Do Mockingbirds "Fly Over the Rainbow Bridge?" I often read or hear where someone's pet they loved was last seen "crossing The Rainbow Bridge." I seldom get publicly emotional about an animal, though in my long years I have lost loyal dogs, birds, and even a beautiful silver miniature horse stallion that was still-born in my back yard.
I'd have to say the Texas Mockingbird is one of my favorite birds, mostly because of how closely I've observed them. We rehabilitated and released an injured Mockingbird youngster we found in our yard a number of years ago. The next year he returned to our feeders and hung around the yard, and then the next year a pair nested in a short bushy tree in our front yard.
There was no proof, of course, that it was him, except possibly that he stayed so near and appeared to trust us when we went to the car or mailbox, or to shoo away the neighbor's cats when he'd strafe them.
We'd see him each spring for several days in the top of a particular tree in our back yard. He'd fly up several feet, hover, then alight back in the tree. It looked like he was flopping back down, and the tree leaves appeared as if he were compressing them.
We had to conclude this was his mating performance because within a few days they'd build another nest in the same tree in our front yard. Luckily the tree got taller and bushier each year. We'd long since stopped feeding any of the birds because of the neighbor's cats and we had even considered deterring the pair from nesting here.
They had mixed success for a number of years. We ran the cats off whenever we saw them near the front yard, he'd strafe them, and I think most of the fledglings survived. This last spring he may have slowed with age. One of the cats left his wings on my front porch. Do Mockingbirds "Fly Over the Rainbow Bridge?" I don't know, but I miss that little guy! Cat owners, keep your pets indoors!
She had a name among the children;
But no one loved though someone owned
Her, locked her out of doors at bedtime
And had her kittens duly drowned.
In Spring, nevertheless, this cat
Ate blackbirds, thrushes, nightingales,
And birds of bright voice and plume and flight,
As well as scraps from neighbours’ pails.
I loathed and hated her for this;
One speckle on a thrush’s breast
Was worth a million such; and yet
She lived long, till God gave her rest.
Born 1878, killed in the battle of Arras-
Easter Monday, 9 April 1917
Pass it on, DU! We can make it heard around the internet(s) and the world!
Spread the word, DUers!
I've been down so long it looks like up to me. #### depression! #### PTSD! I'll post some favorite jokes. Who will help?
This joke is one of my all time favorites.
A crusty old U.S. Army Sargeant found himself at a gala
event downtown, hosted by a local liberal arts college.
There was no shortage of extremely young, idealistic ladies
in attendance, one of whom approached the Sargeant for
She said, "Excuse me, Sir, but you seem to be a very serious
man. Are you this way all the time, or is something
"No," the Sargeant said, "Just serious by nature."
The young lady looked at his awards and decorations and
said, "It looks like you have seen a lot of action."
The Sargeant's short reply was, "Yes, a lot of action."
The young lady, tiring of trying to start up a conversation,
said, "You know, you should lighten up a little-- relax and
The Sargeant just stared at her in his serious manner.
Finally, the young lady said, "You know, I hope you don't
take this the wrong way, but when was the last time you had
The Sargeant looked at her and replied, "1955."
She said, "Well, that's the hang-up-- you need to chill out
and quit taking everything so seriously. I mean, no sex
since 1955! Isn't that a little extreme?"
The Sargeant, glancing at his watch, said in his
matter-of-fact voice, "Oh, I don't know. It's only 2130
Jim Horn rode his horse down the trail at a steady pace. He and his horse, Chief, were both wearing several pounds more than their share of the dust of that long, hot trail from the border area of west Texas into San Antonio.
Anyone unfortunate enough to be out in the blistering heat watching him would have seen a sturdily built, sun browned man of slightly above average heighth. He fit the square-rigged stock saddle on his horse as if he were born to it as indeed he was. A brace of worn but clean .44-40 Colts in tied down holsters on his hips and a Winchester carbine of the same caliber in his saddle scabbard showed him to be a man not to be trifled with.
The weapon only a few unhappy and often short lived people got to see was a short-barreled Colt that usually rode in one of Jim's boots. At twenty-eight years of age, Jim considered himself to be not too ugly to look at, but most women rated his looks as very attractive despite his strong features. The women were particularly attracted to his gentle drawl, and as one love-stricken Austin girl had written poetically in her diary, "Mr. Horn has eyes as blue as the wide Texas sky!"
