The Reading Room
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
Conflict in the Kingdom
The Raven does a low fly over north field next to our
cabin every morning between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m., like
clockwork. He is looking for any morsel left him by
the man of the house. This particular morning he was
rewarded with left overs from previous night¡¯s chicken
dinner. Circling, he returned; upon landing, began
to dine. At that moment, another raven flew in, then
another, until there were eight.
Soon a dispute arose when two went for the same
tidbit. Stopping, they appeared frozen in place for a
brief moment. Then, the dance began; staring at each
other, they strutted around the prize. Suddenly, raven
number three boldly darted in, and seizing the prized
morsel, flew off! Perhaps the moral of the story is ¡®do
not take your eyes off the goal¡¯... or perhaps not.
The Raven¡¯s wingspan is 21-27¡±. He is similar to the
American Crow, but larger, with a heavier bill and
wedge shaped tail. Watching them fly, they appear to
soar much like a hawk. I have read that the Common
Raven is a very intelligent bird who applies reasoning
in situations entirely new to it. Its insight behavior is
comparable to a dog. Interesting.
Looking back, I remember a previous conflict in the
wildlife kingdom, played out one afternoon outside
the kitchen window, in the Garden of Blackened Toma-
to Vines and Frozen Squash. A skunk of considerable
size rambled into the vegetable garden, gravitating to
the frozen squash section. An aggressive gourmet, he
didn¡¯t nibble, rather he shook the squash, ravaged it,
demolished it. So intent on his meal, was he, that he
did not see another skunk enter the garden. Becoming
aware of each other, they came to an abrupt halt legs
planted firmly in place. Motionless, they seemed to
be analyzing the situation, sizing each other up. Then,
with much foot stomping, the dispute over garden ter-
ritory began in earnest. As a person who enjoys placing
a bet now and then, I was ready to put my money on
skunk number one. I was right. With a little more side-
stepping and foot stomping, the conflict appeared to be
deadlocked. Then, backing away, the intruder left the
garden, sauntering off towards the barn.
Was asked by a city friend recently if I struggled with
boredom, living the small town country life. Never!
Entertainment is as near as the nearest window.
Raven decided to sing
singing soaring singing
Wonk Wonk Wonk
ebony feathers shine
as the sun comes up. -K
(Karen Schafer lives in & writes about life from
¡°What¡¯s going on here, officer?¡± he asked. ¡°What is all this,
is this man in trouble?¡±
¡°This lady brought this man in here to be fed,¡± the police-
man answered. ¡°Not in here!¡± the manager replied angrily.
¡°Having a person like that here is bad for business.¡±
Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. ¡°See, lady. I told you so.
Now if you¡¯ll let me go. I didn¡¯t want to come here in the
first place.¡± The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and
smiled. ¡°Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the
banking firm down the street?¡±
¡°Of course I am,¡± the manager answered impatiently. ¡°They
hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.¡±
¡°And do you make a goodly amount of money providing
food at these weekly meetings?¡±
¡°What business is that of yours?¡± snarled the manager.
I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president of the company.¡±
¡°Oh,¡± said the manager, backing down. The woman smiled
again. ¡°I thought that might make a difference.¡± She
glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. ¡°Would
you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?¡±
¡°No thanks, ma¡¯am,¡± the officer replied. ¡°I¡¯m on duty.¡±
¡°Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?¡±
¡°Yes, ma¡¯am. That would be very nice.¡± The cafeteria man-
ager turned on his heel, ¡°I¡¯ll get your coffee for you right
away, officer.¡± The officer watched him walk away. ¡°You
certainly put him in his place,¡± he said.
¡°That was not my intent,¡± she said, ¡°Believe it or not, I have
a reason for all this.¡± She sat down at the table across from
her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently. ¡°Jack,
do you remember me?¡± Old Jack searched her face with his
old, rheumy eyes. ¡°I think so, I mean you do look familiar.¡±
¡°I¡¯m a little older,¡± she said. ¡°than when you worked here,
and I came through that very door, cold and hungry.¡±
¡°Ma¡¯am?¡± the officer said questioningly. He couldn¡¯t believe
that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever
have been hungry. ¡°I was just out of college,¡± the woman
began. ¡°I had come to the city looking for a job, but I
couldn¡¯t find anything. Finally I was down to my last few
cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked
the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and
nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off
chance that I could get something to eat.¡±
Jack lit up with a smile. ¡°Now I remember,¡± he said, ¡°I was
behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me
if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was
against company policy.¡±
¡°I know,¡± the woman continued. ¡°Then you made me the
biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a
Treasures From The Inbox
¡°But, I believe,¡± I continue, ¡°I know what true love is -
or what it should be.¡±
¡°What should it be?¡± Tristan asks, his voice soft now.
