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Fiction – Night Bugs
by Thomas Hollyday
originally published in Paean

Will Jemper coming home whistling, clumping along the dirt road in the black night. Bugs and cricket chattering in the woods with their lives. Then the unmooned starlight warning with a bare glint from polished steel barrel of the double twelve shotgun, warning of Juke Terment there, his boots dead in the road, the gun muzzles pointing at Will. Neither man spoke but night rattling stopped, almost patiently to wait. There was no more whistling or moving towards as Will stood there, watching the small roundness of that steel, his eyes terrified. Then his hands up across his chest in a vaudeville of protection and the dark among the trees is wild light, roaring, the shotgun went off, both barrels, to cut his body in half.

Dust settling again with some of the dirt plastering itself into the flowing blood. The crickets rattling now and a pleasant hoot by an owl deep in the trees. Night bugs and then the sound of two brass shells ejecting into the dirt and finally the tread by a heavy man carrying a shotgun, a padding almost too soft, Juke walking back down the road, once muttering,

“That’ll teach the sonofabitch.”

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Fiction – Green Ribbon
by Thomas Hollyday
originally published in The Charles Street Review

“It’s when they stink up the cab that it’s bad, it don’t pay,” the black cabbie thought as he shifted at the light. He watched the young girl with the baby and the little boy that crawled. The baby was wrapped in a red and blue blanket. It was the baby that was causing the smell. ”Bad at the bus terminal, no choice in your fare, have to take them as they come, take what you can get.” The young mother was white and had long unkempt blonde hair. ”Long bus ride.” She reminded him of the home he left when he was a young man. Same kind of mean and little, bitter look to it. Home didn’t always stink, just some- times, sometimes. “She ain’t going to tip, sure.”

“Yes mam you see my husband, he’s supposed to be here in B – – -, and that’s why we come here.” The blonde girl stood in front of the reception desk of the small real estate company, and the secretary named Jerry watched her silently, thinking how frail this young mother is. The secretary held a key to a third floor apartment up the street. A piece of white paper was on the desk blotter in front of the secretary. The paper said that the party agrees to prepay one week’s rent and that at such time as the party would intend to change address, the extra week’s rent would be refunded.

The phone rang.

“Jerry, you want me for something?”

“Yes, Mr. Blakeson, we have a young woman here who wants to rent 2829 third floor. But she can’t give us the prepay.”

“Well, tell her we can’t accept that.”

“She has two children with her, Mr. Blakeson. Her husband is here in the city working somewhere and she has just come up from the South to join him. She says it will take a while to locate him and let him know she is here. She’s very young, Mr. Bakeson.”


“Yes sir.”

“No reason to doubt her then, I guess. Those two kids. How old is she?”

“How old are you, honey?”

“Seventeen, mam.”

“She’s seventeen, Mr. Blakeson.”

“Rent it to her. Good. I’ll stop over and see her about it. Anything else, Jerry?”

“No sir.” The secretary laughed as she hung up the phone.

“All right, Mrs. Donlin, the boss says you can have the room, but only for a week.”

“Oh thank you mam. Hey you Charleyboy, you leave that thing alone.” The high pitched angry voice stopped the two year old child from crawling further over the typewriter. He had snarled the keys. He fell back to the floor and grinned at the secretary. The mother calmed again and pulled the child’s hand and shifted the weight of the baby in her arms. She had been holding the baby for a long time now. The secretary watched. She had never had her own children.

“How old is he?”

“Oh, Charleyboy, that’s after my husband, he’s two years now, and this one is three months.”

“Well, I guess you’ll want to get up to 2829 and wash of all that road dirt and everything.”

“Yes mam, that sure would be nice.”

“Chauncey will show you where the apartment is.”

“Thank you mam.”

“Chauncey, Mr. Blakeson was here this morning and said to have you go over and help Mrs. Donlin move an icebox. She told him last night that it was in the wrong place. You can do that after you get through cleaning the office.”