These same characteristics had often been thought of by the men who he made his living hunting down as a blood chilling voice and the stone cold eyes of a born killer! Jim's vocation of man hunting was strictly legal; the left side of his vest sagged under the weight of the gold star of a Texas Ranger. Jim was a veteran of five perilous years of Ranger duty.
Jim sat astride of one of the spectactularly spotted horses from a strain known as the appaloosa, which were bred by the Indians of the American northwest. He was personally of the opinion the horse was anything but pretty. As compared to the average Texas cow horse, this stallion was hammer headed, broom tailed, and cow hocked. His big striped hooves looked almost too big for his legs and Jim had never much cottoned to the wierdly intelligent, almost human look in his eyes. The stud also had the powerful shoulders and massively heavy neck that were then typical of the stallions of that sturdy breed.
What Jim did like about the big ugly horse was he had the ability to thrive at a traveling pace that would have killed most of those prettier average cow horses of Texas. He had an energy-conserving gait that seemed to carry him just far enough on each step to get ahead, but this mile eating pace had carried Jim and his gear almost three hundred miles down some of the roughest trails in west Texas in the last two weeks!
Jim was leading a lanky bay mule loaded down with his latest capture. Joe Three Horses, or Injun Joe as he was better known, was a half-breed Kiowa indian Jim had been sent after a couple of weeks before.
Injun Joe was a character who was notorious around some parts of Texas, not only as an accomplished horse thief but also for his many slick escapes from justice. The officials in San Antonio had finally persuaded the reluctant Ranger Captain to put his best man on Joe’s trail. Joe was presently shackled belly-down in chains across the mule's narrow back as punishment for his latest unsuccessful escape attempt.
It had taken Jim four long days of tracking the Indian's faint trail just to locate Joe the first time, then it took him another three days to run him to ground. The indian had been so good at evading capture the Ranger had to resort to relying on all of his senses, even his sense of smell, to track him!
Joe had been working hard at a job of breaking horses on a ranch outside of Uvalde when he had literally seen Jim coming. He’d forced his green broken horse right through the thin mesquite rails of the corral fence and lit a shuck under him! He’d ridden that horse into the ground the first day out of Uvalde then he’d stolen another one from a nearby ranch.
The injun’s second stolen horse had given out on the evening of the next day and Injun Joe had then fled on foot. Jim had finally caught up with him on the third day of the long chase. He’d bought the mule from a ranch in the vicinity to pack the injun in on.
The saddle-worn Ranger had been leading the mule back toward San Antonio for the last four days; Joe's latest futile escape attempt had been made only the night before. "Hey, Joe!" Jim hollered back to his prisoner, "I've been studying on somethin’ ever since before I caught up with you! You crossed several ranches on foot after that last horse gave plumb out underneath you, why didn't you go and steal yourself another one?"
"Kill too many good horses already!" Joe grunted as the mule bounced unmercifully. "When Joe escape next time maybe Ranger Jim sell Joe good horse with spots?"
"Hell no, Joe!" Jim laughed! "If you’d been riding old Chief, I'd still be chasing you all over Texas!" Jim thought that, horse thief or not, you had to respect the indian for taking his chances on foot rather than risk killing more stolen horses in a chase! He called back to him, "Joe, any man who would sooner give up his freedom than to hurt more horses can't be all bad! If you'll give me your word you won't try gettin' away again, I'll set you right back up on that mule."
"No can do! Not yet, maybe later." The injun replied resolutely. Jim laughed in appreciation of the indian's wild spirit and warped sense of honor, then he shrugged and went back to his day dreaming about the cool beer from the spring house of the Eldorado, his favorite saloon in San Antonio.
The thought of that cold beer then led Jim to thinking about the pretty, brown eyed, auburn haired Louisiana woman who owned the Eldorado.
Posted by BikeWriter in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Sat May 27th 2006, 01:18 PM
I just found this recipe and I'm dying to try it, but I'll use Italian sausage, and add Sautéed onions, peppers and mushrooms.
1 large pie crust
1 pound hot sausage
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350°.
Brown sausage and drain. Add
slightly beaten eggs and salt. Line crust with cheddar cheese. Add sausage mixture to shell. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.
By Princess Linden's fourteenth summer she had so perfected her secret skills at sword and knifeplay Sir Klaron himself was hard pressed to guard against her blurring speed and aggressive tactics. Then came the fateful day she beat his guard twice in one session, once with knives and once with the swords!
