla family.

Muggy, hot, sticky. Our group of seven stood at the base of the mountain while bugs swarmed biting naked skin. Excitement stirred within, waiting, waiting to see them. . . .


So Close I Could Hear It Breathing

Lisa Reily

© Copyright 2021 by Lisa Reily

Photo of a Nilgiri langur.
            Nilgiri langur - photo by the author

This is a story about a trip my partner, Ion, and I took to Thekkady, India, to see the beauty and wildlife in Periyar National Park, but we found that nature came to us instead. . . .


My Dad Was A Smoker

Lew Goddard

© Copyright 2021 by Lew Goddard

Photo of a Lew's dad.                                                        

He sat in a high backed wooden chair that creaked with the slightest move after dinner. Tobacco, in those days was available in packed layers of leaves and fashioned much like a cigarette package and to keep it fresh it was wrapped in cellophane. After carefully cutting the plug into small portions that fit in his pipe, he reached into his front right pocket and extracted a brass colored bullet shaped lighter. The top was removed and with a flick of his calloused thumb it burst into flame. It had to be tipped at just the right angle so it caught the tobacco on fire but he didn’t burn his thumb. The lighter was restored to his pocket. . . .


The Scent of Tiny Flowers

Pamella Laird

© Copyright 2021 by Pamella Laird

Photo by Nikhita Singhal on Unsplash

This story was told to me in the 1950’s by an aunt and uncle who lived in Chertsey, Surrey, UK.  I did actually meet the couple who were close friends of my relatives.  Apart from the horrors and romance of their story I remember particularly how anxious they were that they would care for the dinner dishes to make sure nothing was broken of their now treasured possessions. . . .


The Apple of My Eye

Lois Liu

© Copyright 2021 by Lois Liu

Photo by Khamkhor on Unsplash

. . . .I shot up from my limp state and groggily sat up in bed. While rubbing my pink-tinted hand, I let out a deep yawn. I blinked a few times, as though I was in an unconscious state. Staring out the window of our New York apartment, the branches swished around as the wind anonymously wailed to anyone who listened. The weather outside was like someone who just finished crying, leaving everything in a mess. . . .


The Lost Prophecy

Divine Walker

© Copyright 2021 byDivine Walker

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash
                                                           Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

He feels a slight tingling touch on his face as if someone is tickling with a shuddering hand. The shivering cold causes the frost to bite on his feet and hands. He could feel the tingling cold as soon as he woke up. There is a man standing in front of him with a hunching back. . . .


The Senator

Ronald Keely

© Copyright 2021 by Ronald Keely

Photo of a politician.

Richard Blunt prefers to be called Rick. He’s a simple man and lives a simple life and he is, for the most part, content. He’s average height, but he weighs two hundred forty pounds and muscular. He regularly lifts weights and exercises his abs and core. He has a graying beard and his balding head is usually covered with a hat. Around town Rick is known as grumpy and anti-social. He doesn’t have a glowing smiling face because he doesn’t see anything to smile about, but he’s not necessarily grumpy, he just doesn’t like people that much. . . .

Into The Lion's Den

Marjorie Keyantash

© Copyright 2021 by Marjorie Keyantash

Photo of a mountain lion by Wilson Chen.
                 Photo © by Wilson Chen

. . . .“Just stay calm…stay calm,” I kept telling myself as my heart beat out of my chest. I knew what I was supposed to do. From my years of studying big cats I knew the proper protocol for what to do when encountering a mountain lion but I had never had to put it to the test... until now. . . .


Not Perfect

Eileen T. Flaherty

© Copyright 2021 by Eileen T. Flaherty

Claudio Schwarz  @purzlbaum
                                       Claudio Schwarz @purzlbaum

Today and most days when I think about the holidays, whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter or the 4th of July, it brings me such joy and makes me smile. We, the Flaherty family, were a small bunch with just the four of us, my mom, dad, brother and me, until my nephews were born. . . .



Christinia Robertson

© Copyright 2021 by Christina Robertson

Photo by Victor Sauca on Unsplash

For that one moment, we were all saved.

I pulled up to the curb and saw my neighbor standing, wrapped in a sweater, outside her house. “Thank god you’re home”, she called as I got out of the car. “I need help.” . . .



Ciaran Doran

© Copyright 2021 by Ciaran Doran

Photo of a crouching cougar.