“Yes mam, you see today is my wife’s birthday and I was planning on getting home early today.”

“Well, I’m sorry about that.”

“Yes mam.”

He heard someone inside tell him to go ahead in, so he opened the door. 2829 was almost unfurnished. Two or three chairs. And there was the huge noise of rhythm and blues music. Suddenly the blonde poked her head around the bedroom doorway and yelled at him. “It’s the icebox out in the kitchen. Do I have to show you? Wait a minute.” Chauncey went out to the kitchen. He was thinking about his wife and about having to come up here and move this icebox for trash like that naked woman in the other room. The little boy come crawling across the floor, his fingers holding a smashed roach and his clothes unchanged from the day before when Chauncey had brought this woman and her kids to this apartment. He didn’t hear the baby crying in the bedroom because the radio music was too loud. He opened the door of the icebox and saw the small loaf of bread and the half empty bottle of milk. When he closed the door, many bugs scrambled in several wild directions and the little boy gave chase, making child noises.

“Like a cat, Chauncey thought. He felt sad. He smiled at the kid. Charleyboy grinned up at him and sat back on his bare feet in the middle of the worn linoleum floor where some of the once yellow flower pattern still showed. She came into the kitchen. She was wearing the dress she had worn the day before. The only change was the bright green ribbon in her hair.

“Yes mam, you want this icebox moved somewheres?”

“Listen, you black sonofabitch,” she stood there and said in that same voice she had used in the office on Charleyboy, that same sudden shift from southern slowness to quick harsh anger, “don’t you do no hurrying of no white woman.” And then she kicked of her bedroom slippers which skittered across the floor, and she flopped down in the only chair in the kitchen, putting her feet up on the kitchen table, and, looking at Chauncey, she laughed and he could hear that laugh over the sounds of Charleyboy chasing his mother’s slippers and over the noise of the rhythm blues music.

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Slave Graves

THOMAS HOLLYDAY, Happy Bird Corporation, Weston, MA, paperback, (285p)
ISBN: 0-9741287-0-8

BookWire Review
November 24, 2004

Thomas Hollyday writes this novel against a modern setting. Dr. Frank Light, a famous archaeologist, is called to give his opinion on a shipwreck site at River Sunday in Maryland, over which Jake Terment, a rich businessman wants to build a bridge. Jake is a suave but unscrupulous person who wants Dr. Light to merely look at it as a formality, and he intends to go ahead with his plan regardless of the outcome of the survey.

Assisting Dr. Light are Maggie Davis, the state Archaeologist and a Pastor Jefferson, a black preacher. These two care about the site and Dr. Light also begins to share their convictions and the sense of responsibility towards the historical significance of the place.

What they discover is the most shocking part of the book and to reveal it would be to ruin it. However, Jake Terment wants to proceed with his construction, against Dr. Light & Co’s wishes, and amidst protests from a nature conservation group headed by Birdey Pond.

The climax of the story is how Jake Terment tries to go ahead and the ironic manner in which he meets his end.

A book worth reading for its vivid imagery and value system; it is hard to think that all of it is mere fiction, and it makes you want to actually visit the intriguing site.

Slave Graves Romance Mystery Novel

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My cartoon “Decorating the Family Tree” was published in the magazine Good Housekeeping Magazine

The sequence was shown over two pages:

“Once by one the ornaments go on – each in its very own special place. It is a ritual our family observes every Christmas and no one – not even our cat (who really relates this tale) – is left out of the celebration. By Thomas Hollyday

Here are the panels one by one.

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The PUDDLES newsletter is devoted to education about providing daily fresh drinking water to animals. It is mailed free upon request to our customers.

From the Editor:
Welcome to the fifth issue of PUDDLES, the newsletter about animals and fresh drinking water. We are pleased to note that more and more information is now available about fresh drinking water and especially with regard to supplies of water for animals. Many of the guides on attracting wild birds to the suburban backyard now give several pages to this issue and stress the importance of maintaining clean water containers.

