T.A Walters (SciFi Novelist)
Hi and welcome to my neighborhood. Currently (for the last thirty three years), I've lived in Central South Florida. And in my neighborhood we have no HOA. That is Home Owners Association, or (as I've heard Garage Nazis). Recently it occurred to me that some people do, and my condolences go out to ya’all. In my neighborhood, you look across the road and find a guy smoking meat on a smoker/grill. He may be slugging down a beer. He has an airboat or two in the lot next to him or directly in his yard. His yard is well-kept and his kids play outside; usually playing catch or play-fighting-out a knife fight with a rubber squeaky toy fork stolen from a baby’s crib. We’re a close-knit bunch of folk that don’t do American Idol or much cable for that matter. Cable doesn’t do well in the low land areas anyhow. Satellite does. So many have dish networks. But that’s beside the point and off topic. Many of us are hooked on reading or just listening to those who can tell a good story.
I am one of those. I tell a good story.
Many 'end of the week' days are spent trapping and fishing. Without an airboat to sport the week’s groceries, one then relies on wealth to shop with. Not all has such wealth and so we grow up fishing and trapping. In order to be effective at this game, one must have an edge. For most it comes along well if one bends the law a bit here and there. If one does not know how to do this, or is far more honest; then one has to sit and watch himself and his children dwindle down to starvation levels.
As one conservation officer (Game Warden) would love to tell you of the young’un he caught walking up Bilford Road (a dirt road way out in nowhere’sville) totting a Whooping Crane by the legs on his way back home.
“Son,” the officer said wearily, “what have you got in yer hand?”
“Got me a crane-bird!”
“Well, I see that! What are you intending to do with that bird?” The officer knowing well that that bird carries a five hundred dollar fine. Being that, it is an endangered species and all.
The boy stopped and looked at the officer with certain seriousness. “You know,” he said. “Momma’s cooking dinner and we gonna eat tonight!”
“Well okay?” said the officer, a bit of question in his voice. “So you trapped that bird yourself?”
“Of course I kilt this bird myself,” the boy exclaimed proudly.
Well it was one thing to kill a beautiful Whooping Crane for a trophy and for its fine feathers and such, but to kill one for dinner … is another thing. Well maybe not!
The officer was for a moment quite ‘beside himself’. But then, being that it was just a young child, maybe there was an exception in this case … perhaps. Yes, he decided. A young boy of ten maybe eleven years old … hungry and poor as he was, it had to be an exception!
“Son,” said the officer. “Before I go, I was just wondering. What does a bird like that taste like?”
The young boy never hesitated, “Like a Bald Eagle.”
Well, there you have it. Welcome to my neighborhood!
Posted by T.A.Walters