. . . .A rainy Sunday we headed into the woods after elk. The leaves were down for the year, creating a rustling red and gold carpet so anything within half a mile could hear us coming. Predators would pick us up too if they got downwind. Coyotes are sensitive. A lot of people say there are no wolves left in Missouri but I’ve seen plenty. They might not roam in packs but nomads do cross the state border pretty often. What’s a line on a map to a wolf?

Mountain lions are the rarest of all in the Ozarks. There’ve only been sixty sightings in the past twenty years. That amounts to a mere handful at any time. Since deer are plentiful the cougars don’t go hungry. It’s illegal to kill them though unless they’re directly attacking livestock or a person. . . .


Our Owl Friend

Kay DiVerde

© Copyright 2021 by Kay DiVerde

Photo of a great horned owl.

We were fortunate to have a baby Great Horned Owl who lived in our suburban yard for several weeks. The little guy seemed to find some comfort having us around, and we admired his majestic beauty. . . .


Country Living

James L. Cowles

© Copyright 2021 by James L. Cowles

Photo by of a lamp and book.  Courtesy of Dreamstime.

When a young boy, I remember the shock of seeing my Aunt Annie's house lit only by coal oil lamps.  I had never seen such a thing and as I recall, there were only two lamps, requiring a person to carry a lamp from room to room where light was needed.  How could this be, I wondered?  We were from The City of Louisville, where everyone had electricity, but less than one hundred miles from home, my country relatives were not as privileged. . . .


The Raptor

Abram Gabriel

© Copyright 2021 by Abram Gabriel

Photo of a hawk eating rabbit.

Good things that happened this past year of infamy.  2020 will be pivotal just like 1929 or the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Or like the Truman years or 1918 or 1945.  Those years will always be associated with certain images in my brain.  I wonder if they are for everyone? . . .


Courageous and Coping in a Time of Crisis

Diane McLeish

© Copyright 2021 by Diane McLeish

Photo of the hotel door.

. . . . I decided to explore the challenges facing a small establishment on Lamu Island lying off Kenya’s north coast. It had recently changed hands and despite being closed to visitors and having no idea of what the future of travel will be, the young managers have been determined to bring the charming but jaded little hotel back to life. Whilst pondering the obstacles they face, I also learnt of the intriguing history of the architect and previous owner of this tranquil little Swahili retreat. . . .


Salt Water, Milk, and a Jaguar Cub

Valerie Anne Burns

© Copyright 2021 by Valerie Anne Burnes

Photo of a baby jaguar at the Memphis Zoo.

Key Biscayne holds my fondest memories as a teenager during the carefree high school days when I had close friends, and a boyfriend. It gave me a connection I hadn’t felt during childhood, and a big part of it was being surrounded by balmy beauty....


Michael Manley- Jamaica's Radical Prime Minister and Non-Aligned Nations Protagonist
Legacy of Democratic Socialism and Solidarity With Black Africa 

Winston Donald

© Copyright 2021 by Winston Donald

Photo of Michael Manley.

Last week Cabinet members for the new Jamaican Conservative government of Prime Minister Andrew Holness was rolled out. The new government will shape and promote polices that befits the economic and social objectives of a debt ridden island state for the next five years. It is the first time that a conservative government has upstaged the Social democratic party, the Peoples National Party, the party that was led by Democratic and Fabian Socialist firebrand Michael Manley who is now turning in his grave at the massive loss at the polls of the People’s National Party of the island nation of Jamaica and its failure to even secure one third of the seats of parliament. . . .


Pie First
The Second Course is Observing Abundant Wildlife in Startling Shapes and Sizes

Marcia McGreevy Lewis

© Copyright 2021 by Marcia McGreevy Lewis

Photo of a manatee.

A determination to scout out the best Key lime pie in Florida morphed into a rewarding quest to observe wildlife I’d never encountered before. This unexpected experience became a double delight. . . .


My Snail Hunting Adventure

Chukwuebuka C. Oguocha

© Copyright 2021 by 
Chukwuebuka C. Oguocha

Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash
                                Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

The nature, and physical qualities of some creatures can be so deceptive; therefore, making us not to believe that there are more to what they are, and what they can do, than what we originally knew them for. This is the case of some underrated animals, like the snails. . . .


The Unfortunate Hawk

Chukwuebuka C. Oguocha

© Copyright 2021 by 
Chukwuebuka C. Oguocha

Photo of a hawk.

