A Homering Pidgeon…a tribute to Peggy Dobbs by Miryam Howard

“owl never forget you, Peggy…none of us will” Good Sunday morning to you all, Literati mia First time on this site? Currently our contest is honor of a woman we all love named Peggy Dobbs, who passed away in June at the age of 82. Peggy was a regular contributor to our collection of stories …

owl never forget you, Peggy…none of us will”

Good Sunday morning to you all, Literati mia

First time on this site? Currently our contest is honor of a woman we all love named Peggy Dobbs, who passed away in June at the age of 82. Peggy was a regular contributor to our collection of stories and a constant supporter of all who expressed themselves in the written word here. Her husband, Homer, preceded her passing by six months. She inspired the prompt for The First Annual Peggy Dobbs Write-of-Passage contest: “I swear, it’s not too late.”

Miryam Howard was one of the many friends that Peggy left behind, and their bond was legendary.  Also emblematic of what this site accomplishes: uniting diverse people for the common good of self-expression. Peggy, the born-again Baptist from Alabama and Miryam, the rabbi’s wife from the Pacific Northwest were not going to let any cultural differences stand in the way of a good friendship.

So Miryam’s entry is her highly personal tribute to Peggy.  Here is what Miryam had to say in the email that she sent with the story attachment:

“Dear Thorn,
Thanks for receiving my submission.

My story may be a bit juvenile or whimsical for some, but it is just what launched out of me…..
I wanted to create something that I thought Peggy might read to her grandchildren, or that she would smile at. I hope it honor’s a wonderful lady who influenced me in a great way.

Much love, Miryam Howard
Presently in Long Beach, California.”

***************************************

No one, Miryam, will perceive it as a bit juvenile or whimsical, but an expression of appreciation for Peggy.

Here is Miryam’s fable:

Without hesitation or minor reservation, Homer, the Turkey knew.

For the Alabama countryside had burst forth into colorful splashes of crimson reds and neon yellows. The damp Balsamy air had been transformed from meandering warmth to crackly crispness, which made Little Turkey’s teeny beak tweak. It seemed like just yesterday that the bright orange Butteryfly Weed carpeted the fields….

“Could it already be fall?” contemplated Homer, as he assessed the scenery, with a weary sigh.

Momma and Pappa Turkey had strongly warned him when he set out on his journey to the gulf sea,

“You must not dawdle! Keep up your waddle! Very soon the sun will fade and you will be in the shade! The ground will freeze, and oh, our little Homer, you could get caught up in a breeze!”

Momma was so worked up with worry that she had to hold back her tears. Just thinking about her darling, put fright in her years. She kissed him and gave him a scarf just in case, for only God knew the trials he would face.

Homer heeded his parents warning with all seriousness, however, as much as he tried, the distractions survived. His mind would whirl, as his wings took a twirl. He knew his plan was a bit absurd… after all; he was only one little bird. But the journey was of such magnitude; all the icicles or roadside obstacles could not sway him to give up (even a little bit)!

As the days grew shorter Homer trotted faster. The long night felt dark and thick, like a big mud pie stuck to a stick. Homer huddled beneath a gigantic Long Leaf Pine tree and his feathers began to quiver. He filled his heart with warm summer memories, now so far behind him. Wrapping his scarf tightly around his wrinkly turkey neck, he dozed in and out of slumber.

“WOOT …. WOOT …. WOOT…”

Suddenly Homer sprung up with a start. Rubbing his eyes he searched about. Focusing in the darkness Homer saw a most amazing sight. For leering above him on a Long Leaf limb was the biggest Great Horned Owl he had ever seen!

“Oh, do not eat me for your midnight snack Great Owl!” shivered Homer, “I am not so tasty and rather skinny as you can see.”

Great Horned Owl’s glare pierced Homer for a long silent moment, and finally in his low and owlish drawl he said,

“Ya’ll calm down now. No one’s gonna ruffle your scraggly hiney. Stop your kevetch’in, it’s bad for your complex’in!

Homer was very relieved that Owl was not looking at him as a meal, and proceeded to tell him all about his courageous plight. He explained how he was on a journey to find his very special wife, — that she was waiting by the big gulf sea.

“For I have seen her in a magnificent dream! She is altogether the most beautiful thing!  Her eyes are like pools of lustrous sapphires and her snood as plump as juicy gooseberry pie. Her feathers like silk ribbons sweeping down her spine and her gobble as soft as a melodious rhyme ….You see, Mr. Horned Owl, I must find my beloved!  For I am truly a turkey in love!”

