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December 28, 2008

Beads In History (My Version) -Part I


Antique glass trade beads photo copyright 2008 native-american-market.com

Shreve (The Daily Coyote) Stockton talking  about making jewelry from Porcupine quills on her latest BlogTV video reminded me. I've been wanting to write/right my own take on Beads In History. 

In olden days before Europeans began landing in North America in droves, Native American beading women made beads from Porcupine quills. 

Just obtaining a Porcupine was an undertaking.  
Then removing, trimming, washing and dying the quills. 
Pricked sore fingers and aching muscles, so much tiring work even before beading could begin. (Let's not even get into cooking Porcupine.)

Then one day word began to spread that the Europeans had something new and amazing, long strings of glorious glass beads in many colors. 
No plucking, no pricking, no washing no dying. Straight to sewing and stringing.

There would be no peace at home until the crafty women had those beads.

Soon the ambitious Dutch, anxious to settle the island between 2 rivers, they called New Amsterdam, offered to buy the island from the local Native Americans for a cache of those prized European beads.

The Native American men knew they didn't own the land the Dutch wanted nor any other land. 
Believing land was for everyone's use. 
But they thought about returning home to their beading wives and mothers without the shiny glass beads and they wanted peace.

So shaking hands, they took the Dutchmen's beads and hurried off  leaving the smug settlers thinking they had just pulled off the real estate deal of the ages. 

History for true beaders.


Little Star learning to bead from her Grandmother
from my book, LITTLE STAR.  (note: They are Plains Indians,).



December 24, 2008

Warm Holiday Greetings

Whitebird imprint at Putnam.

Tomie told me I could do any tale I wanted as 
long as it wasn't Italian  ;-)  

In the traditional tale the child of ice and snow melts away
in spring then returns with winter. 

In my version, love and devotion are magically rewarded
at Christmas, inspired by Russian folk art.


Warmest holiday wishes to all!!

December 23, 2008

Snowcat Tizzy

One afternoon when Tizzy was still a baby and looking out over the city from the living room window, he began chirping. His pointy little kitten tail wagging excitedly.

He had never seen snow flakes before, but he recognized magic.     =^..^=

December 17, 2008

Folk Art Finds


These charming papier mache folk art ornaments are formed in Springerle cookie molds.  All made in Lancaster, PA.  Found at the Pennsylvania General Store at Reading Terminal Market Philadelphia, PA. They have edible Springerle cookies as well.

A few steps west of the Market on Arch St just past the new location of the AIA Bookstore I stumbled on The Fabric Workshop and Museum and  these charming Owl and The Pussycat topsy turvy dolls.  Flip the skirt up over the owl and the pussycat is revealed and visa versa. Hand silkscreened on cotton sateen, Liberty print fabrics and ribbons by artist Kiki Smith. 













December 14, 2008

Hooray For Hanukkah, Latkes!




This year Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, begins one week from tonight on December 21, 2008. 
The celebration lasts for eight days and commemorates
the rededication of the second Temple at the time of the ancient Maccabees. 

Here is my cover for Hooray for Hanukkah by Fran Manushkin, that I illustrated for Random House a few years ago. In this story the Menorah relates the holiday customs celebrated by the family as a new candle is lit each night until there are eight candles.
The publisher asked me to set the pictures in a city brownstone at the beginning of the 20th century which gave me a chance to illustrate some favorite decor and costumes.
When it came to depicting Latkes, special holiday potato pancakes, there was a humorous discrepancy between the latkes Cathy Goldsmith,  my editor, was familiar with and the latkes I drew in my sketches. My latkes looked like those I had been raised on. They were made from grated potatoes, eggs and matzoh meal which produced the delicious coarse crispy golden fried potato pancakes of my childhood. Her family latkes, on the other hand, as I recall, were made from a smoother potato mixture,  crisp on the outside but more rounded and softer inside. Our "dispute" ended in compromise and this taste-full memory.
LATKE RECIPE - (like my family makes)
(6-ish servings)

2 cups peeled and grated Idaho or Russet potatoes
1 small grated onion
3 beaten eggs
2 1/2 tablespoons of matzoh meal
 salt and pepper to taste
peanut oil

Put grated potatoes in a sieve over a bowl and push with the back of a wooden spoon to release as much moisture as you can.

Mix the potatoes, onion, eggs, matzoh meal together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom frying pan over medium heat until hot.

