blog photo 121 Three MunksWHAT IT IS


It was a strange sight watching Stacks McDonald and the three chipmunks strut into the Chapleau Legion, all wearing aviator sunglasses with the munks outfitted in tiny, leather saddle bags containing sunflower seeds. They burst through the main door mimicking a rooster cock walk, sticking to the perimeter of the hall, feigning interest in the photographs of the veterans hanging on the walls. They sauntered about, convincingly  ignoring the three well dressed gentlemen seated at a table at the far end of the hall.

Suddenly, a door slammed, the deafening sound echoed around the room and all eyes turned toward a large door at the side of the hall. A large, imposing man stomped through the doorway and into the hall, Slim Clemons was grinning ear to ear.

Later, Slim declared it was the easiest negotiation of his long business career. In exchange for mineral rights at the Three Chipmunk Ridge, the munks were guaranteed a LIFE time supply of sunflower seeds and Stacks McDonald was Slim’s new VP of explorations.


The clichés are numerous: you don’t miss your water till your well runs dry, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, you never know what you’ve got till its gone, there’s no business like show business…forget that last one!

These idioms summed up what the managers of a major bank in Oslo, Norway were feeling about an austerity program that saw them lay off a number of Canadian chipmunks a few years ago from their customer service department. Realizing the folly of this policy, attempts to train native Norwegian red squirrels in customer service failed miserably and efforts to find the original chipmunks proved impossible.

The managers realized this was where the rubber meets the road, where there’s smoke there’s fire, where the sun don’t shine anymore and where chipmunks wear sombreros and drink tequila. So, they did the only thing they could do, erect a plaque to three noteworthy chipmunks and place it in the lobby of their largest bank.








blog photo 118 fog (2)WHAT IT IS

It was a day like any other, Cinder Willoughby and his summer student, a forensic science student from Colorado State University were crawling over rocks and scouring under bushes looking for remains of rabbits that may have succumbed to the toxic herbicide now known as 2,4,5T Infinity. The pair had gathered copious amounts of data for the Nova Scotia Ministry of the Environment showing rabbits with extreme exposure to the herbicide and the pair were now in the process of winding up their assignment.

As they were packing up their gear, Willoughby noticed something in the early morning mist that appeared out of place. His keen eye and ample curiosity discovered a dead body, a man in his early to mid forties lay badly decomposed less than twenty feet from where they made camp for the night. A quick check revealed no identification, then they promptly called police.


Cricket had worked out all the details, all Sapphire had to do was get up at 4 AM and do a zombie shuffle to the car, he even promised hot coffee upon her arrival. Cricket enticed Sapphire with a mix of science and fantasy: the on going forest fires would make the crescent moon rise unworldly, the effects of barometric pressure and the dominance of the sun’s red wavelengths on the wispy clouds that surely would be there offered to make this one grand photographic opportunity. The clincher was when Cricket promised to weed the garden when they got home.

So off they went in the dark, arrived at Cricket’s previously scouted-out destination and clumsily set up cameras and tripods, then waited for light to grace their presence. Light came, so did the fog and some heavy cloud cover. Sapphire took this photo of what was in front of her, and the two agreed it was the best of what they got that day.











The Federal Bureau of Investigation stayed around for nearly two weeks, the state police a little longer and now the only ones left was Ned Doucet, his nephew Davey and a couple of off duty officers more interested in Beatrice’s pastries than catching the criminal element. But the stakeout was growing old and its originator, Davey Doucet, was ready to throw in the towel. Doucet figured that someone would not let a hundred grand sit inside Will Offley’s house for long, so he rented the farmhouse across the road, made it look like a riding stable and kept vigil twenty-four hours a day.

The two horses he borrowed from Slim Clemons’ stable to add authenticity to the project were already loaded onto a trailer for their return when a slow moving pick-up truck inched its way up the road and stopped at the end of Offley’s driveway. Davey still had his telescope set up in the kitchen window and could see a lone male exit the truck and walk around the gate and up toward the house. The truck had Louisiana plates and a decal of a chef’s hat on the tailgate door. He couldn’t have gone more than a few feet, when a low flying Samantha Gallant approached Offley dirt runway. The sight of the aircraft spooked the man, as he turned quickly made it back to the truck and tore off down the road.