Who would have thought that a predatory creature that maintains a very far distance altitude in the sky, a raptor whose normal routine is to soar higher even above the tallest trees could be caught with bare hands without the aid of traps, or struck with any sort of weapon specifically designed for it’s hunt? . . .


Critters: Part One and Part Two

Jan Callner

© Copyright 2021 by Jan Callner

Photo of an owl.

A dollop of peanut butter, check. A monster of a rat trap – two heavy-duty jaws that snap with heavy-duty force – check. The spot on the deck where evidence of animal traffickery has been noted, check.

Somebody or something has been nibbling my succulents. Droppings and nut shells litter the space behind the recycling bin. Last year I trapped six fruit rats after discovering one lounging in the grease pan of the grill. I can handle nibbled succulents, but a rat in my grill is intolerable. . . .


A Youth Called Brownskin
The Story of a Troubled Jamaican Adolescent Influenced by the Hard Social Conditions of the Late 1970's to Early 1980's

Winston Donald

© Copyright 2021 by Winston Donald

Photo of Jamican flag with a marijuana leaf.

Gloom and sorrow shrouded the chilly air of the February 1981 morn. The shrubbery wet from the overnight dew , the tall Weeping Willows and lush Guinea grass that lined the roadway to the old Spanish mortar and limestone Baptist church created an idyllic yet somber atmosphere that complemented the majestic structure perched loftily on the apex of the Dry Harbour Mountains in St. Ann, Jamaica. As I climbed the hill to this rural church positioned like the last outpost in the American mountainous west , I became overwhelmed with grief and pulled a white cotton handkerchief from my inner tweed jacket pocket , then mopped my sodden eyes lamenting the loss of a needy but adventurous adolescent friend. . . .



Diane McLeish

© Copyright 2021 by Diane McLeish


This is a story of my encounter and the search for an elusive and very difficult to find wild animal called the Sitatunga antelope in a remote seldom visited national park in Kenya. . . .


Our Reason To Add An Animal Member To Our Family

An Animal Will Teach Respect and Love and also Bring Protection and Joy To Your Family! 

James K. Aumak

© Copyright 2021 by James K. Aumak


Photo of a German shepherd.

 I recently read a letter to the editor, in a local newspaper, regarding a reader that just suffered the loss of her family, a pet/dog due to cancer. I often read several local and State newspapers everyday, as I like to be informed as to what’s going on around me. . . .


Party Crashers

Desiree Kendrick

© Copyright 2021 by Desiree Kendrick

Photo of an Indian house lizard.

This is an account of me landing in a foreign land, where wildlife and ‘party crashers’ shocked my teenage inexperience. Come along for the ride.

On the tarmac, hot air rammed its way past the passengers and assaulted my face. Discordant voices, transcontinental and indecipherable ricocheted off the airport walls. I understood nothing except the gestures of airport security. The Customs check-in line was like herding cattle to slaughter. . . .


I Nearly Called My Baby Robin

Rachel Allen

© Copyright 2021 by Rachel Allen

Photo of robin.

The late February sunshine was stubbornly pushing through the clouds, blazing low in the sky and threatening to blind Graeme as he drove us through the sweeping Brecon Beacons. He’d done his research before we came, and found a walk that promised to be an easy to moderate route through the woods, taking in no fewer than four waterfalls. It sounded like just what we needed, a good dose of nature to shake us up and blow away the cobwebs. . . .


Nature's Path

Christine Law

© Copyright 2021 by Christine Law

Photo by Sue Thomas on Unsplash
                                Photo by Sue Thomas on Unsplash

My early childhood memories come from the age of seven. When the family decided to up sticks moving from Dudley an industrial Black country town to Kingswinford. Kingswinford, a small village on the outskirts of the towns, Wolverhampton, Stourbridge and Dudley. It meant that you had the best of both. Rural and town life style. . . .


Reynard Fox

Christine Law

© Copyright 2021 by Christine Law

Photo by Linnea Sandbakk on Unsplash
               Photo by Linnea Sandbakk on Unsplash

When I first moved from the Midlands to Essex, I was surprised to find how friendly the foxes had become. They would take it upon themselves to follow you along the streets like tame dogs sometimes during the day and mostly at night. People accepted this has the norm. . . .


Two in the Bush

Sam Smith

© Copyright 2021 by Sam Smith

Photo of a boy with a crow.

