The Siskiyou Writer’s Club meeting at the YMCA last Thursday was a great success. Normally the club encourages its members to write and read a story. But, for its April meeting, members were encouraged to write stories and poems.
Based on true facts, Carol Amaral’s emotional poem, “Mama, Why Did You Leave Me?” was selected as the club’s favorite poem.
Don Janssen’s stories are always imaginative, and usually defy being pigeonholed into any specific genre or category. The club’s story selection for April, called “The Rosy Metamorphosis,” is no exception. It can perhaps be classified as nostalgic whimsy with an overlay of unabashed craziness.
Congratulations to both Carol and Don for their creativity.
The Rosy Metamorphosis
It was the fifth time running I’d worked all day and came home and fixed a dinner. I sat down in front of the TV. The next thing I knew, it was eight thirty and I had awakened from a deep sleep. I needed to break whatever spell held me in thrall. I went outside. It was warm and a half light of a golden sunset washed over the town. I got in my old car and drove to the edge of town. I parked there beneath the oak trees and walked my favorite path up out of the forest and over swales. I strolled through weedy patches until my climb came up against an outcropping of serpentine stone. This was my place to rest and find out what was disturbing my life. I leaned back against the warm stones and looked down and across my little town. Early evening light revealed the wide main street that crossed the village. The great lights were on in the stadium. There would be a baseball game tonight. I could see the town lake nestled in between a range of hills. The shopping center was lit up like a carnival about to happen. Off to the east, the Fair was in full swing and the colored lights went round and round and upside down. I leaned forward a little for I had caught a tiny sound It was indeed a chittering sound coming from the trail I had so recently used. I watched as in the near darkness I could make out the silky movement of many forms coming my way. It was grey tree squirrels. Thousands of squirrels. Like a moving mantel, they swarmed up the trail and climbed up the rock face behind me. The mass of gray settle and the chittering sounds ceased. One gray squirrel ran up the open trail just below me. He lifted his little paws into the air and said: “Thou art the one! Truly thou art the one who will save us from starvation. Oh great and mighty one hear our plea. Some time ago we observed that there were less and less nuts in the trees of the forest and that this dearth spread out for many, many miles all around. We planted our reserve seed nuts but it will take some years until the first crops come in. Oh, great and mighty one, come to the aid of Thy people and we will be ever sweet on Thee.” There was a pause in reflection on my part. Then I rose to my fullest of height and opened my mouth to its greatest width and spoke these words loudly and clearly: “Heaw ye my peopw. Sinse I am the gweat and mighty one and thew awen’t enough nuts awound hewl….I shaw take it upon mysewf to fix it. Follow me back down to the city and it shaw be as I say or my name ain’t Elmew Fudd.” I led the flood of squirrels down to the city and our first stop was at the great editor of our local paper, Ed Foss. He opened his door to see what all the commotion was about. When he heard the fearful story he said: “Wow, I’ll put together a story that will save our furry friends. Anything with your name on it is aces with me, Elmer.”
Our next stop was at Jerry Giardino’s house. He was already out on the lawn waiting to hear our tale. When he heard the harrowing story, he jumped up in the air and exclaimed: “For you suffering squirrels and you friend Fudd I give my word that when the school doors open tomorrow the children will put their shoulder to the wheel and together we will right this wrong.” Everyone shouted: ;Hooray!” and we all set off to the air port where our old pal Phil Southern gave quite a bit of thought to our problem. Finally, he grabbed me by the shirt collars and shook me up and down a few times and yelled: “I’ve got it! You old fuddy duddy. I’ll get ahold of Yosemite Sam and he can fly his plane and he can sky write this message:
‘Get nuts for squirrels! See MG’ Everyone knows they can trust MG. What do you think?” The whole block sent up a big WOW! Two days, later Daffy Duck and I were in the Elks Club having a beer. The front door slowly opened and a contingent of about 300 squirrels tumbled across the room and then stood before me. A spokesman read this proclamation: “Be it known far and wide that the catastrophe that was upon us is now quelled. Every tree has its own nut house. The Masons have helped us hide boxes and barrels of nuts in mine shafts all around town. The children packaged small containers of nuts that could be carried on high. The children also helped plant many more nut trees. We praise and extol the townspeople for their great work. A special thanks to our fearless and glorious leader, Elmer Fudd.” Then there was a loud three cheers all around and most of the crowd went home. Daffy and I ordered another beer and talked about the happenings around town and how quiet things would be from here on. The phone rang and the bar tender passed it over to me. I said: “Huwao.” Then some kind of maniacal laughter came out of the phone, followed by a screamed out: “What’s Up Doc!!!” I was sure it was that cwazy wabbitI Vewy quietly, I asked him where he was and he said he just got into town to help with the nut problem. I chuckled a little and told him to go to the city park up by the tennis courts. I’d be right over with a big surprise. I hung up and drove quickly home and went into the closet and got my trusty shot-gun then back into the car for the short drive to the city park. And I thought to myself: “That cwazy wabbit won”t get away this time especially since it”s wabbit season.”
The Siskiyou Writers’ Club is a local group of folks with a passion for creative writing of all genres. The club generally meets the last Thursday of the month in various locations throughout Siskiyou County. For more information, contact:
Mike Grifantini, 530-710-4882, email [email protected]
or Bob Kaster, 530-598-5204, email [email protected].
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