When their sword practice ended, Sir Klaron bowed deeply before her. “You are no longer my student at arms, Your Majesty; you are my equal! From this day onward, we’ll both be learning from our practice sessions.”
“Ah, thank you, Sir Klaron, you honor me!” Linden’s dark brown eyes glistened with pride in both their exemplary efforts.
“You deserve it, Dearest Princess. There is one boon your servant would ask of you, though?” Sir Klaron entreated.
Linden spoke with conviction, she was as loyal to Klaron as he was to her. “Anything, Sir Klaron! My very existence is due to your sacrifices and loyalty. If it is within my power to grant your wish, you shall have it!”
“My love and pride for you and Calvar are what drives me, Your Highness. Would you grant your humble servant his wish of seeing you win your Weapon Master's Sash before the Guild?”
Linden’s mind reeled at the question! Klaron wanted her to test before the elite Weapon Master's’Guild. The very arrogance of the idea appealed to Linden's’own pride in their many accomplishments. She smiled mischieviously at Klaron. “If you say we can do it, my loyal Knight, it shall be done!”
At the next meeting of the Guild, Sir Klaron announced he had been training a very skilled apprentice. Sir Klaron asked the Guild that his apprentice be given special dispensation to remain anonymous. He truthfully told them the student was from a Royal family who might not approve of the student's testing for membership in the Guild. This so ired the membership, especially King Wildar, that they immediately gave their unaminous permission for the applicant to remain anonymous.
On the eve of the next scheduled Guild meeting, Sir Klaron was to meet her at the Castle paddocks. She sneaked down the servant's stairs and then easily ghosted past the guards. Sir Klaron was already waiting for her when she neared the paddocks. He had arranged for their mounts and had them waiting. He also had her favorite weapons with him; he had carried them from the Castle earlier.
Linden pulled her gown off over her head and stood before him clad in a boy's leggings and tunic. Linden had bound her budding breasts tightly with a wide strip of material. Her long hair was brushed out straight, and tied with a leather string like a boy's. "You have the mask?” He asked. When she nodded and fished it from her tunic he told her, "With your slender figure and those baggy clothes, you'll pass; let's go."
They mounted and rode to the Hall of the Weapon Master's Guild. Linden’s stomach was filled with butterflys, but Klaron calmly spoke of the event with supreme confidence in their skills. As they approached the large hall, they could see a big crowd of members and nervous apprentices was already forming. Linden's own excitement was swiftly beginning to turn to anxiety. "I forgot to tell you." Sir Klaron innocently told her. "King Wildar and Prince Vandar will both be here. Just relax and you'll do fine."
Linden laughed anxiously. "Just relax? That's very easy for you to say, Sir!" She donned the mask and dismounted. Her knees felt weak but they sufficed to hold her as she alit. She told herself to be brave as she handed her mount's reins to a servant and then followed Sir Klaron into the milling throng.
The unwelcome news of King Wildar and Prince Vandar’s presence had doubled the pressure on poor Linden. Sir Klaron stopped for a brief moment and turned to her. "It's customary for the Master who is putting his apprentice up for membership to show his confidence with a small wager, but I've bet a Baron’s ransom on you, Your Highness, and I intend to win. You are skilled far beyond all but a few of the Masters here and you will easily qualify for induction!"
How could she, she thought, have allowed Klaron to risk not only his spotless reputation, but his considerable fortune, too? She was feeling increasingly miserable about the entire affair, but his confident words steeled her for the task; there was no backing out now. The King had been promised an exhibition and she resolved herself to give him one!
Sir Klaron rated a seat at the head table at which King Wildar, Prince Vandar, Sir Gannon, and a few select others sat. As Sir Klaron's apprentice, her station was standing directly behind his chair, and she proudly did so. Wildar was alertly looking over the other apprentices and then he turned to her. "So this is your mysterious apprentice, Klaron? A slightly built lad, I see."
Linden bowed deeply to the King as Sir Klaron responded confidently. "Slightly built? Yes, Your Majesty, but my apprentice has lightning speed, surprising strength and endurance, and deadly aggressiveness with a blade!" Poor Linden quaked in her boots, she felt as if Sir Klaron must surely be speaking of someone else!