Place 4 heaping spoonfuls of potato mixture in the hot oil and flatten each to between 1/2 and 1/4 inch thickness. Brown on one side (about 4-5 minutes)  then use a spatula to turn and brown them on the other side.
Remove when done and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with sour crean , apple sauce or yoghurt.

To good to eat not only on Hanukkah, yum!

Read what Fran Manushkin, the Author, has to say about writing the book, HOORAY FOR HANUKKAH at http://www.franmanushkin.com/hooray for hanukkak.htm
















December 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom



A jolly late morning gathering of (most of) the clan to wish our dear Mom, Grandmom and Mom in law a very happy day.






December 4, 2008

Lost & Found

When I was a child, most of the children's books I read came from the library. Though I remember many of these fondly , the few that I owned are emblazoned in my memory. I may not remember titles or author names, and certainly not publishers, but hours, days and months of poring over the illustrations etched many of them forever in my mind. 

When Jane Flory and I discussed our childhood books, there was one in particular that I always brought up. It had disappeared years before during one or the other of our numerous family moves up and down the east coast. I remembered only that my book had a yellow cover and contained several fairy tales, Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin and one or two others.

I was particularly enamoured of the 3 increasingly more beautiful dresses Cinderella wore to 3 balls. The first white, the next silver and the last one gold. I remembered the white had elegant ermine trim and the gold skirt billowing gracefully as Cinderella ran down the palace stairs. 

Occasionally over the years, I'd peruse the shelves of old kid's books in used bookstores in Philadelphia or New York but never stumbled on my old favorite.

As well as old books, Jane told stories from her art school days. Her classmates included artists Beth and Joe Krush, who in MY student days were teaching and illustrating books. Though as students theirs was a particularly talented class, as is usually the case, there was one other student they all mentioned with respect tinged with a touch of envy. Catharine Barnes' early talents and personal style set her above the rest. She also had a wealthy Uncle who took her on a European trip during the great depression. Right out of art school, Ms. Barnes had gone to New York finding immediate success not only illustrating books but taking the fashion and advertising world by storm as well. 

When I finally got a computer (with Jane's help) and began to learn about search engines, I began looking for my old fairytale book. Quite a challenge without an author name, title or publisher. All I knew was Cinderella and Rumplestiltskin and it would have been published in the late 40's or early 50's. I tried Powell's and the other out of print and used bookstores with no luck. There must be a ka-billion books of Cinderella and Rumplestiltskin since WWII.

I never got to show Jane my favorite old book because after 40 years of friendship sadly she passed away in November 2005. A month later, I was once again fooling around googling with a combination of my pathetic clues.  This time I included words like "ermine trim on Cinderella's dress".  Suddenly I had a hit on a website specialising in helping nutty middle aged people find their long lost old books from hardly any clues. http://www.loganberrybooks.com/solved-l.html
There it was - title: Let's Pretend, author: Nila Mack, illustrator: Catharine Barnes!!
With Jane gone, I called Beth and Joe Krush. Joe answered and after I told him the whole story. He assured me this was most likely their same Catharine Barnes and then suggested that I call her and ask for myself! Call her?

While my mind was exploding, Joe went off to get her phone number and address. Not only was Catharine Barnes alive, she was living right across the river in New Jersey and Joe had seen her fairly recently at a function at the old alma mater and he was giving me her address and phone number.

I decided to write Ms. Barnes a letter. She was convalescing and living with her sister. It was helpful to introduce myself as a book author and illustrator, a long time friend and colleague of Jane and the Krushes and a fan since childhood, of her Let's Pretend art work. I also invited the ladies to lunch or tea and sent a copy of my latest book.

In the meantime, unbelievably, there was a copy of Let's Pretend  for sale on Ebay. I followed it for days finally
placing what I was sure would be a way more than adequate offer. But somehow in the very last seconds I lost the auction. 

A letter came from Ms. Barnes sister. They had been delighted to hear from me. They invited me for lunch and naturally I accepted. Too bad, I didn't win the book. I wanted so much to have it for her to sign.

Though I no longer recall all the details here's the gist of what happened next.
My brother Ted showed up with a copy of Let's Pretend. When I lost the auction, he was the first one I told. Somehow,  he had managed to contact the winner. Turns out she had 2 copies of the book and heaven only knows what it cost him but he wanted me to have the book so he got it. Ted can be relentless, bless him. There are not words. 