It was a sunny day in late April. My sister was at after-school swim practice, and I’d made a new friend. . . .


My Children and Other Animals

Alex Byrd Jones

© Copyright 2021 by Alex Byrd Jones

Photo of a gecko on a lamp.

Here in Italy, where I live with my family, the cockroaches are small and crafty things. You almost never see them. They stay well out of sight, and their only desire is to be left alone with those microscopic fragments of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese that they might be so lucky to gather here or there. I mean, who could blame them? . . .



Karen Radford Treanor 


© Copyright 2021  by Karen Radford Treanor

Two cats by Theophile Alexandre Steinlen.
            Two cats by Theophile Alexandre Steinlen.

A nice older couple stopped at my stall at a recent “Trash and Treasure” market in Margate, Tasmania. The man was carrying a block-mounted poster which caught my eye. It was a large semi-abstract floral with the logo of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston across the lower margin. . . .


The Same, But Different

Zahra Dot

© Copyright 2021 by Zahra Dot

Zahra with a lion cub on her lap.

When I say that I live in South Africa many people have images of me living among wild animals and having lions in my backyard. This is not in any way true. Wild animals and humans are, for the most part, separate.

But there are occasions when these two species are allowed to interact. There are several game reserves and farms where these animals are kept and some even allow limited interaction. This is a story of my interaction with one of these wild creatures....


Be Eager  But Never Forget The Warning

E. L.Teddy

© Copyright 2021 by E. L. Teddy

Photo of a wild boar.

. . . .I was 18 years old and I grew to love pastoral life which I grew to find myself with passion. I was so interested in hunting and so I troubled Dad until he educated me on how to use the gun which I understood faster than expected because it was in the blood to know. . . .


Christmas Yokes

Nnadi Samuel

© Copyright 2021 by Nnadi Samuel

Photo of broken eggs in nest.

Winter comes grey & dusty, like another vagabond experiencing it's hangover on Lagos' belly. Every harmattan finds December eating weird dishes in my head & other Christian homes left in my body. Whatever goes into them becomes a fellowship— a wild synagogue of shrimps hailing a boy not so full of grace. . . .


A Stranger From A Strange Land

Kelly Maida

© Copyright 2021 by Kelly Maida

Photo of Kelly.

Did you ever feel different than others? When I was a child I played with lucky rabbits feet and I had lucky charms. My favorite books were on witches and magic. I was also highly intuitive and guessed things about people correctly. I had no idea that I was an empath when I was a child. People around me when I was growing up did not understand why I was so sensitive. People could not understand why we were so different. . . .


Remembering My Brother


Valerie Byron

© Copyright 2021 by Valerie Byron    

Photo of Valerie, her brother and her mother, 1948.

Today I learned that my older brother, Dr. Alan Byron, is seriously ill in hospital on the Isle of Wight in England.  He is eight years older than me and we have never lived together.  As children, he was sent away to boarding school and only came home occasionally on holidays.  When I was twelve and he was twenty, my mother and I immigrated to California and my brother stayed in the UK, having joined the army. . . .


A Saltmarsh Sparrow Named Sal

Susmita Ramani

© Copyright 2021 by Susmita Ramani

Photo of a young saltmarsh sparrow.

For five years, I lived and worked as a lawyer in New York City. In 2003, I took off a few months between jobs, lived on savings, and roamed around the city. Every day, I woke up in my high rise one-bedroom apartment on 34th Street and 9th Ave. with a view of boats on the Hudson, kissed my cats (Max and Oscar) bye for the day, went down the elevator, chatted with the building’s doorman, Lee, then wandered the city with one or more of my many friends who had the flexibility to hang out at random times (who were otherwise actors, dancers, personal trainers, restaurant staff, college students, and so on). . . .


A Tale of Natures Achievement

Anna Boyle

© Copyright 2021 by Anna Boyle

Photo of Jack, the magpie.

The day in question was special. A happy day. Jack was home. Back where he belonged.

Jack had been with us for about six weeks. We had been looking after him. He wasn’t well when he came to us. He also came without a name, so we had to give him an identity. After a couple of days, he was named Jack. His gender was in question too – he could even have been a Jacqueline. But for the purposes of discussions about him at the time, and for this story Jack is ‘he’. Jack was a magpie. . . .


1968 - A Very Bad Year

James Quinn

© Copyright 2021 by James Quinn

Minnesota twins players visit hospital.