The King's thick brows arched with interest at Count Sir Klaron’s remarkably confident description of his apprentice’s skills. "I value your opinion above anyone’s when it comes to swordplay, my Friend. I've been looking forward to this exhibition, I'm certain it will be very entertaining to us all!" Linden thought to herself that it would certainly be entertaining if they unmasked her!
Linden noticed that after having heard more of Sir Klaron’s avid description of his apprentice’s skill her Father called one of the stewards to him. She was close enough she made out he whispered, “Place two bags of gold at the best odds you can get me on Sir Klaron’s apprentice.” The steward nodded and rushed off.
The course for knife throwing consisted of large targets, the knives had to all be within a smaller area of the target to qualify. The archery course was shot at three stationary apples, each of which must be pierced from a proscribed distance, and the swordplay was an exhibition. This was usually fought against the trainer, and was judged by the membership as being acceptable or not. Linden wasn't very impressed by the difficulty of the required course but then, she had been trained by one of the very best of the Weapon Masters!
The meeting was called to order and several other apprentices were tested. Most gave creditable performances and were admitted to the Guild and their sponsors were well pleased. Linden's nervousness had come to a peak by the time the floor was turned over to Sir Klaron, but she stubbornly clung to her pride. She remembered above all else, Sir Klaron believed in her!
Sir Klaron wasted no time in getting to the point. "Your Highnesses and fellow Weapon Masters, I have a highly skilled apprentice to bring before this honorable assembly tonight!" He turned toward Linden. "Come forward, please. For the sake of anonymity the Guild has generously decreed my apprentice may remain masked. In deep appreciation of this and in honor of Her Royal Highness, Princess Linden, my apprentice has chosen the title, ‘The Avenger of Calvar’ and will dedicate tonight’s exhibition to her!"
All eyes went to the slight figure before them. Everyone in the audience knew the lad was being presumptuous, but if he passed the tests and brought honor to King Wildar’s Royal Cousin and foster Daughter, he was certain to gain the King's instant favor!
One of the members, Lord Lamdor, who had been more than slightly over-served with ale, remarked loudly, "That stripling isn't big enough to avenge anything, much less that ragtag Kingdom; I'll wager a bag of gold against him." All eyes went to Sir Klaron and the King. Drunk or not, Lord Lamdor had made an insulting remark regarding Princess Linden’s country in public! As Linden was second only to the King’s own Son in succession to the Throne of Zuldar his remark could be construed as treasonous!
Linden put a small hand on Sir Klaron's nearest shoulder to calm him; she felt him trembling with suppressed rage, but he obeyed her touch perfectly and stood his ground! Her own eyes had flown to King Wildar's table. She had seen his big hands move swiftly to Prince Vandar and Sir Gannon's shoulders when the loud mouth sounded off. He held the two of them securely in their seats to prevent a Death Challenge!
The King rose slowly from his massive throne, Linden knew from long experience, Wildar was more enraged than she’d ever seen him! The barbaric expression of rage on his face made a lie of the cool response on his lips. "Lord Lamdor, make that ten bags of gold to make it interesting and you're on!"
The drunk looked around as the crowd heckled him. He realized now he had stupidly overstepped his bounds and would get out of this only by wagering a fortune in gold but he couldn't back down now without losing face. "Done!” He said loudly.
"Oh, no!" Linden thought. “I've got to defend Father's honor now, too! Well, there's no backing out now."
Sir Klaron demonstrated his enormous self-control and continued as if nothing had happened. "My apprentice wishes to get the difficult portion of the exhibition over first." As he walked to the small table containing the targets she drew three arrows from her quiver. She held two in her hand and notched the one to her bowstring and drew it. She knew to always be prepared for a trick when drilling with Sir Klaron, and events had just gotten weirder for them all. He picked up the three apples and began to walk down range and past the rail on which they were normally placed.
The normal test was to hit the three apples while they sat on the rail. Without turning or giving her a warning, Klaron tossed the apples into the air in succession. Linden swiftly loosed her first arrow, then she let her superbly trained reflexes take command of her body as she drew and released the other arrows!
The second and third apples were split before the first halved one had quit rolling; the crowd stood and roared its excited approval! Linden relaxed measurably; she knew the move had been a carefully calculated one on Sir Klaron’s part. He had shown her the way to success in this test was to allow her reflexes to guide her.
