Photo Challenge #403- A Sacred Ground

Use the image as inspiration for a poem or short story.

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Photo Credit Sarah Whiley

A Sacred Ground

There they were. All my summer vacations documented in a stone memorial.
Our family didn’t have the means to visit the ranch every year. These rocks symbolized dog-years instead.
I was seven, once upon a time, and that’s when I found this secret spot. The first stone was my marker of the year I rode my first horse and had broken my wrist falling from the same.

The second and third kept a record of the “girl with strawberry curls”. I was too shy to express my adoration at 14 but we fatefully met again when I was 21. My life was forever changed that year.

The fourth stone marked our wedding right there at our happy place, on my 28th birthday, and the fifth commemorated the year our beautiful son, Anthony, was born. We wanted him to know that ‘Sacred Ground’ from the ‘beginning’ so Anthony rode his first horse swaddled in a pack on his mother’s back.

The sixth stone was a remembrance of all the other beautiful visits. It was dampened by tears of loss on that visit for Dad. Dad was the one who chose the vacation spot. I laugh remembering how he’d rub his hands in excitement while we packed for each trip. This year, he had succumbed to a sudden fatal heart attack at age 55. Mom would never be quite the same.

Mother refused a vacation pilgrimage seven years later and 14-year-old Anthony had joined a traveling baseball team, so our ranch vacations abruptly stopped.

Today I placed my stone-the last stone- on the temple I had started 80 years ago.
I am alone again at my special spot. Time has a way of moving ever more swiftly near the end, but a lifetime of memories is here still. My cane is all that supports me now.
I glance slowly around to etch this moment in my mind and those memories on my heart.
Then I close my eyes. To my startling surprise, I still hear a seven-year-old hollering “giddy-up!” in the wind.

Photo Challenge #402- Just a Fairytale

Use the image as inspiration for a poem or short story.
https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2022/02/09/photo-challenge-402/

Photo credit Claudia Weijers

Once upon a time…
There was a man, named Sidney, who hated crows!
They’d wake him up with their incessant squawking… they’d pilfer seeds from his garden … and they’d overwhelm his yard driving his favorite songbirds away! He took this all quite personally.
So, Sidney took every opportunity to throw things at crows. He also enjoyed swerving after them when they fed on carrion in the road. But his worst assault came when he fired his BB gun at them and finally killed one.
The crows had watched.
AND
The crows remembered.
A few days later, he ventured out on his dog walking route. All was eerily quiet.
“There we go. Hide you sumbitches! Good riddance.”
Sidney felt extremely satisfied and confident on that sunny morning.
But two minutes along, he was bombarded by acorns from above followed by at least one hundred black birds swooping and driving the dogs wild. The dogs got tangled in each other’s leashes and tripped Sidney to the ground, finely pulling loose and running off in four different directions.
After spending 2 hours rounding up his charges, he returned them to their owners, and then angrily limped home.
That’s when he found every flowerpot on his patio upended, all his line-drying clothes on the ground, and his skylight cracked!
Sidney found new property damage and encountered swooping harassment every time he left his house for the next week. His anger turned into fear… then his fear became regret.
When he finally had had enough there was no doubt that he needed to be the one to seek forgiveness.
After dark, he set up a large crow-friendly feeding station in the center of his yard. Then he disappeared, becoming a recluse, only peeking out-now and then-from behind drawn drapes. He’d been defeated and was hopeful that his surrender would be understood.
The usual ten crows cautiously returned in a few days. Then, his moment of redemption became available when an eagle swooped after the feeding crows and, without hesitation, he raced to their rescue waving his arms and cussing at the top of his lungs!
“Git outta here you sumbitch!”
Immediately, the predator left, and Sidney wasted no time putting up a pop-up canopy over the feeding station to deter any more aerial assaults. No stinking eagle was going to get HIS crows!

I’ve heard they all lived happily ever after.

Image result for crows recognize human faces


Before you think this is just a fairytale, you may be interested in this article:

https://theconversation.com/never-cross-a-crow-it-will-remember-your-face-2121#:~:text=Crows%20can%20remember%20human%20faces%20associated%20with%20stressful,tools%20to%20dig%20food%20out%20of%20tight%20spots.