And with all the emotion that filled the night air, Owl almost tottered from his limb, and a silent tear fell from his saucer-like eye. Serendipitly,  Homer found a kindred soul in Great Horned Owl. Both were helpless romantics, there was no question of semantics.

As morning grew near, it had become clear; Homer must pick up his pace to win this race!  What was needed said Owl, was a divine boost….something superior in strength and profound in length.

“I’ve got it,  exclaimed Owl, I know what to do! We will make a great sling of which we will fling. You will fly through the air, up over the trees. Sailing the wind with the greatest of ease. You will open your wings and land on the shore, just in time to find the one you adore.”

For the first time since leaving his home, Homer felt excited again. His little turkey heart almost beat out of his chest with anticipation of what lay next.

A mighty and limber branch from the Long Leaf Pine was chosen by Owl. It was in the perfect position at the very top of the tree. Homer jumped upward from limb to limb until he reached his launching pin. Owl’s powerful strength bent the limb back as Homer hopped on. And with one last oomph backward, Owl let the limb go!

Like a fluffy-feathered whirly-wig astronaut, Homer spun into the cloudless sky! It was an atmospheric expedition of pure unbridled trepidation! He lunged higher and further than he had ever known! The sheer exhilaration took his breath away as the wind carried him higher and higher. Owl led all of the winged creatures of the forrest in a ballet surrounding the air-bound flight. As Homer began his assent he could see the ocean stretched out before him. Frightfully concerned that he could make a safe landing, it was as if Owl was reading his mind….for with great precision, Owl eased his enormous body under Homer’s belly, guiding him like a cake upon a pedestal, banking the air currents with ease. Without so much as a ruffle, hundreds of feathered dancers pirouetted as the waves met them with applause.

There on the sand, just like in Homer’s dream, the most lovely Mrs. Turkey appeared!

“Hello,” she said, as she tossed her caruncle, “My name is Peggy, how do you do? The seagulls told me you were coming and it appears it is true!”

And on one shaky knee Homer bowed down with a plea,

“Oh beautiful Peggy, with you I’m in love. We were brought together by God above.”

“I am all yours Homer dear, through thick and through thin. There is no greater love, that has ever been.”

Wing and wing they strolled on the shore, making plans for their future and so much more.

The wedding feast was amazing, as the story was re-told over the years by Horned Owl,

“The news of Homer and Peggy’s romance spread quickly you see, and all arrived expectantly. The orchestra played their favorite tunes, and morsels were eaten with clinketty spoons. Dancing and laughter, and all kinds of chatter…. oh, it was more than sublime, — t’was a magnificent time!

There was never a love so great and so pure. Yes, my friends, this love was for real. A journey of faith —- a dream while awake —- a lifetime of thrills, throughout many years.

To all the romantics of the world do I swear; it’s not too late, to that I declare!  Turkeys can fly and dreams do come true…Life’s invitation is beckoning you!”

 

33 comments

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    Enchantment in verse telling us who never met this lovely couple why we are gathered to honor them both. Romance fulfilled is a joining of two souls into one. Here is the best of southern charm, manners and story telling. Your story Miryam warmed out hearts and humbled all others who claim to be lovers.

  2. Diane Cresswell says:

    Oh my Miryam I’m crying and laughing at the same time, reading the story through verse and rhyme.
    I read it through and yet did ponder, how a turkey could fly further than yonder.
    You made it sound so clever with the help of an owl, that Homer did make it instead of crashing most fowl.
    The story carries a sweet message to one and all, that love comes to all that hear the call.

    You should really put this in as a children’s story – not just for Homer and Peggy’s children and grandchildren but for all children. I’m am so happy to read your stories again and this one is precious.

  3. The gem, the jewel, my dear girl you have written what is in all of our hearts. I feel the contest has been had, I rest my pen. Reading this as a writer far across the sea, the paragraph that details the landing is the best thing I have ever read. Juvenile, whimsical? Transcendental, magic; the elements of love. A wielding talent come to the fore by spiritual bond. I stand, with bunny slippers warming my toes, astounded.