My name is Jim, and I want to tell you about a very bad year for my family. I am the youngest of seven children. Five boys, and two girls. I was seven years old. Let’s not forget our busy loving parents, trying their best to keep our little boat from sinking....


Easter Sundays in New Market
When I Was a Girl

Cathy B. Bridges

© Copyright 2021 by Cathy B. Bridges

Photo of Cathy as a child in front of her house.       

One sunny Fall Saturday afternoon approximately 10 years ago, my husband and I took our little granddaughter to visit her great-great-great grandparents' old home place. It was a beautiful day to enjoy being outdoors, and childhood memories flooded my mind as we came up the long driveway that ran along the side of a steep drop off. That reminds me of the day my grandfather scared me when he backed up his car too close to the edge. My brother and I were in the car with him, and I just knew we were about to go sailing off into the trees. . . .


Covid-19 or Not?

Cathy B. Bridges

© Copyright 2021 by Cathy B. Bridges

Photo of a person in a mask.

One morning in November 2020, my husband and I left the house with the intention of going to Publix to get our flu shots and receive a Publix gift card for doing so. There had been road work in the area for a long time and the morning traffic stretched across the bridge that day. Making a quick decision, we decided to turn around and go back to a nearby pharmacy to get our flu shots. We had gone to that same pharmacy for our shots in 2019.

After receiving our flu shots, and I got a pneumonia shot also, we went on back home. Later that night before going to bed my husband and I both felt achy all over like we would with the flu, but we did not think much about it. Neither of us have ever had a reaction to flu shots before, and we get them each year. . . .


Coviditis Diary

Paddy Tanton

© Copyright 2021 by Paddy Tanton

Photo of the common English kingfisher.

I have been keeping a diary since April 2020 entitled ‘Coviditis’ and am sending in four of the weekly entries two from spring to summer and two from winter to spring, each involving encounters with wildlife. . . .


The Hawk and the Hare

Christine Stevenson

© Copyright 2021 by Christine Stevenson

Photo by Pete Nuij on Unsplash
                     Photo by Pete Nuij on Unsplash

This story is 100% truth. It was a once in a lifetime moment between me and my overly-active-with-wildlife neighborhood. Large birds from hawks to buzzards hung around my home in South Carolina. It never bothered me until it had a reason to. . . .


No Fishing

Caroline Travis

© Copyright 2021 by Caroline Travis

Photo by Richard Lee on Unsplash
                                      Photo by Richard Lee on Unsplash

I think that’s an osprey,” said Paul, staring ahead into the distance of the deserted coast.

I scanned the sky, but could only see gulls.

There!” said Paul, pointing. When his prize failed to register, he spooned himself in behind me, and with his chin on my shoulder, and his cheek touching mine, he repositioned his finger. “There!”. . .


The Rocking Chair


Ruth Truman

© Copyright 2021 by Ruth Truman
Photo of a rocking chair.

 “Granddad,” I called, “It’s time for the Red River Valley Boys!  Hurry!”

 I turned on the prized console radio and pushed the rocking chair next to it, then ran to wake up my grandfather, still in bed recovering from working all night on the railroad.  It was WWII and he was an inspector, keeping the trains running so the soldiers could get to their assignments.  It was an important job. . . .


Albert Einstein and his Invention

Prakash Rawal

© Copyright 2021 by Prakash Rawal

Photo of Albert Einstein.

Albert Einstein was born on March 14 , 1879 in UIM,  Germany.  He was not talkative in his childhood,  and until the three , he didn't talk much . He spent his teenage years in Munich, where his family had an electric equipme business. As a teenager,  he was interested in nature and showed a high level of ability in mathematics and physics. . . .


Wael's Barber Shop

Alan Herman

© Copyright 2021 by Alan Herman

Photo by Carlos Magno on Unsplash.
                          Photo by Carlos Magno on Unsplash

Wael's barber shop is in the Muristan District of the Christian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. Wael is a Moslem yet he chose to place his barber shop outside the Moslem Quarter, a good business decision.

You see his shop is close to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and he gets heads to reformat among the many visitors to this site, as well as among other visitors, and residents of all the quarters. . . .


Angel Girl

Rich Courage

© Copyright 2021 by Rich Courage

Photo of a girl making snow angel.
                                    Photo by Gabriel Tovar on Unsplash

There was this shy yet fiery seventeen year old girl named Liza. Her hair and heart were aflame, free, full, delicate and true. A quiet girl, she expressed herself in art and poetry. Breathtakingly beautiful watercolors and moving words. And I loved her completely for one magical day in nineteen seventy nine. It was the best, most honest, happiest day of my life. Why just a day? I’ll tell you. . . .