"Ah." Sir Klaron laughed. "That wasn't so difficult after all! I think my "little" apprentice may have passed the archery portion of the test to everyone’s satisfaction! Now for the daggers; I believe my fellow Weapon Masters will approve of our slight change in this drill also." Sir Klaron said.
He moved a small wooden table to the line on the floor the apprentice was supposed to stand behind. On it he laid a fistful of her exquisitely balanced throwing daggers. He then went over to the wall where the big target hung and he assumed a peculiar splay-legged stance before it. His awkward stance drew the rapt attention of everyone, and the hall went expectantly silent.
Linden was perfectly calm. She stood at the table and again allowed her muscles to do as they had done in practice thousands of times before. She picked up the first dagger and threw it into the air, another, and then another followed the first. Her other hand came into play until she had five daggers creating a dazzling circle in the air! Even the onlooker's loud shouts of dismay failed to distract her from her intense concentration.
One dagger after another flew out of the rapidly whirling circle toward Sir Klaron’s still form! One thudded into the wall to each side of his head, then one to each side of his torso, then the last dagger disappeared from their sight as it sped to its mark! The dagger reappeared with a loud thunk; its hilt was just grazing his clothing below his crotch. The throng once again stood and roared its approval! King Wildar, Prince Vandar, and Sir Gannon came to their feet! Sir Klaron and Linden bowed in gratitude as the roaring crowd slowly retook their seats.
"You see, I trust my student implicitly, with all of my valuables!" Sir Klaron boasted loudly to the raucous crowd. "Next, we will show you an example of my apprentice's exceptional footwork and aggressive swordplay."
The small size of the apprentice was striking, in direct comparison to Sir Klaron’s large bulk. She was Child like in stature beside him. The crowd had been greatly impressed by the other two superb drills, but most doubted the little Avenger had the sheer strength and endurance to stay the course in the dueling
Linden and Sir Klaron walked to the sidetable for their weapons. "You're doing wonderfully, Your Highness! I’m enjoying this immensely." Sir Klaron congratulated Linden as they assisted each other in donning chestguards and helmets. There was no risk of them being overheard by the noisy onlookers.
"Thanks to you, Klaron. You're the best!" Linden returned confidently. They walked to the center of the hall, they saluted each other with their swords, and then they commenced to dueling. Each of them was using the twin swords of the discipline Sir Klaron had first mastered.
The four dull practice swords whistled around the two duelers. If anyone thought Sir Klaron was taking it easy on his student, he had only to listen to the swishing of the blades and the loud clangs and clatters as her swords met and countered his every masterful blow. Crippling injury or accidental death in practice were not too uncommon, and the onlookers knew too well even the dull practice swords could crush a skull or snap an arm or a leg bone at the speed the two of them were practicing!
Abruptly, Linden recognized a feint of Sir Klaron's that usually came just before he went low in an attack. She leaped into the air in a perfect backward flip as Klaron's weapons clanged together below her. She landed on her toes with her body leaning slightly forward, both weapons raised overhead like a Dragon’s claws; she was poised in a perfect stance for a charge!
As Klaron attempted to rise back up, she came at him with an incredibly determined and aggressive attack. She knew she had caught the sword Master low; he was very slightly off his balance. She expended her last reserves of endurance in pressing her attack and keeping her slight advantage. She backed Klaron nearly to the tables behind him; it was all the Master swordsman could do to defend himself against her slashing assault!
The speed of the dazzling duel seemed to reach a crescendo, the entire crowd was wondering that even the heroic Count Sir Klaron could keep up the pace as they spun and parried. Suddenly, both duelists froze in place in the same instant!
The onlookers all peered to see that one of the apprentice's swords was at Sir Klaron's throat, while one of his practice swords had accidently pierced Linden's tunic and slashed her side where her practice pads had moved aside during the wild action! They had defeated each other’s guard at the same instant!
"Prince...!" Klaron cried out in anguish and immediately dropped both his blades; his mortified cry echoed throughout the silent hall.
Linden threw down her own swords and slapped him on the shoulder; she knew their game was up if he didn't recover quickly from having wounded her. She shouted a hoarse, "Well done, Count Sir Klaron!" as she panted from her desperate exertions.
