“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:
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!”