Mind Muses
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Mind Muses

The One-Legged Quail

by sally thomson on 09/08/15

The one-legged quail today died today. I took him to the brush pile so he would be cremated. I couldn’t allow a varmint to dig him up or eat him.

That quail lived a long time. His leg was taken off when he was just a youngster and he lived his life with a stump. It slowed him down some and he was prohibited from living a regular quail’s life, but nevertheless he endured. His life was a testament to tenaciousness.

The little quail’s death hit especially hard because he was the last living reminder of a good friend who died a few months ago. James was a dairyman who lived about two miles down the road. My daughter milked for him and took care of the rest of his animals: chickens, ducks, pigs, and the quail. As often as I could, I visited the dairy; pitching in by washing eggs or feeding.

James was a man with big dreams. He had grand plans for his little farm. The quail played a minuscule part in that dream, but he had his appointed role in the scheme of things. James called him his “guard dog”; at night the quail raised a ruckus if anything came around the yard. Then a burst blood vessel cut our friend’s dreams short.

The dairy shut down right after James’ death; all the animals were sold. Saying goodbye to our friend went from difficult to impossible, as we saw all his dreams dismantled.

My daughter brought the crippled quail home. No one else would look after him. To me, the tiny bird stood for a little piece of our friend living on.

He didn’t have a wonderful life; with only one leg he rarely got out of his cage. But he sang nearly every morning and chittered softly whenever we went by. His attitude was always upbeat, and he gave me pleasure just caring for him.

Then one day, he was still, lifeless, and silent. Perhaps the heat was too much for him. Or it was just his time; he was three years old by then.

Losing the little guy was sad. Hardest to take, though, was losing this last reminder of my friend. It brought his loss back to my mind to be felt all over again. I have good memories of James; stories to relate and episodes to relive; buckets and tubs and milk jugs as reminders. But the empty space his death caused is a little larger at the loss of the quail.



by sally thomson on 06/19/15

Welcome to my mind muses! Where I talk about whatever. Comments are welcome, I want to know what you think.

For my first post, I'd like to give you some of my background. Born and raised a city girl, as soon as I could I ran to the country, and never looked back. I've lived on my 53 acres for over 20 years now, and don't plan on moving any time soon. Or maybe I will, if my husband can persuade me to! We have two wonderful children, grown now - or so they think. My daughter is still at home, but I can see the day when she will fly away, following her brother to start her own life. I dread that day; it was hard enough when my son decided to move out. What will I do with no children left? 
Of course, I'll still have my best friend and love of my life, my husband. He is the greatest, and I am looking forward to having him all to myself soon. 
There's lots to do on our acres, from working Border Collies to taking care of the sheep and goats. There's also eggs to be gathered, the fish pond to tend, and the garden to look after. The pace is seldom slow around here.
I teach at a small school three miles from home. Now that's a good commute! I have been there 14 years, teaching in the elementary grades. I love the kids, love teaching, but the education system! Don't let me get started on that! I'll save that rant for another day.
I have always loved writing, and have done it all my life. It was only recently that I decided to venture out and actually get something published. It's been a great experience. The best part is the actual writing. Preparing the manuscript for publication is second. The hardest part for me is the marketing. I'm working hard on it, though, and gathering all the information I can about the ins and outs.
I hope you will try one of my books. "Lunch Date" is my first, and "Reservations" is a sequel. I'm working on a "threequel" I guess you'd call it, due to lots of requests for "what happens next". I'm also working on a new project: a science fiction series involving time travel. I'll keep everyone posted about these new projects.
For now, I'll close. Thanks for taking the time to get to know me. Talk to you soon!