Her Voice on the Train to Milan

Alan Herman

© Copyright 2021 by Alan Herman

Man looking out train window.

It was a chilly October after midnight morning. I had walked from my hotel laden with suitcase and backpack through dark streets and across a highway before being welcomed by the lit, warm and quiet waiting room of the Verona railroad station. Only a few people were waiting for the rare east- or west-bound train. . . .


The House That Nature Took

Christine Hand

© Copyright 2020 by Christine Hand

Photo of rainbow lorikeet.

Here, in this leafy suburb of Queensland is the house that we decided would be our forever home. Surrounded by large trees and shrubs, it provides us with the seclusion we desire together with the nearness to all amenities and the city centre. We share it with the local wildlife, crows, bats as large as unfurled umbrellas, the laughing kookaburras, magpies and rainforest birds nesting on the large trees and the miner birds, blue-faced honeyeaters, rainbow lorikeets, peewits and butcher birds on the smaller shrubs. Brush turkeys and blue-tongued lizards rummage and ransack the garden while the smaller garden lizards do comparatively little damage. By nightfall, the possums emerge, some carrying their babies on their back, nipping lithely from branch to branch and stealing the show for us all. At first, they are wary of our colony of six cats, then they decide that as fellow mammals they are part of the larger family. . . .



Francine van den Berg

© Copyright 2020 by Francine van den Berg

Photo of an elephant.

Nanghala is never far from my mind. After all, I owe her my life. If the old girl is still alive, I hope she will owe me hers one day. I met Nanghala in the Eastern Cape. She was a star in an amusement park. She put up a show for visitors three times a day, and in between her stage commitments she would take visitors around the premises. . . .


The Fatigue

Jay Liu

© Copyright 2021 by Jay Liu


Photo of police car in front of house.

Ever since Connie Owens disappeared from the world with a noose on her neck, a perverse sense of guilt and shame settled over me. It wasn’t like I was that close to her or anything, as she had always been that wayward girl sulking in the corner, biting her nails, but on that fateful day in April I had felt it: a sick constricting feeling over my heart, as if someone had grabbed and squeezed it hard. . . .


The Suicidal Pigeons of the I-80

Fernando A. Torres

© Copyright 2020 by Fernando A. Torres

Photo of pigeons near the road.

Is it a Russian roulette of the air? a macabre air race? The thing is that in an act that looks like suicide, pigeons of all color and sizes fly off parallel to the busy freeway to violently died by the speeding cars in a spectacular explosion of feathers. . . .


A Child's Prayer with a Side Order of Peas

Desiree Kendrick

© Copyright 2021 by Desiree Kendrick

Photo of a plate with peas.

When I was barely five, I landed in the hospital with pneumonia. As a child, I didn’t have any concept of how concerned my parents were about my health. I was very ill. Although my parents and older siblings filled me in later about details of this event, my memories are simpler. This is what I remember from a child’s sightline. . . .


Birthdays Behind Bars: Inside the Juvenile Justice System

Stephanie Wilder

© Copyright 2021 by Stephanie Wilder


Photo of prison fence.

After a career of teaching students in prep schools, I longed for a career change. Chance took me to the Juvenile Justice System and I got a job in a juvie facility for teenaged juvenile delinquents. It was indeed a career change, and it was an opportunity for me to step out of my world of privilege and I learned much more than my students did. . . .


Severe Weather Reports

Pavel Filatov

© Copyright 2021 by Pavel Filatov

Photo by ZACHARY PEARSON on Unsplash.
                                          Photo by ZACHARY PEARSON on Unsplash.

For Norman, life had always been somewhat complicated. There had always been one thing or another which prevented him from achieving what he wanted, and no matter how hard he tried, he always seemed to fail. You see, there are two things you should know about Norman. The first is that his whole life he’d dreamt of becoming a weatherman. The allure of standing in front of that green screen, letting the country know about the latest and most important weather conditions was overwhelming for Norman, and he did little else but develop his oratory abilities. The second is that ever since he could remember, Norman hadn’t just been Norman. At no one time did he realize this, but Norman had three very distinct personalities. Obviously, jolly, weather-loving Norman was one of them, and perhaps even the main one. The second liked to call himself Emilio. . . .