Frank James lost track of Dizzy and Bella on the Horseshoe Road, perhaps they slipped by during the night or bush wacked through the forest. He was reasonably certain they were still in the area so he spent a couple of days driving around Ile Madame, taking in the breathtaking scenery, hoping he might spot the two.

He was near West Arichat when he saw a middle aged man walking along the highway with two horses. He explained to James that his brother, a fisherman from Petit-de Grat, gave a boat ride to a couple of city girls to over Canso way and because they had no money offered up these beautiful horses as payment.











blog photo 116 MonarchWHAT IT IS

Miles Hobbson watched the monarch touch down briefly on each car, first an Audi, then a Lexus , a Mercedes, another Mercedes, a Jaguar and finally a BMW. The DOCTOR’S ONLY parking lot was full of high end cars and it was odd seeing an old lady struggle across the lot weighed down by several dollar store bags with the bold words REUSE/RECYCLE written on them, REDUCE apparently dropped from the formula. Both ends of hyper-consumerism Hobbson thought.

Hobbson’s political career was about to get a fierce dose of reality when at the next Beaver Falls council meeting he would introduce several sweeping reforms. Lower municipal taxes, a reduced work week for municipal workers, measures to stabilize or decrease the community’s population and business tax incentives for companies implementing a shorter work week. Also high on Hobbson’s agenda would be the establishment of the Beaver Falls League, an army of volunteers to promote continuing education, environmental clean-up, and all manner of innovative social activism. Hobbson already had a strong ally in Slim Clemons who agreed to offer his entire work force at the new solar panel factory flexible work hours where they were given the choice to work a week consisting of 16, 24 or 32 hours.

Hobbson watched as the monarch touched down on a Maserati, hovered awkwardly, got blown around uncontrollably by the wind, righted itself, landed on a Lincoln, then flew haphazardly down a nearby street…Hobbson hoped this was not a blueprint for his political career.


It took Mark Malloch a few days to come out of the coma and when he did he seemed surprising lucid to the nurses and doctors watching over him. His lucidity didn’t last long however, a strange occurrence outside his hospital window sent Malloch into a downward spiral.

Malloch’s doctors and nurses were Pratt and Whitney doctors and nurses who were directed to protect valuable company assets like Mr. Malloch. During his initial examination after coming to, Malloch showed signs of some disorientation but his condition elevated when a monarch butterfly landed on the ledge outside his window. Malloch insisted the monarch spoke to him…in English with a Spanish accent, most likely Mexican. DON’T DO IT, the monarch repeated twice before flying off, returned briefly, JUST DON’T DO IT. The psychiatric ward was notified and Malloch wheeled down the hallway.








blog photo 115 Bad Hair DayWHAT IT IS

We all have bad hair days: this is Margaret’s.

Margaret Brookside tried to tough it out with her new boss, Miles Hobbson, but the two just didn’t have the chemistry required to operate a smooth office environment. To Margaret’s eye, Hobbson didn’t need just an administrative assistant, but it was vital for him to have an ideological partner, someone who saw the world through the same pair of glasses, and who offered undying loyalty to his plans and ideas. Besides, he seemed a rather mysterious man who’d show up in the strangest of places.

It was a Monday, mid morning, Margaret was once again day dreaming about taking the Amtrak to New Orleans, an obsession she indulged in ever since Ellie and the girls had a run in with Tiny LeBlanc. The tranquil office was interrupted by a screaming match between Hobbson and a Beaver Falls municipal engineer. The mayor wanted smaller sewer pipes for an upcoming infrastructure project, the engineer disagreed and the two battled it out for twenty minutes.

Margaret knew it was time. She got up from her desk, checked her look in the mirror…acceptable hair…took the letter of resignation from her desk and slipped it under the mayor’s door.


This is Sofia Zuniga’s bad hair day.

Bokamoso Jacobs disappeared from the Chapleau Game Preserve a few months ago, leaving Sofia to operate the community as best she could. The enormity of running the day to day affairs was starting to wear Sofia down and this was made much worse with the recent discovery of the Three Chipmunk Ridge and all the publicity and notoriety that it brought to the community.

