Monday, December 17, 2012
The smell, for some reason, had jarred me loose from my moorings today. I had intended to sit here and write about some things I've promised to write about. As I look back over my postings, I see that I have never finished the "series" I started on mystery novels. (But I will, I think.) And from much earlier--an unfinished "series" on ... I can't even remember what it was (and am too high on the smell of chicken stock to check)--which is one indication of that series' significance, I imagine.
And just yesterday, I began yet another "series"--this one about parties. I'm sure I'll get back to it. Tomorrow. The next day. Never. Who knows?
Instead, all my poultry brain can do this morning is hop from subject to subject, like a hen on a hot sidewalk. (Is that what a hen would do on a hot sidewalk? Hop here and here? Or would she simply flap off to somewhere cooler? Or maybe she'd like the hot sidewalk? Maybe she'd wonder why all sidewalks weren't hot? Maybe she'd look good, there on the hot sidewalk? Maybe some roosters would wander by, looking for love in all the wrong places? Maybe one of them would like the look of that hot chicken? Maybe feathers would fly in a winged flurry of passion? I hope so.)
(Notice how a writer will steer onto a sexy detour when he feels his audience slipping away? Homer did it. Shakespeare. Must be a good thing?)
There's a squirrel in my yard right now. I don't like them. From time to time squirrels have invaded our attic, required Seal Team 6 to remove them. Davy Crockett shot squirrels--or grinned them out of trees. I never found grinning at a squirrel to be very efficacious. But then I am not Davy Crockett nor was meant to be.
Here's what Lewis wrote in his journal that day:
Set out about sunrise, passed Sunfish creek 1 mile &c &c entered the long reach, so called from the Ohio running in strait direction for 18 miles in this reach there are 5 Islands from three to 2 miles in length each— observed a number of squirrels swiming the Ohio and universally passing from the W. to the East shore they appear to be making to the south; perhaps it may be mast or food which they are in serch of but I should reather suppose that it is climate which is their object as I find no difference in the quantity of mast on both sides of this river it being abundant on both except the beach nut which appears extreemly scarce this season, the walnuts and Hickory nuts the usual food of the squirrell appears in great abundance on either side of the river— I made my dog take as many each day as I had occation for, they wer fat and I thought them when fryed a pleasent food— many of these squirrils wer black, they swim very light on the water and make pretty good speed— my dog was of the newfoundland breed very active strong and docile, he would take the squirel in the water kill them and swiming bring them in his mouth to the boat. we lay this night below the fifth Island in the long reach on the E. side of the river having come 26 miles
Lewis would have had trouble on the Eighth Grade Writing Proficiency Test, as you can see. Would have failed it, probably. Mechanics and all.
I wonder if Lewis and Clark made any broth later? From the remains? And if the aroma spread through the forest? Permeated their clothing? Filled their lungs with the essence of squirrel? Got them off-topic in their writing?