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Route 153 and the Special Guest Blogger June 8, 2009

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Friday morning I stopped over next door at Paul and Lynda’s to drop off a loaf of rhubarb bread I’d somehow managed to bake with Lali’s rhubarb and her rhubarb bread recipe. While there, Paul starts a story with the words, “If I had a blog . . . ”

It was a very good, very Route 153 story. So later that day, I sent him an e-mail: “If you write out that great story you told me this morning, I’ll post it in quote form on MY blog.”

I’d thought about trying to tell it myself, but I didn’t want to get the details wrong. I got to hear the story again on Saturday night, when those gourmet friends of ours hosted yet another dinner. Paul had been on the way to their place when it all unfolded. I hadn’t relayed the story to Tim, so Dan told it, and I must say, he did a mighty fine job. I wish I could tell a good story. You know, when I actually talk.

I just got back from the gym et voilà! here is the story in my in-box. So without further ado, let me introduce my neighbor Paul, a sculptor and builder of the best swing set in the world, who both lives on Route 153 and was driving along it in all its loveliness when the following took place:

Why Didn’t the Guinea Hen Cross the Road?

Headed south from our little village on a somewhat country road one morning last week, my mind was wandering while listening to the weather report that seems to go on so long you forget to pay attention until it’s too late. Then huh? something in my lane? a hen and chicks just standing there, I hit the brakes hard, swerved around them with all the pickup truck handling I could muster, and came to a stop on the edge of the road after getting past them. Stupid birds, I think; they still didn’t move, even after I stopped. Still just frozen in the road.

I know it’s stupid to get out on a curvy stretch of road like this, but it will just take a second and then I will be on my way, I tell myself. I jump out after hitting the hazard lights, and walk back to the birds who are still just standing there like they are stuffed. Six feet away now, I stretch my arms out to scare them off the road and the mother finally jumps a little and turns toward the edge of the road, the fluffy little chirping chicks start to do the same and WHOA!! from the other side of the road a huge red tail hawk silently swoops down and scoops up one of the chicks right off the road and flies up to a tree branch while the rest of the birds scatter. Oh, I say to the hen, that is what you were focused on. Oops, I had no idea.

Shaken, I got back to my truck before another vehicle arrived to find a silly creature in their lane of travel. Seat belt on, back in drive, accelerating . . . WHOA!!—a woodchuck runs out from the side of the road and I manage to straddle it with the front wheels, but it is still running and WHAM! gets crunched by the rear wheel. What the hell is going on?

Later on that week I saw a turtle near a bridge by the side of the road waiting to make a break for it. Sorry pal, but you’re on your own. This time I am staying out of it, as I look up in the sky for the circling pterodactyl that must surely be up there waiting for me to help it move the turtle out in the open.



1. Craig (Maito Sewa Yoleme) - June 8, 2009

I can’t recall a story that has made me cycle through a bunch of conflicting emotions faster than this one. Brilliant, sad, funny, and worrisome: mainly about whether Paul’s unlucky presence is a danger to humans too, or just poor defenseless animals.

2. Adam Byrn Tritt - June 8, 2009

Ah, but we are so very much the unwitting hands and feet of the Universe.

3. indigobunting - June 9, 2009

He’s lived next door to me for a few years, and so far, I’m still here.

4. Cedar Waxwing - June 9, 2009

Paul should get a blog. He’d have an automatic following.

5. Mali - June 9, 2009

From the first sentence I knew it was going to be good. “…my mind was wandering while listening to the weather report that seems to go on so long you forget to pay attention until it’s too late.” I do that ALL the time!

6. Eulalia (Lali) Benejam Cobb - June 9, 2009

It’s spring, that’s what’s the trouble.

Glad the rhubarb bread turned out.;

7. indigobunting - June 10, 2009

CS: Paul should get a blog. So should his lovely wife.

8. helen - June 10, 2009

Wow. Great and gruesome storytelling.

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