Norman’s third personality was a giraffe. . . .



Pavel Filatov

© Copyright 2021 by Pavel Filatov

Photo of monk in monastary.

The man slowly staggered towards the door. The house was large, with intricate designs from the gothic era engraved onto its exterior. Judging by the figure of Jesus with arms spread wide hanging above the door; the man thought that this was a monastery of sorts, a house of God. Even before he looked, he somehow knew that there would be no bell; it was a very old looking house, from a time before such things existed. . . .


Sunday Morning

Lew Goddard

© Copyright 2021 by Lew Goddard

Photo of a street scene.

Leaving his home he stepped onto the cinder and gravel mixed surface of the three block street where he lived with his parents. The air was warm and dry at nine o’clock this July morning contributing to a crackling sound as he continued to walk. There were no sidewalks in this area south of the Western Pacific railway that was parallel to the street... At a point about 30 yards from home he turned to a path leading through the eight foot high slab fence that separated the activity created in the area of the grain elevators and coal bins beside the railway. Two slabs had mysteriously disappeared at some time allowing a shortcut to the down town region. . . .


Ode to Gleeville - The Town
That Defied Literature

or, The Hamlet That Could Outdo "Hamlet"

or, The Story of Gleeville - A Story Without Conflict

Emmet Kelley

© Copyright 2021 by Emmet Kelley

Photo of identical houses.

     . . . . In normal society, the yes-man is an object of disdain , if not  of ridicule  and  vilification,  from “the William Whyte organization man”  to the blindly loyal supporters of autocrats like Donald Trump. But in Gleeville,  a small town located somewhere in Middle America, the yes-man would fit right in and, indeed, even blossom. For in Gleeville,  there was the community-wide  agreement  of the  general   rule of law of “ agreeing not to disagree”. . . .


Of the Holy Spirit, and Elvis

Carl Winderl

© Copyright 2021 by Carl Winderl

Photo of Nixon and Elvis.

Everyone has an “Elvis & me” story, or so it seems. Especially in these glory days of the woeful by-gone past.

And, I have one, too.

Only mine, in the parlance of about every other movie these days, is based on true events. . . .


Self-fulfilling Prophecy and Maria Ritter

Bonnie Crandall

© Copyright 2020 by Bonnie Crandall

Photo of the Dating Game.
Here she came again. Every Sunday she came like clockwork. She was probably in her late sixties, early seventies, under five feet tall, a little round gnome-like person with rough hands, her silver hair pulled back into a severe knotted bun at the nape of her neck with a lined face that spoke of a hard lived life. She spoke with a heavy German accent, and she was closing in for the "kill.". . .


Surviving a Brother's Suicide

Winston Wight

Introduction by David Wight

© Copyright 2021 by Winston Wight

Photo of sunrise by Richard Loller.

At age 18, my elder son Rion enrolled in Cornell University’s School of Architecture with a future full of promise. At age 22, he committed suicide. This story is primarily a letter written by his surviving brother Winston depicting Winston’s search for resolution, healing, and new meaning following his Rion’s death. . . .



David Wight

© Copyright 2021 by David Wight

Photo of a hand placing rose on tombstone.

In 1955, my mother was stricken with polio and hospitalized for a year. I was only four years old at the time and couldn’t grasp how much her illness and disability would impact my entire family and her for the rest of our lives. In 1996, my mother was stricken again, this time with post-polio syndrome. . . .


The Kangaroo and the Pocket

Linda A. Dougherty

© Copyright 2021 by Linda A. Dougherty

Photo of a kangaroo with a baby.

In early May 2018, my life circled in the same holding pattern as it had been since I was diagnosed in October 2015 with follicular type of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was exercising, eating a careful diet and taking natural supplements to boost my immune system. Every day I went into a local middle school where I work as a one to one special education aide. Every six months I saw the oncologist, had blood work drawn and we hoped it would stay that way or a miracle would happen. Cancer steals your life in unexpected ways even before it kills, or almost kills you. But, you learn to live with new rhythms in your life.

That warm spring, my special needs student and I were busy reading books about Australia because that what the seventh grade geography class was studying. We read about koalas, wallabies and kangaroos. He was especially fascinated by how tiny newborn kangaroos, the size of a bean, crawl up their mothers fur after birth and nestle into their mother’s pocket for the next six or so months, growing larger and stronger while suckling their mother’s milk. . . .


