Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Mayor of Talkeetna & A Great Horned Owl

An elderly mayor of a small town in Alaska went for a stroll late last Saturday night.  He had done it all of his life, and all of the local inhabitants (800) know and recognize him.  But sometime during the last hour of the last night of August, the Mayor was attacked by a loose dog.  There are leash laws within the community of Talkeetna; the dog should not have been at large and able to attack the Mayor.  The Mayor has yet to identify his toothsome mugger - he's in the hospital with a punctured lung, crushed sternum, and a five-inch long gash along his ribs.  In all probability, the the attacker will never be identified.  Why?  Because the Mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska is a 16-year-old orange tom cat named Stubbs (due to a very short rear appendage).  Shortly after his birth, the town was voting for a new Mayor (a purely honorary position in Talkeetna) and none of the candidates were particularly impressive.  A write-in campaign for Stubbs was initiated at the small general store that had adopted him.  Stubbs won, and has kept the Mayoral position ever since.  He has led an adventurous life - he still has BB pellets in his nether region after an encounter with two teenagers; he took a ride in the garbage truck and ended up out on the local rail road line; and, while he was investigating a deep fryer at a restaurant (luckily the fryer was turned off and cold) he ended up in the frying oil, and had to have several baths to remove the oil from his fur....   I say, "All hail, and all praise to Mayor Stubbs!  Long may he continue to govern his town!"
Mayor Stubbs recovering from Saturday night's attack

I was able to witness something that was wonderful yesterday evening - it gave me goose bumps and made me smile all evening.  As I was leaving Cooper, Lola, Pounce and Tipsy last night, I heard a group of magpies screaming and chattering furiously.  I turned to my left, where the noise was originating, and I asked aloud, "What's got you guys so stirred up?"  I had my answer within the next minute.  A very large great horned owl flew from a tree on the cul-de-sac, with a group of 20 or more magpies in pursuit.  I was standing in the center of the circular ending of the court, and the owl flew right over my head.  I was looking up, watching his flight, and felt the rush of air from his wings lift and move my hair.  It was a fantastic sight! (Luckily, he wasn't flying with his talons open, and also, luckily, he didn't poop on my face and open mouth!) The flock of magpies followed the owl to Nicodemus' house, where the owl perched on the bedroom gable, and seemed to peer down at me.  The magpies tried to sneak up behind the owl, singly, and the owl would suddenly rotate it's head about and look the magpie in the eye.  The magpie would then fly, and another would take its place.  I watched this show for about five minutes, and then hurried on to catch my bus and return to my kits at home.
Magpie beginning to haze a great horned owl

Great horned owl

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