"Valiantly done!" King Wildar shouted as he once again rose to his feet. Through the salty sweat and tears pouring into her eyes, Linden saw her beloved King striding toward her. The crowd was roaring their praise, but her eyes saw no one but him. He strode quickly to her side and she went to her knees before him as he addressed the Masters. "I believe it is obvious to everyone this young lad richly deserves to be one of us!" The crowd agreed unanimously with the popular King, unanimously, that is except for the sullen Lord Lamdor.
King Wildar spoke to Linden’s bowed figure. "Young Master, you have done me a great personal favor by bringing honor to my dear Daughter's name and Her country tonight. You have also honored the name of your incomparable Master, Count Sir Klaron." Wildar took off his own gold embroidered crimson Weapon Master's Sash over his crown and draped it around her bowed neck. "Have the healers treat your wound, Weapon Master, then join us at our table for a well deserved drink!"
Despite her flustered state, Linden had enough presence of mind to draw the King's hand to her lips and kiss his ring in adoration and respect. The King walked back to his seat as the entire Guild stood and showed their loud agreement with the King's bestowal of this special honor on the magnificently talented young Avenger! Sir Klaron had begun recovering his composure by this time; Linden was still panting for air but she was fairly certain she had not been badly wounded.
They gathered their gear, and then Sir Klaron led her over into the corner where the healers sat. They had clean bandages and soothing ointments and were trained in their use. Sir Klaron turned the helpful attendants aside. "Can you tell if you're deeply cut, er, Avenger?" Sir Klaron asked anxiously.
"It’s only a scratch, Sir Klaron." Linden was so proud of her accomplishment she thought her wound a small price to pay; her head was up in the clouds! "Come over here away from the others and you can judge for yourself." Her Knight gave her an astonished look, but she insisted frankly, "I'm sure you've dressed the wounds of many of your comrades before.” Linden smiled proudly up at him through her tears, and managed to laugh. “You are the one who requested I test, I believe."
She pulled her blousy tunic up far enough for them both to see her wound was a shallow slice, but bloody. Sir Klaron overcame his trepidation at viewing his Princess’s slim body under her clothing out of neccessity. He went to his knees and gingerly applied a healing salve to the wound; then he handed her a pad of clean bandage to hold to her slender waist while he expertly wrapped a longer one around her several times and tied it firmly in place.
His voice was strained after having performed such a personal service for her, but he managed it. "There, young Master, you can tie your new Sash around your honorable wound, then we'll have your victory drink with the King!"
Wildar was waiting for them with an unusually intense interest in his eyes. He bade “The Avenger” to be seated at his table. A chair was provided for her immediately. "Avenger, you have an unusual grace and speed to your footwork; in my estimation, that part of your drill stood out the most. You are a superbly trained warrior!"
"Thank you, Your Majesty. Sir Klaron deserves all of the credit; he has been a mentor beyond compare!" Linden said hoarsely. She was so dry and hoarse from her extreme exertions and nerves she had to do little to disguise her voice. A servant brought Linden a tankard of wine and refilled Sir Klaron's.
Sir Klaron laughed loudly, "You’re much too modest, Avenger. That charge you made at me was incredible; I haven’t been caught off balance like that by anyone since my youth!" He turned up his own flagon and drained it thankfully. “More wine? That was thirsty work.”
"Aye, Sir!" Linden replied gruffly as she drank deeply of the fine wine. The wine gave her the daring to look Wildar and Vandar in the face through her mask. They, along with Sir Gannon were looking at her with great respect.
Vandar addressed the "Avenger". "I'd also like to thank you for honoring Princess Linden. I especially admire your archery skill; perhaps we could go hunting sometime, if you would like."
"Oh yes! Yes!" Linden cried out, but only to herself. Outloud, she could only say gruffly, "Thank you, Your Majesty, that would indeed be an honor. Perhaps sometime in the future, if my present awkward situation changes to allow it."
The alert attendant refilled her tankard to the brim. Linden tried to keep the bottomless tankard in front of her face as much as possible, but as a result of doing so, she was drinking far more than her usual light intake of wine. Thankfully, another apprentice was put through his paces and his capable performance drew everyone's attention from her for a few moments.
Linden was savoring her trumph more than the fine wine. This had been the perfect culmination of her years of dedicated training and she vowed to herself to reward Sir Klaron for instigating it. Ere long, her head began to whirl from the combined influence of the excitement, the loss of blood, and the strong wine. She leaned toward Sir Klaron and whispered to him. "I think I'd better leave, Sir Klaron. I'm getting dizzy."
