The Weather Network

Make PA Shopper
my money
saving homepage

Prince Albert Voice

Tatiana Schatten

Molly the Mole

Not based on true events

Molly the mole was very much like old King Cole. She was a Southern Marsupial Mole, and no heiress of royalty. Yet she was able to find a pipe, a bowl, and even a trio of fiddlers to give her pleasure. But how could she find these items in the sands of Australia where she mined incessantly? Easily enough, says I, and they were not human rubbish. Like the old king, the first she had was her pipe. It was a very unexpected pipe, of all different pieces and as white as snow buried deep, deep in the sand. Perhaps it had been left by a tourist, perhaps a far-faring stray seabird had brought it thither. But there it was, none the less, the remnants of a Harlequin Pipefish, a stray from the South American waters. I am afraid Molly tried  to eat it, but she soon found out how prickly fish bone is in the mouth. So, she continued past the pipefish, unfortunately greatly disrupting the bones in her scramble. How, I ask you, could she bear to be careful with an inedible fish when she had an edible bowl directly before her? Yes! An edible bowl! In fact, it was a large empty beetle shell, and what was within? Three fat katydids were piled within, fiddling no more, for, indeed, they were the trio of fiddlers. Molly wasted not a moment in calling for them, not caring how they had come to be so neatly placed in the shell, or how the shell had come to be so neatly placed in the sand, or even when they had been placed so neatly in the sand. She only went “ Snap! Snap!” and they were gone, bowl and all. Now, I do not wish to culminate the good old King Cole, but I believe this little mole was far richer than he. After all, nothing was said of there being anything in his bowl.

Read more...

A Family Excursion

Based on true events

Young ones are often difficult to manage. Full of sprightly life they are, with wide eyes to explore the world and eager wings to journey forth. Such were the thoughts of Mrs. W. B. Nuthatch. She and her husband had been as busy as bumblebees in caring for their eggs and nestlings. Mrs. Nuthatch  recalled when she had been stuck within her tree hole, sitting upon her precious eggs for almost two weeks, and how she had nearly lost her feathers with the boredom. But how much she did enjoy having breakfast in the nest! For it was Mr. Nuthatch who had the duty of feeding her, and he   brought seeds and insects aplenty while they both awaited the hatching of their young. Upon this task, Mr. Nuthatch ruminated with a weary soul. Never before had he ever fed a nuthatch who was owner of a larger appetite. But the eggs were now hatched and the fledglings fledged, and it was time for something new and exciting. Out Mr. And Mrs. Nuthatch flew from the nest and alighted upon a nearby branch. Their children needed little coaxing to follow, and one by one their plump forms emerged from the nest hole. Finally, all three were out and the family set off upon their adventure. Ah, life was good, the  sun was soothing on their backs, the green of living things rejuvenating for their souls. For the souls of Mr. And Mrs. Nuthatch at least, for unlike those patient parents, the young nuthatches took little note of their surroundings, and only zoomed back in forth among the trees without a second glance at sun or sky. At times, their parents beheld them flitting before them, at times they heard them winging behind. But once, the nuthatch couple could not even hear their children. It was then that Mr. Nuthatch felt a dark foreboding and alighted upon a tree trunk with his wife immediately following his example. There, in that vertical position, they raised their heads to search for their young ones. And they found them! My feathers, they found them! One, the eldest, was pecking trunks like a mad woodpecker, another had attached itself to an electrical wire, and there hung, upside down like a ridiculous ornament. Evidently, the idea had appeal, for nearby in a tree, was its sibling (the youngest of the three) upside down upon a branch. Mrs. Nuthatch, upon seeing these babyish antics, was compelled to look away from the view of her husband to hide her amusement. She remembered very well her own first expedition. But Mr. Nuthatch did not remember his fledgling-hood, and in his rising annoyance and anger expanded his feathery breast,and let forth an thundery “Nrrank! Nrrank!” Immediately, every cotton ball of a nuthatch halted its sport and took to the air and the family was again away. In the lead could be seen the mature, sober parents followed by three undignified, bobbing bundles of fuzz. It was not long before they all returned to the home nest. Immediately upon their arrival, Mr. Nuthatch lined up his brood like little soldiers, and berated them severely for their foolish acts, and lectured upon the sage dignity of being a nuthatch. His eyes were  shut while he was giving this discourse, and he felt like the lord of the castle during this reproval. But when he opened them, he felt like an actor in a bad play. There, before him, tucked below the wings of Mrs. Nuthatch, was his audience, each fast asleep. 

