New Kindle Stories Take You into the Florida Swamps
Growing up in North Florida in the days when the rare Florida Panther could still be found in the panhandle, we heard panther sounds in the darkness while on camping trips. But they didn’t roar. I always wondered why the animal that was a favorite of the Creator, according to the Seminole creation myth, couldn’t speak with the authority of other big cats.
After all, he was the first animal to emerge from the Creator’s birthing shell and walk upon the pristine land between the Apalachicola and Ochlockonee rivers in what is now known as Tate’s Hell Forest. Since Panther had a little help from Wind in getting out of that shell, I imagined–as I traveled back to the dawn of time–that wind just might know what happened to Panther’s voice.
Bird emerged from the shell after Panther, soon to be followed by Black Bear. Snake Bird, also called the anhinga, is a common sight in Florida Swamps. They’re not hard to see since they’re large and spend a great deal of time sitting on cypress knees drying off their feathers. Actually, they learn to swim before they learn to fly. They’re called snake birds because they swim with their long necks and heads out of the water and look rather like a snake with a bill. So, unlike ducks, why must they dry their feathers? And, how did they figure out how to do it?
Black Bear was the next one to appear in what once was a huge long leaf pine forest. Many people are surprised to hear that Black Bear is mostly a vegetarian. The plant they like the best can be found in pine and scrub oak forest throughout the North Florida national forests. Unfortunately, some two-leggeds see this foul tasting thing as a delicacy. This is making it harder and harder for Black Bear to find it. But how did he find it the first time? In my imagination, he had a little help from another critter that often lurks in the very place where that food can be found.
These three folktales are intended for teens and adults. They were released on Kindle today. I hope you enjoy them.