¡°It should be a friendship and truly knowing who a
person is, knowing his flaws and hopes and strengths
and fears, knowing all of it. And admiring and caring
for - loving the person, because of those things.¡±
- Lisa Ann Sandell, Song of the Sparrow
¡°I don¡¯t think love is blind, true love is probably the
most clear-eyed state of being there is.¡±
¡°Maybe you¡¯re right. Maybe with true love, you see,
and you love anyway¡¡±
- Marisa de los Santos, Love Walked In
¡°Oh, dear.¡± She let her head fall back to the pillow.
¡°There it went. I¡¯ve fallen in love with you now.¡±
¡°Just now?¡± Chuckling, he came to a sitting position,
resting his forearm on one bent knee. ¡°Well, thank God
for belated blessings.¡± He ran a hand
through his hair. ¡°It¡¯s been coming on rather longer
than that for me.¡±
¡°What?¡± She sat bolt upright. ¡°What can you mean?
¡°From the first, Amelia. From the very first.¡±
- Tessa Dare, One Dance with a Duke
¡°I love my gallant captain with all my heart and soul
and might, and never will desert him, while God lets us
be together. Oh, Mother, I never knew how much like
heaven this world could be, when two people love and
live for one another!¡±
- Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
cup of coffee, and told me to
go over to a corner table and
enjoy it. I was afraid that
you would get into trouble.
Then, when I looked over
and saw you put the price of
my food in the cash register,
I knew then that everything
would be all right.¡±
¡°So you started your own
business?¡± Old Jack asked.
¡°I got a job that very after-
noon. I worked my way
up. Eventually I started my
own business that, with the
help of God, prospered.¡±
She opened her purse and
pulled out a business card.
¡°When you are finished
here, I want you to pay a
visit to a Mr. Lyons. He¡¯s
the personnel director of my
company. I¡¯ll go talk to him
now and I¡¯m certain he¡¯ll
You Reap What You Sow
¡°Good morning,¡± said a woman as she walked up to
the man sitting on ground. The man slowly looked up.
This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer
things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like she
had never missed a meal in her life. His first thought
was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many
others had done before. ¡°Leave me alone,¡± he growled.
To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She
was smiling, her even white teeth displayed in daz-
zling rows. ¡°Are you hungry?¡± she asked.
¡°No,¡± he answered sarcastically. ¡°I¡¯ve just come from
dining with the president. Now go away.¡±
The woman¡¯s smile became even broader. Suddenly
the man felt a gentle hand under his arm. ¡°What are
you doing, lady?¡± the man asked angrily. ¡°I said to
leave me alone.
Just then a policeman came up. ¡°Is there a problem,
ma¡¯am?¡± he asked. ¡°No problem here, officer,¡± the
woman answered. ¡°I¡¯m just trying to get this man to
his feet. Will you help me?¡± The officer scratched his
head. ¡°That¡¯s old Jack. He¡¯s been a fixture around here
for a couple of years. What do you want with him?¡±
¡°See that cafeteria over there?¡± she asked. ¡°I¡¯m going
to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold
¡°Are you crazy, lady?¡± the homeless man resisted. ¡°I
don¡¯t want to go in there!¡± Then he felt strong hands
grab his other arm and lift him up. ¡°Let me go, officer.
I didn¡¯t do anything.¡±
¡°This is a good deal for you, Jack¡± the officer answered.
¡°Don¡¯t blow it...¡± Finally, and with some difficulty, the
woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria
and sat him at a table in a remote corner. The manager
strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table.
Love From The Books
find something for you to do. I think he might even find
the funds to give you a little advance so that you can
buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on
your feet. If you ever need anything, my door is always
opened to you.¡± There were tears in the old man¡¯s eyes.
¡°How can I ever thank you?¡± he said. ¡°Don¡¯t thank
me,¡± the woman answered. ¡°To God goes the glory.
Thank Jesus. He led me to you.¡±
Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused
at the entrance before going their separate ways.
¡°Thank you for all your help, officer,¡± she said.
¡°On the contrary, Ms. Eddy,¡± he answered. ¡°Thank
you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never
forget. And... and thank you for the coffee.¡±
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