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  • Writer's pictureRoberta Rathert

Turkey River.

It was eight when I pulled the kayak off my small island beach all loaded after a protein bar, applesauce, and water for breakfast. The river surface was glassy and slick looking fun to slide across in sock feet. Only one old fisherman was in a quiet cove, his boat a cared-for sixties model Lund, maybe his first and last boat ever.  He nodded, I waved.


I made my way across the Turkey River confluence knowing it rises from a spring two miles from my birthplace. I remember my dad standing on the low-head dam there at the spring-fed lake we called Vernon Springs. He was likely hoping for walleye or bass, yet the Turkey River is also well-known for rainbow and brown trout. I’ve thought often how he would love this river trip whether joining me or observing from home. My vision of him fishing and always outdoors is the same all the time, maybe because I was a child when he died. This little river runs 153 miles from where he stood before it pours into the Mississippi a quarter mile from my small island camp. Maybe why it rang home to me.


After the Turkey and Mississippi Rivers joined, I paddled through Cassville, a linear town running parallel to the river, protected by levees, and without a bridge to cross. Even though the Cassville Ferry was built, it's clear the people did not spread to the other side. One side is all town and the other all wild.


To the south, I took Picayune Chute to edge around Sweezy Island to avoid the main channel. A barge was a quarter mile behind me already and I couldn't manage that traffic all day. Picayune was a muddy slough, quiet and calm compared to the channel opposite the island. Along Picayune, I witnessed five bank swallows attacking an eagle without any let-up. The eagle put up his left wing then ducked as they came at him. He pressed his wing hard in the air but they just came around the back. The eagle pushed one foot at the birds while clutching a large fish in the other, refusing to abandon it until he was so off-balance, he ran across the rocks and flew off, the swallows still chasing. I looked at the fish laying on the rock feeling sorry he lost it there. No one was going to eat it now. 


There were a couple kingfishers fighting over fish after one emerged from the water. It looked as if it just stepped out of the shower, its head feathers soaked and dripping. The dry one was waiting to swipe the food without working for it. I passed by it before that fight was resolved. It's curious how much conflict humans make together. We go to the wild for peace but find the animals at it, too!







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12件のコメント


ゲスト
2022年7月12日

Once again, your writing and especially the last lines are full of truth.

いいね!
Roberta Rathert
Roberta Rathert
2022年7月30日
返信先

Thank you a lot.

いいね!

nancyandralphknudkin
2022年7月10日

Fascinating layers of memories and immediate natural moments experienced and wrapped together with wonderful writing. Wonderful. Where did you get the incredible picture of the surfacing bird? A very wet Kingfisher?

いいね!
Roberta Rathert
Roberta Rathert
2022年7月30日
返信先

Your feedback is meaningful and much appreciated. I am thinking that, by the nature of your commenting, you are a reader and much acquainted with literature and writing style. I am deeply grateful for your input.

Bobbi

いいね!

ゲスト
2022年7月10日

That must have been so fascinating to watch! I agree, such vivid storytelling in your writing Bobbie! #BraveLikeBobbie, keep up the #PaddelingForHope journey and know we are praying constantly for you safety and protection. Have Fun!! WOOT WOOT

-Jenna Rae Mills

いいね!
Roberta Rathert
Roberta Rathert
2022年7月30日
返信先

Jenna,

Thank you for your uplifting support and prayers. You are a great fan of Paddling for Hope!!

いいね!

ゲスト
2022年7月10日

Your writing are so vivid I feel I can see you and what you are writing. As Mary said conflict seems to be the way of the world sometimes in side ones self. Be safe xo Dawn

いいね!
Roberta Rathert
Roberta Rathert
2022年7月30日
返信先

Dawn,

Thank you for your input. I really am grateful to hear from you and read your comment. Thanks again and hope to see you one of these days!

Bobbi

いいね!

ゲスト
2022年7月10日

Conflict does seem to be the way of life.

Mary

いいね!
Roberta Rathert
Roberta Rathert
2022年7月30日
返信先

Indeed so.

いいね!
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