Although some research has been done on the effects of various toxins in water supplies on different animal species, more needs to be done. We are publishing in this issue a starting bibliography which covers some of the issues in this subject area and discusses some of the research. Once again, as in previous issues of PUDDLES, we do a pocket review of the books that come to hand about what people are thinking about the environment. There are many new ideas here and these books are worthwhile reading.

New in this issue is PUDDLES watering products catalog. Here we have an initial selection of products to help you provide fresh drinking water for animals in an environmentally sound way. Please see page 3 for ordering information.

ATTENTION: Editors who receive PUDDLES: You can help by mentioning our PUDDLES in your free literature listings.

On watering wild birds, the National Bird Feeding Society (NBS) has recently published the following suggestion to consumers in its Winter 1995 quarterly edition of The Bird’s Eye reView. In referring to its other publication , The Billboard, NBS wrote “NBS advised in the fall edition of The Billboard that you can pull the plug when the temperature plummets. The last thing birds need when it’s unusually cold is a hot bath, but reconnect your electric warmer when the temperatures go above 15 degrees.” In that same fall edition of The Billboard, NBS also advised, “A winter birdbath needs regular maintenance just like your feeders. Rinse the bath daily before you refill it, and scrub away any algae as soon as you see it developing.”

Birding Tip of the Month; Pete Dunne, organizer of the World Series of Birding, in Wild Bird, 9/3, March 1995, writes “All living things need water and birds are no exception… For birders, finding birds is often a simple matter of finding water.”

Your chance to give: Birder’s Exchange collects donated birding equipment for Latin America. J. Sibbing, Manomet Observatory, Box 1770, Manomet, MA 02345.

From Cornell Labs, be on alert for House Finch Disease. Contact your local wildlife department if you see eye infection on house finches.

Of Earth, Sun & Water
“The 3 R’s of Water Conservation,” Consulting-Specifying Engineer, October 1994,18-24.

A good explanation of reclamation, recycling and reuse activities and strategies. Only 3.2% of the water on earth is fresh water and 75 percent of that is frozen in ice and glaciers. We can only manage about 1% of the water.

SOS stands for Save Our Streams, a new grade 1 to 12 curriculum “Hands on Save Our Streams” which teaches how students can work on a stream protection project. Write for information to IWLA, Isaac Walton League, 707 Conservation Lane, Gaithersburg, MD 20878-2983.

Current standards for evaluation of effects of pesticides, in National Standards and Guidelines for Pesticides. Write USGS, Openfile Service Section, Earth Science Information Center, Box 25286, Mail Stop 517, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225.

“Raising your store’s environmental quotient,” in Pet Product News, 49/4, April 1995, by Lorin Hallinan, covered how pet retailers “are putting the Earth first”. She lists ten ways to “green ” your store.

Solar 1996. April 13-18, Asheville, NC. Contact the American Solar Energy Society, 2400 Central Avenue, Unite G-1, Boulder, CO 80301, 303-443-3130.

The Rocky Mountain Institute lists several books on environmental housing tips. 1739 Snowmass Creek Rd., Snowmass CO 81654-9199. Internet:orders@rmi.org.

Call National Technical Information Source for a copy of their NTIS Environment Highlights catalog of government documents PR868; 703-487-4650.

New! On-Line Info
Computer bulletin board, National Birding Hotline Cooperative, Chuck Williamson, 7309 E. Princeton Drive, Tucson, AZ 85710.

The American AntiVivisection Society (aavsonline@aol.com) reports in its Activator newsletter the following animal rights internet forums. ar-talk@cygnus.com is an open forum for all aspects of animal rights; ar-news@cygnus.com is an electronic bulletin board and snare@ indiana.edu, is a forum for students who are interested in animal rights. Also mentioned are vegan@maths.bath.ac.uk and vegan1% etemplevm.bitnet@pucc.princeton.edu, which are both discussion groups about vegetarianism.