Read more...

A New Friend Prt.3

Not based on true events

Many years passed, and the seed which had once been a seedling had transformed into a magnificent Manitoba Maple tree. Mrs. Stacy had long ago taken it from its pot which had its home, and planted it outside her bedroom window. There, she knitted and listened to the maple’s mysterious talk: the whispers of leaves in a gentle breeze, and its heart-breaking moans in a roaring gale. At times, it would invite a friend into her window, sometimes a caterpillar, some times a Lacewing, and she always welcomed them with open arms before shooing them outside again. This was usually easily done, except if the visitor happened to be a wasp or bee. These, Mrs. Stacy was first forced to trap  in a container after a vigorous chase before sending them on their way. The Manitoba Maple indeed was a fine companion for the venerable Mrs. Stacy, constantly showering her with warm verdant light and pleasant leaf-songs. But one day it all ended. It was about  one o’clock  in the morning, the time when Mrs. Stacy was snuggled into deep and pleasant dreams. But this time, the slumber was all but pleasant, for she felt stifled and in her mind she beheld her beloved tree wreathed in smoke. She awoke with the horror of it only to come into new horror. The flames were not a figment of her imagination, but were dancing like evil things all about her. Outside Mrs. Stacy heard the cries of her neighbours who had been roused by the smell of smoke. “ Mrs. Stacy! Mrs. Stacy!” they called, “ Get out of there!” But Mrs. Stacy could not escape, for the door was in ashes with its conquerors dancing, blood-thirsty, upon its remains. There was but one chance and one chance only: the window. With a leap, Mrs. Stacy left the bed and rushed to  the window which was yet standing firm in the flames. Without hardly seeing or understanding what she was doing, Mrs. Stacy opened the window and looked forth. There, before her was her beloved maple beckoning with gnarled branches to jump into its grasp and be saved. Mrs. Stacy’s head felt like a feather, her eyes were blinded by fumes, her legs weakened, but she took the jump, yes, she took the jump, just as a greedy tongue of fire lashed out at her. For a moment, she was suspended into the air like a bird in green leaves, and then she plummeted, her grasp only pulling forth twigs. But the maple was true to its beckoning, and she caught one of the sturdier branches just as the ground came near. Then, swinging down to the remainder of the distance, she looked back to thank her lovely tree. But she could not, for it was wreathed  in flame. Aghast by the  sight, Mrs. Stacy stood like a statue and was only saved from perishing by one of her neighbours who dragged her into the street. And there she watched as those beloved leaves withered, and those sturdy branches snapped in the cruel fire. Her eyes grew blurry and dim, and she looked up to the Plant Doctor who stood by her. She lost a friend forever, and she would be so lonely once more. “ But no,” she thought with tears when the doctors kindly gaze showed itself to her, “ I have now found another friend.” And indeed she had, and they were wed in a week’s time, but the Mrs. Stacy, though forgetting her widowhood, never forgot the wonderful tree which she had lost, from seed to sapling, in life and in death, those wings had borne her from her miserable solitude and sent her on her joyous way int friendship.