I spent a delightful afternoon with Catharine and her sister Ginny. Though we had not met before, we were like old friends because of our mutual chums, art school and professional experiences. Catharine's version of her old school stories and her exciting glamorous artist's life in New York in the old days were fascinating and often humorous. We compared notes.
I brought her some of my books, some done with Jane and Catharine Barnes signed my Let's Pretend book. 

I can't help feeling my old friend Jane's fine hand in this tale. She could be pretty sneaky. Bidding a last farewell with a wink and a smile. 

December 1, 2008

Delightful Legacy




Is there anyone who sees Robert Dodd's marvelous celluloid rings that doesn't want to own one.....or two.....or more? 

Each ring painstakingly fashioned from 20-150 pieces of rare antique celluloid. Shaped by heat and the pieces bonded with acetone.

Sadly, my friend Alice M. at The Carrot Box reports that Robert Dodd passed away November 25 at 91 years of age.

I hope his family will take comfort knowing that his small works of perfection will continue to delight and his legacy continues.

See more of Robert Dodd's marvelous rings  at http://www.thecarrotbox.com  




November 26, 2008

Feeling Thankful


I am so thankful for my many treasures. 
My family, my friends, my colleagues and my catboys.
Fond memories of those no longer here.
For lots of love and laughing and sharing.
For all the kindnesses and courtesies.

So many thanks.













November 25, 2008

All Her Fault










Jane Flory Freedman






In the Fall of 1963, the first semester of my Freshman year at College, I chose, as part of my financial aid package, to work as a student helper in the Evening Division office instead of selling art supplies in the school store.

I had no idea how profoundly this simple decision, made only because I preferred to work after class rather than between, would affect my life.

 I remember reporting to Jane Flory, Director of the Evening School at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art for the first time January 1964 in the Registrar's Office on the 2nd. floor of the Broad & Pine building.

The pleasant woman who welcomed me, with her soft brown pageboy, merry blue eyes, wearing a denim wool jumper and red and white checked blouse, reminded me of an elementary school teacher.

Mrs. Flory invited me behind the counter introducing me to a skinny dark haired fellow student, Matt Cunniff,  fiddling with records at a desk nearby.

Early days at PCA

The work was necessary but tedious. Way before computers, we gathered data by punching holes in appropriate places on student's registration cards then passed a long knitting needle through the stack of cards. The unpunched cards would stay on the needle while the punched fell away and were counted.

The punchier (no pun intended) we became, the sillier and more outrageous our running commentary. Example; amid the the piles of hundreds of sorted cards was that of a student with the improbable surname of Milestone. Whoever got her card would inevitably remark how we had just passed a milestone, sending us into peels of laughter. You HAD to be there.

Jane was the best boss I ever had. Not only did she work alongside us doing the dirty work, having taken the measure of my character and abilities over time, eventually asked me to teach. First as a substitute then after I graduated, as an assistant teacher, then my own design class. 

I had worked in her office for 2 years before learning that she was not only an Alumna of the College's Illustration Dept. but a respected well known children's book author and illustrator of over 50 published books.

I had gone to art school to study fashion design. 
When they dropped the department, I thought about fashion illustration. 
Then that department was dropped.  
Clueless, I figured it would all work out as I signed up for Illustration.

As Jane continued to share her experiences in book publishing. 
I realized I was interested in children's books too. 
The creators of my childhood books were inspiration. 
These were also the early days of Maurice Sendak and Arnold Lobel and the other 
marvelous  authors and  illustrators of the mid 20th century's golden age.

Jane also encouraged me to write and when I showed her my first pathetic attempt she 
sensitively ripped it to shreds giving me my first professional lessons in plot structure,
active and passive voices and an introduction to Strunk & White's "Elements of Style".

Despite this disastrous effort, she still believed I could write and one day gave me 
the chance to illustrate a published book, her own RAMSHACKLE ROOST. 

Walter Lorraine, Jane's Creative Director at Houghton Mifflin, agreed to give me a go with an amusing letter saying  most author's artist friends made horrible illustrators, but I seemed an
exception. 

Not only was Jane relinquishing her usual practice and enjoyment of illustrating her own book, but she was giving up the additional fee she would have received for doing the cover and inside drawings. Money she could use supporting her 3 young daughters and increasingly disabled husband.

I had no idea what I was doing to begin with, but Jane and Walter with patience and humor soon taught me the beginning ropes.
  
