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Copyright 2001 Bruce Ling

 

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Incident on Abrigador Trail

     I'm tucked between the largest river in the state, and a wetland/swamp that extends for miles.  This once was a Native American trail that followed the river, and it has a lot of history.  The river itself was once the main artery for traffic across the state, and for untold years before the arrival of Europeans.  Sometimes when I'm fishing late at night I can hear the sound of oars, or the whisper of the dip of paddles, and faint voices speaking in French and other languages that are lost to the ages.

     The natural "incidents" are strikingly poignant: the Otters that swim over to check me out when I'm on the dock at dusk, the foot long juvenile Gar Pike that hang out in our brush-pile fish-bed, that allow me to slowly place my hands under them as they hang suspended in the water. The thrill of petting a fish. The Red-tailed Hawk attack on a Canadian Goose that occurred on the ice. The goose fended the hawk off with repeated blows from its great wings, but was fatally injured and died later from the initial taloning it received.  The list can go on for hours.

     The folks that inhabit the levees along the river are a breed unto themselves.  Living in a Class A flood zone requires a certain desire to "live on the edge."  Most folks down here are generational, having been raised here, and returning to the family home after the parents pass on.    Most all are schooled in the ways of the river, navigation tricks, your location at night, or in a fog, by the smells of the surrounding woods.  Skin a Catfish in 30 seconds. With eccentric people comes eccentric behavior.

Each occurrence becoming yet another 

Incident on Abrigador Trail.

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 by Bruce Ling 5-2002