An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Forty-Two


Above, Plinky Toepperwein uses a mirror to shoot at a target held in husband Adolph’s hand. Otto M. Jones, Library of Congress

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Forty-One

Hedda Burgemeister, January 1913

Tap, tap, tap.

Hedda forces herself to abandon a most pleasant dream. A dream in which the tap-tap-tapping does not belong. She does not move. Listening.

Not a sound. Why is she now wide awake? She rolls to her other side to attempt to submerge herself back into that dream. 

Tap, tap, tap. Again. Perhaps at the glass in the front door?

The room is pitch black. The cuckoo Otto gave her calls out a half-hour, providing no clue as to the actual hour of the night.

Tap, rap, rap. Bolder, more insistent this time. 

Terrified, she reaches for her robe and tiptoes toward the front door. She turns back to the kitchen, arming herself with the iron skillet from the cookstove.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Forty-Two”

White Wings Are No Bird-Brains

gaudy eye shadowCan’t stand having the “Deadly Scenario” post as the lead.  Need to supplant it with something peaceful – doves.

Anyone with a bird feeder knows what gorging gourmands doves are.  Often one of them sits on the window sill by my desk, peering at me with eyes encircled with  the same shade of iridescent blue eyeshadow I would apply in eighth grade once out of my parents’ sight on the way to CYO Friday night dances.

Seems as though more and more white wings are in the city each year.  And, according to the San Antonio Express-News, volunteers are out there attempting to count them:

White-winged doves first nested in citrus trees in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.  However, since a freeze in the 1980s, they’ve shifted populations to more urban areas.  Bexar County has the most, about 7 percent of the total.

Do ornithologists really believe the doves moved here because of a freeze? Would you rather dine at an urban restaurant where a loving owner watches you enjoy your meal, or feed in the country where the man who leaves food for you stands nearby waiting to shoot you dead?