A New Friend Prt.2

Not based on true events

It had been a week since Mrs. Stacy had taken her Manitoba Maple seed and planted it in its pot. That pot now stood, as prim as prim as could be, upon her bay window sill, where the sun could caress the greeness of the seedling within. And yes, the young plant was green! For the seed had already burst and a thin, white elegant stem was poking from it, and two infant leaves, as thin as a snakes tounge, had sprouted from its stem. “They are like wings,” reflected Mrs. Stacy one day as she watched it from her nearby rocking chair, “ wings to fly forth and keep me company.” It sounded ridiculous to speak of a plant as if it were a friend and companion, but sometimes Mrs. Stacy truly benefited from its presence. In fact, even when it burst from its case, Mrs. Stacy had been continualy feeding it music, and looked for its reaction a day or two later. To most of the popular songs, the seedling was averse, and even leaned away from the player as if bent by a cruel wind. Eventually, Mrs. Stacy did find music which suited its tastes, this was soft music with little or no rhythm.  She also remembered that, long ago, she had learned that plants breath carbon dioxide, and exhale oxygen, and so she spent her evenings reading alongside the burst seedling. There, by the window, addressing no one apparently, Mrs. Stacy was seen by her neighbors, and again they shook their heads. “ What has come over her these days?” they thought disapprovingly, and believed the worst had arrived. But it was truly an aid to Mrs. Stacy’s loneliness, this maple, for  she now had something to occupy her during oppressive evenings when all her solitary state bent down heavily upon her. Then, she would bring forth a book and read comfortably to the young plant. It was upon one such occasion that she noticed a difference imn the nursery sprout. To her eyes, the leaves seemed unusualy limp, and the color uncommonly livid. With a sentiment of apprehension, Mrs. Stacy stood and rushed forth from the room, through the adjoining compartments, and to her bedroom where she fetched the sole lamp of the house. Her eyes were used to the dark, yet she wished to verify her vision. She returned to the window like a gush of wind, and shone the lamp upon the plant. Indeed! Her eyes had been right! The twin leaves drooped and sagged, and the stem was bent, its hue sickly to behold. “ Perhaps I have not watered it enough?” She thought and ran again from the room before returning with a beaten soup can filled with the cooling liquid. While she watered the plant, she had a hope that she had tended to its illness. Then, she went to bed, and took what disturbed sleep she could. But the next morning, the plant was not well, and Mrs. Stacy carefully examined it, but found not one bug or blight. This, indeed, was a desperate case! So, without further ado, she took the plant to one of her neighbors, yes, one which had shaken his head at her. He was a well-known plant doctor, this neighbor, but when he examined the maple, he gave Mrs. Stacy little reason to hope. “ Try changing the soil,” Said he, “Perhaps it does agree with this young fella.” And that is exactly what Mrs. Stacy did as soon as she returned home. She drew handfull after handfull of soil from the pot, taking care not to damage the patient’s roots or the patient itself. But then she stopped. There was something ticklish in her hand other than soil. Swiftly, she fretrieved her paw, and opened it. There, to her utmost horror and indignation  was a dark, caterpillarish larva wriggling contentedly in her palm. At first she planned to end its life then and there but then thought better of it. That larvae too, after all, had a life to live. “ As long as it does not damage my maple, it may become a cranefly.” Mrs. Stacy said to herself. And, yes, it was the young of a cranefly; those large, harmless, dangle-legged mosquito-like insects. 

A New Friend Prt.1

Not based on true events

Mrs. Stacy was a lonesome woman, with her days of youth far behind her, and her earlier friends and and times long gone. She now had no friends, which is an intolerable state, and yet neither had she any enemies, which is quite a tolerable state. But one day, when she sat at her bay window, gazing forth through it with the leaping rays of sunshine veiling her being, she knew that she could find a friend. Indeed, it was a fanciful notion, born from Mrs. Stacy’s pinings after a long-missing companionship. The good woman, though,  did not fret about its foolishness, but put it immediately into action. Leaping from her seat with the vigour of  anticipation, she rushed forth from her violet-hued house and into her yard. It was a mere wilderness, this yard, and one at which the neighbours often shook their heads, yet Mrs. Stacy herself long adored its confines. And it was in this small jungle that she began her search. Bent double, she passed back and forth, from one fence to the other, to and fro, to and fro. She rifled through grasses, scoured hedges, and lifted logs, but found nothing to her satisfaction. But then, when the sun was low in the sky, and the crickets were beginning to sing, Mrs. Stacy discovered her heart’s desire. There, nestled between a hefty stone and a bulging mushroom, was  a seed, wrapped in brown, like a wing upon the ground. With a gleeful heart, Mrs. Stacy snatched the item, yet snatched it tenderly and with the same tenderness brought it into her house. There, within the blossom-strewn kitchen, she took from one of her cupboards a small and simple clay pot, and from one of her drawers a bag of sweetly-scented soil, and filling the pot with the self-same soil, she took the wing-seed, and set it upright in the centre. There it stood, like a sail of a ship upon a dark ocean. Yes, thought Mrs. Stacy, it is like a ship, a ship to bear me far from my loneliness. Her heart immediately leapt within her breast at the thought. Then, without another delay, she took up a watering can which stood near, and tipping it, watered the seed of friendship. Thus was the beginning of Mrs. Stacy’s companionship with her Manitoba Maple.

Current Flyers

Wednesday November 17, 2021