Humor Is The Best Medicine

Linda A. Dougherty

© Copyright 2021 by Linda A. Dougherty

Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash.
                            Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

It came packaged in my DNA direct from my dad, who I incidentally look like, this dogged propensity to go to the mats to right wrongs. After years of being the family bulldog, I’ve decided that I will first try humor as in the old adage, “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar." . . .


The Weird Dichotomy


Shivaji K. Moitra 


© Copyright 2021 by Shivaji K. Moitra 


the battle of Kurukshetra in the Mahabharata.

          The battle of Kurukshetra in the Mahabharata

India has long been known as the land of Gods and spiritualism. For ages, the mountains, hills and jungles of our country have been the abode of numerous sages and sadhus who practiced penance and meditation in the lap of nature to gain the knowledge of the Gods and to attain spiritual powers. Some of the monks mentioned in the Hindu religious scriptures and epics like Agastya muni, Viswamitra muni, Vasishtha muni, Kapila muni and Valmiki were famed for their immense knowledge and legendary spiritual powers. . . .

More. . .

The Summer Petey Bob Turned Fourteen

Paul Marion Fleetwood

© Copyright 2021 by  Paul Marion Fleetwood

Photo of a huge saw.

Just in case the reader is not familiar with my stories; I am an old retired Aerospace engineer writing true short stories of events that happened in my life for the benefit of my great-great grandchildren.  I want them to have some knowledge of their heritage and of old Pawpaw Bob (that is what my kids and grandkids call me).  My real first name is Paul but I was nick-named Petey Bob growing up. . . .


Babies, Bikes, and Mothers

Maureen Moynihan

© Copyright 2021 by Maureen Moynihan

Photo by girl's bike.

Ever since I was strong enough to carry a baby on my hip without dropping it on its head, I worked. Growing up, I watched the drama of money play out in my own household. My father made most of the money, so he dictated that we ate Toasted Oats instead of Cheerios and wore sneakers without the Nike swoosh as they were a flagrant demonstration of white collar commercialism. . . .



Don Shook

© Copyright 2021 by Don Shook

Photo of a guardian angel in stained glass.

The flatbed truck braked, but still hit the small boy who had suddenly appeared in the middle of the road. Fifty feet away, rose-trimmer in one hand, three-month-old baby under the opposite arm, Dorothy Ann turned at the sound of the squealing brakes and muffled bump. Her eyes widened in horror as her two-year-old son flew through the air, tiny arms flailing like a ruptured windmill before crashing onto unforgiving asphalt. Dorothy Ann’s urgent scream failed. Her heart stopped She stood paralyzed. The baby wailed.

This was my first experience with pain and injury. I can remember neither. . . .


No, Not. . .


Isabel Bearman Bucher   

© Copyright 2021 by Isabel Bearman Bucher 


Photo of a stream.

      My Nonna Angela Irene Giana at age 15

I’m an outdoor girl. In my earliest memories I’m wandering the unknown reaches of the woods, remote shorelines and hollows surrounding my home in Branford, Connecticut. Those were the days when kids were booted outside and told to not come home till sunset. . . .


Quail Hunting in Callahan Florida

Gordon Crenshaw

© Copyright 2020 by Gordon Crenshaw

Photo of quail hunter.

It was the first week in January 2003 when GG joined his hunting buddies Vince Stevens, Wayne Helms and Steve Billmyer in a big quail hunting trip down in Callahan Florida. Callahan is about 10 miles from the Georgia State Line on Highway I-95 just north of Jacksonville. . . .


The Gift of the Magi . . .Kinda

John Bourges

© Copyright 2021 by John Bourges

Photo of two stockings hung on a mantlepiece.

They all stood outside O’Henry’s Steak House on 6th Avenue and 4th street, while one of the bartenders and one of the staff waitresses watched the owner lock up for the night.

Have a good night you two.” He said and sensing that their relationship had grown over the weeks, left it at that, without further comment or remark and headed home. . . .


Susceptible Otherworld

Don Shook

© Copyright 2021 by Don Shook

Photo of a plane taking off.

Annie’s call had not sounded desperate, just serious. “I’m leaving the country and I may not return.”

Startled, Don could only manage a weak, “What? When?”

“No. Today. In a hour. I’m at the airport. Please, meet me here. I must say goodbye in person.” . . .



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