The excellent newspaper Animal People is now on line. You can contact the editor at Anmlpeople@aol.com. The December 1994 issue had a article “Who Gets the Money” which listed from IRS 1993 data what percentage of the budget of different animal organizations goes to programs.

“The Green Net,” article by Mickey Mercier in E Magazine, January -February 1995, is worth ordering a back copy of the magazine to have in your library. It covers a variety of environmental Internet bulletin boards and services and explains the methods of access by your computer. Discussed are Econet, Envirolink, and The WELL as well as the commercial online services such as Prodigy and Compuserve.

Read PUDDLES and More! See Happy Bird’s library in Pet Products Forum B on Compuserve. Type: GO PFVENB.

“Shopping Guide for Caring Consumers,” $4.95, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Box 42400, Washington, DC 20015.

“Traveling with Fido or Fluffy,” in Best Friends Magazine, May 1995, 801-644-2001, is a good article on travel facts. The author notes that taking water from home is helpful. “Unfamiliar water supplies can sometimes create stomach upset.” The article has a good bibliography with addresses for Traveling Pet Owners of America, Pets-R-Permitted Directory, Touring with Towser, Vacationing with your Pet!, and The Pets Allowed Directory.

Book Reviews
The Ecological City

Rutherford H. Platt, Rowan A. Rountree, Pamela C. Muick, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1994. This is a book about the city and the environment of the city. One of the conclusions drawn by the writers nicely sums up the book. “Finally, interaction between urbanists and natural scientists as reflected in this book, should become the norm rather than the exception as we collectively seek to respond to the challenges of living in a world whose population is more than half urban.” One recommendation we really liked was the suggestion that there be connectivity between patches of natural habitat-“isolated plots of ground are insufficient for many plants and animals”.

The Day Before America
William H. MacLeish, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston 1994. This volume is about the evolution of the North American continent, how it developed over 18,000 years. He writes about the changes in habitat and those changes effect on animals and on humans. On of his interesting conclusions is “At the beginning of the American civil war humans and their animals accounted for something around 5% of global terrestrial life…By the middle of the next century the alliance (humans and their animals) may account for roughly 60% of …terrestrial animal life (excluding microorganisms) and 25 percent of all terrestrial plant life.”

The Economy of Nature
William Ashworth, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1995. The book asks why the cost of living is rising while the quality of living is falling. It asks for answers from both the discipline of ecology and the discipline of economics. “The laws of ecology and the laws of economics are, at heart, the same set of laws.” The author suggests ways we can assess the cost of pollution. “The only viable solution,” he writes, “is a synthesis, an eco/nomics (ed. italics) that conforms human economies to the economy of the planet as a whole.”

Bibliography … toxins in drinking water that affect animals, especially wildlife.

Wildlife Feeding and Nutrition, Charles T. Robbins, Harcourt Brace Janovich, New York, 1993.

Freshwater Ecology Principles and Applications, Michael Jeffries and Derek Mills, Bellhaven Press, New York, 1990.

Ecotoxicology, The Study of Pollutants in Ecosystems, F. Moriarty, Academic Press, London, 1988.

Wildlife Toxicology, Tony J. Peterle, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1991.

Peterle’s book is the most helpful as it reviews the toxins, the agencies responsible for regulations and research, and looks at the effects of toxins on organisms. Ecotoxicology is helpful with experimental design for the ecosystem. Jeffries and Mills give a good background to the issues of studying the different types of water in our environment. Robbins is helpful on how water works as a nutrient for animals. All these books have extensive bibliographies for further research.

Note: Always consult your licensed veterinarian for specific advice for your particular animal’s water needs.

PUDDLES, 3/1, is published by Happy Bird Corporation, PO Box 86, Weston, MA 02493, manufacturer of Solar Sipper animal watering stations. Copyright Happy Bird Corp. 1995. Persons concerned about the availability of fresh drinking water for animals are eligible for a free subscription. PUDDLES may be read on the Internet at the Environmental Internet Connection E2B2.com.

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