    • Miryam says:

      Mr. Stang…. Your comments far outweigh my talent, but I will surely receive them! I’m very delighted that you enjoyed the “landing” description…. I saw the scene vividly in my mind as I was scribing it… I think I was cheering on the shore along with the others! Ha ha….. I’m a kid at heart. Many, many thanks to you for reading my work. I consider your words fuel which push me forward.

        • Since everyone else is bringing it up, your children’s voice is a natural. What editor/publisher/agent would not jump on this band wagon. So happens Betty, my wife, is sending out her picture book to companies who will accept unplublished work. We have scads of websites and a few connections, if you consider going the old fashion route.
          By the way, isn’t this up Thorn’s alley.
          Think it over (seriously).
          Best to you and Brian

          • Miryam says:

            Is Betty an artist/illustrator?? Wishing you great success in your submission! Yes… I am interested in Thorn’s thoughts on this. I need to connect with him. One way or another, I am taking everyone’s comments as a kick in the tush to start mov’in my stories to some kind of publication… I know nothing about this process, so have a big learning curve ahead of me…

          • Michael Stang says:

            Yes she is, and in this case author as well.
            Many many, many people undertake the channels and jump off the cliff witrhout much to show for it. This story, taking the personal involvment out of the picture for a minute, is the golden egg. Getting published is like anything else, hard work, perserverance, and a little bit of luck. (Okay, alot of luck.) But you have half the battle beat, bringing this story to the table.

  4. Sheri Strobaugh says:

    This was beautiful. I am a sucker for rhyme and just love it. I am going to print this story and read it to my grand babies. It’s a treasure, thank you.

    • Miryam says:

      Rhyme is a real challenge!! I am not close to an expert, but have fun with it… I bet you do good voices when you read stories to your grand babies!! Wish I could be there! Thank you for the biggest compliment I could ever hope to receive…

  5. Glclark says:

    Miryam! This is wonderful. I have to tell you that our church has a Pumpkin Patch every year and in our little town of about 800 people, all the kids from the elementary school come on their assigned days to the Pumpkin Patch to have stories read to them and to get their pictures taken and then decorate pumpkins. After years of hiding out during Pumpkin Patch Days, I was cornered and drafted to read stories to the kids and I took this story for them. THEY LOVED IT!
    I agree with Sal – you need to do a book of kids stories………. my publisher has just opened a kids books section and the ‘gate keeper’, is a good friend of mine. Contact me at glclark55@yahoo.com if you want to pursue this.

  6. KYLE Katz says:

    Oh My. This is stupendous. I certainly was hooked, I could not believe the flight I just took. I glided and soared with each word that I read. Not just a story…but the way it was said. I love, love, love this!!! Thank you.

  7. Brian says:

    THX peeps, I was blessed by all of your encouragement toward my Baby…….
    It was soon after we were married that I realized that ‘We went to sea in a sieve we did, in a sieve we went to sea’…..I soon realized that it was a good thing, that she had informed me that the ‘little boy in me’ could come out to play anytime he wanted to….. Ask miss Miryam to share the story about the Squirrel that fell in love with a Manatee……
    Shalombaby

  8. Stars Fall On My Heart
    Stars Fall On My Heart says:

    You had me at “There was no question about semantics”! I loved it…and is it weird I could hear Peggy’s voice narrating when her character comes up? <3

    • Miryam says:

      Dear Stefanie…. I never thanked you for commenting! So sorry!! I had fun with this story a few nights back… while sitting around our little camp fire with a few neighbors I enticed them to read the character lines out loud with their best Alabama accent! It was hilarious…..needless to say, B made a fantastic Great Owl!! Peggy would have been proud!!

  9. Jodi DOBBS McDanal says:

    Miryam, I loved your entry to Mother’s contest and I can assure you she did too! It is so strange that you chose a turkey for Daddy because it never mattered which grandson came into the room, he would say, “hey TURKEY, what are you up too?” He teased them so much! Good luck on the story and we would all love a children’s book about Homer and Peggy, the turkey lovebirds! Thank you so much, Jodi

  10. Suzanne Morse Liy says:

    This is such a sweet and romantic little story. Writing it as a fable added to it. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

  11. elizabeth sloan says:

    Delightfully whimsical. I couldn’t stop smiling. Your lovely fable is the best gift Peggy could ever have, and a much appreciated insight into this woman who I did not have the pleasure of meeting in this life. It’s sad indeed that she didn’t get to read this. AH, but perhaps she is from the perch of a Long Leaf Pine.

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