Jane and I did 4 books together, though in truth she was there cheering me on through all the books that came after by other authors as well as 4 of my own.  

Jane introduced me to the children's book community in and around Philadelphia taking me to
the Philadelphia Children's Reading Roundtable lunches, lead by the indomitable Carolyn Field of the Free Library. Members included Marguerite DeAngeli, Henry Pitz, Lloyd Alexander, Beth and Joe Krush.

Before tangents become tomes I will conclude.

Over the years I observed only one serious flaw in Jane's character. 
She was not very good at blowing her own horn professionally.

A former Dean of Faculty once condescendingly commented to her that he had heard she wrote children's stories and asked how many. 

When she replied somewhere over 50, he patronizingly asked how many had been published and was completely non-plussed when Jane replied,"All of them!"

My dear friend and mentor of over 40 years passed away on this day 
November 25, 2005, three years ago. 

Not a day goes by that I don't think of her with love and much laughter.

Experiencing the ups and downs in my career I'd often joke that "It was all her fault" for getting me involved in the first place.



November 20, 2008

Small Squirrel Tale
















                                                                   (click on photos to enlarge)

Eight summers ago Mom and I were in enjoying a summer afternoon in Washington Sq.
Looking left, some fellow was trying to feed a nut to a tiny squirrel on the ground under a towering tree beside me. The squirrel baby was a fantastic miniature complete with fluffy tail. It didn't move and where was its Mum?

I tried placing it on the tree trunk, thinking that it might know its way home, no luck. It didn't go anywhere and looking down I saw ANOTHER one! Surely their Mother had left them and would be back soon. So we watched and waited three hours or so but no adult squirrel showed up.

Not about to leave defenseless squirrel tots to deal with park predators, I put them in my sun hat, escorted Mom back to her flat then stopped off for a hamster box for safe squirrel baby keeping until I figured out what to do next.

With some shredded bedding and a small box to hide in and pieces of cut peach and grapes they settled in quickly. They skipped the water in a jar lid, but licked the juices from the cut fruit. Tired babies slept curled together in their little gift box and popped their heads out, one on top of the other when they woke.

Advice I found on the net put me in touch with the wildlife rescue, rehab and release folks at Schuylkill Valley Nature Center. They were willing to accept my foundlings if I could get them there.... tricky without a car and on a Sunday from Center City.

So with the little Squirrels in a covered basket on my lap we caught a 9 bus to the end of the line.
A woman from the Nature Center met us in the McDonald's parking lot at the Andorra Shopping Center.

Looking the babies over gently and she told me they were a male and a female, likely brother and sister. She transferred them to her carrier along with their sliced fruit and with a thankful donation for the animal rescue's good work they were off to their new home in the suburban rehab center while I waited for the bus back to town.

In later phone calls the rehab folks assured me the squirrels were well and growing and at last were released into the wild.

Hopefully, their descendents are gathering acorns for this coming winter as I write.


November 19, 2008

The Catbird Seat

Writing about city life reminded me of  the time I noticed a Catbird jumping up and down, flapping wings, chattering wildly,  making a racket at the top of a short tree that stood above and behind a solid wood fence on Fitzwater St. near 2nd. 

Glancing down the problem became evident.... a menacing yellow cat's eye watching me through a hole at the bottom of the fence.



November 18, 2008

City Life

There is something joyful about small plants sprouting from sidewalk cracks and the surprise sudden scent of Jasmine wafting through the park. Trees stark and bare in winter, spring buds, summer shade and, my favorite, colored leaves all around and falling. The stunning array of trees. 

My special favorites are the Magnolias in St Mark's churchyard with their enormous waxy cream and pink blossoms and the Flowering Pears along the streets in the Spring. Then the chartreuse leaves of the Ginko in Autumn.

Sapphire Morning Glories and bright pink Clematis on the wrought iron fence of the community garden.

Falcons, Pigeons, Crows, Starlings, Robin Red Breasts and Sparrows with occasional visits by an Ovenbird and several years ago, an imposing Raven in Rittenhouse Sq.  Their lives lived over roofs, on ledges, in trees and bushes, on pavements and in gutters. Some so small on impossibly skinny legs, who dive and grab an unshelled double peanut and then take off. 

Pigeons with missing toes and crippled feet touch my heart. 
Randy males fanning their tails and cooing, chasing the "girls" in the Spring. 

