Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Minnesota Monkeys

I'd read about it, even seen pictures, but never seen it in real life before--before yesterday, that is, when, just off the dock of the cabin we're renting (a very, very sweet place, I might add), Ma Van Loon* and her son or daughter (from a distance, gender still unclear) were steamboating around the channel not far off--far enough, however, so that I couldn't get a really good look. But I saw the kid, riding along, as loons normally do with the kids. But I'd never seen loon-ish piggy-backing before.

Loons are absolutely everything anyone ever said about them. Their wailing is legendary; it overpowers every other sound on the lake. It twitters and twists and mourns and yelps like something unearthly. Sometimes they seem curious as cats, but they're the world's finest swimmers, peek-a-boo masters, darlingly cute--Minnesota's finest entertainment, north country monkeys.

On land, they're worthless. Even though they've got the lowest center of gravity of anyone in the wetlands, they've got this horrifying design flaw--their feet are so far back on their body that they've got no balance. That's why Ma Van Loon* creates a life raft on her back for Junior or Missy to ride along. And, of course, it's only a flaw on land; in the water, they're perfectly agile.

Came back awhile later, and Junior was in the water, which is fine. We've all got to leave the next sometime.

This morning's thanks?--you guessed it.


*I once knew a preacher named Van Loon. Never really thought of it before, but this morning it strikes me as a absolutely hilarious name.


Jennifer said...

I'm rather enjoying the timing of this post. At noon today, I'm headed to the Land of the Loons -- which is a comment directed at the wildlife more than at the people we're visiting. (Though my parents are loony -- in a good way.)

carolsong said...

We were at a cabin at one of those lovely Minnesotan Lakes and spent a lot of our time watching two sets of avian parents - loons and eagles. It was fascinating to watch the loons react to the swooping of the eagles. We knew the eagles were returning by the call the loons sent out. The fun was only interrupted by watching our at that time one year old nephew feed the wood duck-lings (?) copius amounts of what I presumed was Iowa corn. Northen lakes - joy of the bird watchers!

RickNiekLikeBikes said...