It was a Monday, mid morning, the chipmunks were strutting around the compound, spitting sunflower seed husks all over Sofia’s well manicured garden and telling off colored red squirrel jokes. A helicopter, the fourth this week, was due to land within the hour and that is when Sofia decided she had enough.

It took several hours, but with help of most of the community Sofia had managed to pack up the basic necessities and they all vanished deeper into the forest, leaving only the three chipmunks behind scratching their little chipmunk heads.



0B2A3965AEllie learned the hard way her telekinesis abilities, though remarkable, were not limitless. Standing on top of the main tower on the Anges L Macdonald bridge, it was Ellie’s intention to transport herself to the Shetland Islands, some four thousand kilometers away. A soggy and nearly frozen Ellie was picked up by a passing tugboat twenty kilometers outside of Halifax harbour and dropped off at the very same pier her adventures began several years ago.

The fairy gave Ellie instructions to acquire thirty seven strands of chin whiskers from Alban, a wise and noble goat living near Setter on the main island. A miniscule piece of his whisker sewn into a black velvet hood would neutralize the hoods powers and allow teddy bears to continue using telepathy and telekinesis.

Ellie needed to get across the Atlantic and her old friend Slim Clemons came through in spades as one of his container ships was leaving Halifax in a few days bound for Oslo, Norway. The captain told Ellie he could come within ten nautical miles of the Shetland Islands but Ellie would have to find her own way ashore.

Having never seen a teddy bear before, Alban was a bit bewildered, but he turned out to be a fine goat, an empathetic goat with a sincere desire to help Ellie. He gladly donated his chin whiskers and wished Ellie all the best.

Ellie grabbed the same freighter back to Halifax and made her way to Flat Rock Indiana where a small  manufacturer, Black Velvet Garments, had the sole contract with INSECT to supply them with hoods. Slim, who owned the company, promised Ellie a tour of the facility upon her arrival.




blog photo 114 Cool InsectWHAT IT IS

The nurse at the small outpatient clinic said he’d be fine, a few more minutes with the doctor and they could see one another. The morning started out pretty much like any other, but quickly went from worse to…well…worser!

Williams kept looking up the driveway, waiting for Johnson to appear and by the time the clock struck 8 AM, a black mini-van appeared through the drizzle and was soon parked beside the cabin. Williams recently bought the cabin from his brother-in-law, who specialized in restoring houses destroyed or nearly destroyed by fire.

Johnson arrived to a beaming Williams who was extremely anxious to show him around his property. As Johnson retrieved his cabin-warming gift from the back of the van, Williams rushed to him with a steaming cup of coffee.

Once inside, Johnson revealed a John MacWhirter print to Williams’ enthusiastic approval and the two placed the print in various locations around the cabin to best determine its final resting place. This is about the time the first damselfly showed up, then a second, a third and so on. With fly swatters in hand, the fight was on: Williams and Johnson flung themselves about the cabin with great abandon in an effort to squish these annoyances, but they killed not one. In a fit of frustration, Williams pick up a cast iron frying pan, hurled it across the kitchen at a petite blue/green damselfly but instead hit Johnson on the side of the head…fortunately the clinic was only a few minutes away.


Jamie McCormik, Basil McCormik’s second cousin twice removed…whatever that means…said he could wait until Saturday morning, noon at the latest, before he’d fill in the sinkhole Basil had fallen into some weeks before. Basil would be up Friday, right after work, he only needed an hour down in the hole and Jamie could take it from there.

When Basil arrived, two gravel trucks and three farm tractors surrounded the sinkhole. The machinery bellowed thick black smoke into the air, eager to start the job at hand while their operators stood in a circle smoking cigarettes and enjoying coffee. On Basil’s earlier, abrupt decent down the sinkhole, he discovered an odd sheet of metal, it was not real metal, more like a metal-like substance with mathematical symbols etched into it. Twenty petrified damsel and dragon flies were affixed to it and formed a circle surrounding the symbols.

Basil made his way to where he stowed his treasure, but the insects had been removed leaving only the sheet of symbols for him to retrieve.