A Crow couple collecting twigs for their nest on a gray day on Camac St.

Another pair on the Farm Journal roof  commenting loudly.

Just past 8th on Locust, a sudden swoop of fluttering Pigeons descends from a roof across the street mistaking me for another woman who comes with food in her cart. 

Maybe, humans with shopping carts all look alike. 
Next time I bring sunflower seeds, but feed them in the nearby park.

Acrobatic Squirrels spend their days rummaging on the ground frequently interrupted  by chasing dogs and children and occasionally a prowling cat. Sensing danger, they hop a tree trunk all facing the same way and chatter and flick their tails in united alarm until the threat passes.

Defying gravitational logic, posed upside down on a tree trunk eating an acorn.

One morning I smile at an old man offering them treats from his pocket. As I pass he whispers that he likes the squirrels better than most people.

Cats sit in windows, silently watching the passing scene and the dogs of every size, breed, age and color walk, run, pull, chase, sniff, bark accompanied by their people (who many resemble) plastic bags over their hands. 

Always a good excuse to talk to a stranger.

Waiting by the Park for the 12 bus late last Saturday afternoon, suddenly a loud SQAWCK!! followed by a swoop of Pigeons over head. Then from the north, more shrieks.

Turns out, there is a loose Parrot high up in a tree and man trying to lure him down.

Today the bus came too soon.


November 6, 2008

He's the one!

Over 1000 top childrens book authors and illustrators joined together to urge parents, teachers and librarians to vote for Barack Obama.

And we all won!!

November 4, 2008

Squirrel Speak


Election Day. Mom never received her absentee ballot,
so after I did my civic duty I stuffed my pocket with
peanuts (in the shell)and set off to escort her to the polls.

The peanuts were for the Squirrels in her park, not Mom.

It was raining lightly and they were still busy gathering
acorns that the last big wind brought down.


Have I inadvertently learned a bit of Squirrel-speak?
I made a sort of kissing sound. The Squirrel approached.
I tossed my peanut.

Accepted with a momentary gaze of appreciation before
dashing away





October 30, 2008

With Apologies to Carl Sandburg



Once in a while Tizzy and Fred come on little cat feet
Sit together overlooking city and sky
And then move on...........
Without hissing and hitting

October 28, 2008


Lots of sturm and drang weather outside today. 
Heavy rain and "Night on Bald Mountain"
style winds howling around our aerie high over Philadelphia. 
Well we are closing in on Halloween.

Cat boys laying low......mostly sleeping. 
Tho Freddie has been round for supper time reminders.
He is a reliable official timekeeper never missing breakfast, 
supper or night time snacks.

October 27, 2008

Leaves From Washington Square

Saturday it rained and the wind blew gazillions of leaves from the trees in Washington Square.

The Squirrels celebrated an Acorn Festival with the birds hopping and hoping to partake of the
crumbs.






September 17, 2008



What a delightful surprise to find SWITCH ON, SWITCH OFF (Harper Collins) by Melvin Berger that I illustrated, on the clever and inciteful blog ; - )
I did a lot of research for the pictures in this book. Luckily, in Philadelphia I could call on The Franklin Institute Science Museum and Philadelphia Electric Co for help. Particularly challenging was showing how the big generator works. I always understand things better if there are pictures along with text. This book was just the sort of reference I needed, but didn't have.... until I finished the illustrations.

September 16, 2008

My Mom's wonderful Chinese charms necklace restored at last. When I was little she always let me handle this necklace with its enchanting beads.
So much loving attention eventually loosened the charms from their original chain, but Mom saved the pieces.
As this necklace marks the beginning of my interest in beads, there is some satisfaction in having been able to restore it for my Mom. She was pleased, though now she can only "see" the necklace with her fingers as Retinitis Pigmentosa has stolen her sight.

September 4, 2008

Write, not quite write



Three quarters of writing is re-working, thinking, dithering, ignoring, re-reading. putting away, starting again, going back, re-working over and over.
My theory: Books happen when the stars and planets are in alignment, rare birds sing and the fates grow so bored torturing me that they look away for an instant ... just long enough for me to score. So far the fates are hanging in there.

August 31, 2008

September




Maybe I could be a summer person in Maine, Nova Scotia or old Scotia. In Philadelphia summer humidity frizzes my hair and melts my brain.  Already a few leaves on a few trees are turning yellow and some have begun to fall. Soon I will pull up my socks, don my sweater and fly right. 


August 29, 2008



Here I am (second from the right) in an early recital in my dance teacher's back garden. My teacher and her husband, a fine musician who played in the Philadelphia Orchestra, lived next door. Though my dance career was shorter than I was in my little blue cotton leotard, the experience of their music and art-filled home and the fascinating creative people who came there were an early inspiration.


August 28, 2008



Here's a new collection of  I Can Read stories from HarperCollins. This one includes THE BIG BALLOON RACE that I illustrated and Eleanor Coerr wrote.
This wonderful story was nearly rejected before being rescued by the young assistant assigned to write the "we regret" letter. 
Late Friday afternoon she read the manuscript again before typing the letter and suggested my art work.
The Editor said if I'd illustrate it, they would do it and the rest is history...........  There has been a first edition hardcover in 3 colors, a new full color hardcover edition, paperback, paperback with a cassette, and now this new collection and it was  a PBS Reading Rainbow selection. The "war stories" behind books can be almost as good as the book itself.



August 20, 2008

In June I planted 2 pots of Basil and a pot of what I thought were some old lettuce seeds and put them in
my north window.

Now I have 2 pots of fresh Basil and
this lovely pink flower..what ever it is.

Its a POPPY! ( thought it might be)
Friend Deborah says, possibly a Mountain or Icelandic
Poppy. Seed must have stowed away in
a packet of something else in my small sill seeds
stash. A delightful surprise.






August 18, 2008

Fred demands his 15 minutes


No sooner did I begin this blog, hoping to jump start my brain a little in the midst of an assignment famine than suddenly deadlines were back. 
Meanwhile, Fred  has been  tapping his paw. I mean....... Tizzy has HIS blog post! Where's mine?
Usually Fred is interested in sticking to a tight schedule (his), running into the outside hall when I open the 
apartment door and treats. He is polite, tapping me on the shoulder in the wee hours of the morning, for a belly rub.
When I'm working, he pops up over the top of my vertical drawing board. All I see is his head and front paws. It's  Freddie my hand puppet! 

I've still got work to finish and a speaking engagement tonight featuring my book, REDOUTE, The Man Who Painted Flowers, but I can take the pressure just so long.

How's that Freddie?  

July 29, 2008

I Take Requests



My Sister told me I needed a picture
of a flying cat eating a banana,
so I made one today.

Now some sketches have come back
from a client and I must do
the finished art.

In the meantime, I've also linked several
talented friends and The Daily Coyote
(no relation to Renee and Joe Daily) a recently
discovered treasure.

July 28, 2008

WELCOME



I think I'd better begin with an explanation of my blog title.
Shortly after kitten Tizzy came to live with me,
I found him licking a banana slice on my morning
bowl of cut up fruit. So I chopped up his banana slice
into kitten size bits along with his kibble and he scarfed the lot.
So we began to share our morning banana.

As Tizzy grew older he demanded new fruit
samples, globe grapes (peeled and seeded).
a bit of peach, a pinch of pear and most recently
a taste of bing cherry (again with pit and skin removed).

Neither he nor Freddie will eat real chicken,
fish (including tuna or salmon) or
any normal cat food just their prescription
kibble and a few Whisker Lickins crunchy treats
before bed.

Well actually there IS one other treat they both
enjoy. Housefly! And I mean Housefly on the wing!
We don't get many flies way up here. We hardly see
birds, we are up so high, but every once in a long
while there's a sudden bzzzzzzzzzzzz followed at once
by the tinkling of cat collar tags and a flash of fur blur.
As the fly hits the window (thinking it a way out)
he is thumped and swallowed. There's nothing like
live prey!

Here's a poem I wrote on the subject:

My cat eats bananas and flies.
Though you might think I'm telling you lies.
It is true and I swear
That he also likes pear
And most other fruit that he tries.

Banana, he likes just a slice.
Which I cut up and carefully dice.
With a grin on his face
He leaves not a trace.
You might think he was dining on mice.

As odd as bananas may seem
For a cat's gastronomical dream.
His other delight
Is a fly caught in flight.
Which he relishes better than cream.

My cat will lie patient for hours.
Asleep on the sill with the flowers.
He hears the first buzz
I watch what he does.
Swatting that fly he devours.

2008 Copyright Carolyn Croll. All rights reserved.