"Ah yes, Avenger. I'm sorry, I'm certain you're fatigued after all the exertion and your injury." Klaron turned to the King. "Your Majesty, if we may take our leave of you, the Avenger has some other pressing duties to attend to tonight."
"Certainly, Sir Klaron." King Wildar spoke to Klaron then he turned again to Linden. "Avenger, I hope we will be seeing more of you again soon. You have my personal invitation to call at the Castle anytime; I'd like for Queen Camden and Princess Linden to meet you!"
"Thank you, Your Majesty; I am truly honored!" Linden said thankfully as she rose and bowed deeply. Sir Klaron took her arm and steered her swiftly toward the door. She endured being roughly pounded on the back by a number of admiring spectators before they reached it. Thankfully, their mounts were quickly brought to them.
As soon as they were mounted and had reined away from the hall, Linden began to scream. "We did it; we did it, Klaron! The King's very own Sash!" Sir Klaron joined her in shouting and laughing and they kept it up most of their way back to the Castle. As they neared the paddock, Linden thanked Sir Klaron profusely. "Klaron, I am so very proud of this Sash and you gave it to me as much as the King!"
Sir Klaron blushed with pleasure. "I merely presented the training to you, my Dearest Majesty. You're the one who used it; you've easily been the most dedicated student I've ever trained!" They warmly embraced and Linden kissed his cheek. She reluctantly left his side to sneak back into the Castle. She went to sleep that night a very tired but happy Master, or to be correct, Mistress, of the sword, the knife, and the bow!
According to the local legend, Christ first came to Japan, aged 21, during the reign of the 11th emperor, Suinin, and landed at the port of Hashidate on the Japan Sea coast. Apparently, he settled in Etchu province where, under the tutelage of a great master, he studied Japanese language, literature and various other subjects. The Legend of Daitenku Taro Jurai (Daitenku Taro Jurai was the name Christ is said to have later taken) claims that at the end of his 11-year stay, Christ returned to Judea, aged 33, where he taught about the "sacred land" of Japan. But, unfortunately, "Christ's teachings about Japan were considered too radical," and he was condemned to death.
It had penne, eggplant, italian sausage, tomato paste, ricotta, mozzarella, and provolone cheese. Lots of garlic and an onion, of course. If I can't find the recipe I'll just wing it. I think I'll add roasted red bell peppers to that list, too. Mmm, it was good!
I will almost certainly add shrimp and perhaps crab.
There is a set of procedures for responding to hijackings. In particular, these procedures were changed on June 1, 2001 while Rumsfeld was in power as our Secretary of Defense, in a document called: "CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF INSTRUCTION, J-3 CJCSI 3610.01A"
"AIRCRAFT PIRACY (HIJACKING) AND DESTRUCTION OF DERELICT AIRBORNE OBJECTS"
These are the standing orders to the military as to how to respond to hijackings over United States territory. The June 1 '01 document deliberately changed the existing policies. Previous directives were issued in 1997, 1986 and before.
Papadeaux's Crawfish Bisque
Here's a recipe I love! I always double the amount of crawfish, and put about half of it through a blender to thicken and flavor the bisque. I also use much more of the bell pepper, and substitute roasted red peppers for their mellower flavor and color. Uh, I'll admit to adding more paprika, too. I'm heavy handed with all the ingredients. This is a dynamite recipe, and works well with shrimp substituted, or added to the crawfish. I'm sure it would be exquisite using lobster.
Papadeaux's Crawfish Bisque
3 lb. Crawfish
2 oz Olive Oil
1 tsp. Paprika
1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
2 qt. water
1/2 C. each, chopped: onion & green bell pepper
1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
3 C. Whipping Cream
1/2 C. Chopped Tomato
2 oz Brandy (4 Tbsp.)
1. Boil crawfish in a large pot of water. Drain & cool until crawfish can be handled easily, remove tail & save shells. Refrigerate tail meat.
2. Heat oil in large sauce pan or Dutch oven. Add crawfish shells, paprika & cayenne. Sauté 5 minutes. Add water & bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer 30 minutes.
3. Strain liquid into another pan. Crush shells to remove remaining liquid & add that liquid. Discard shells.
4. Return to heat and add onion, bell pepper, tomato paste, cream & tomato. Simmer 1 hour, stirring frequently. Add brandy and crawfish tail meat. Simmer 10 minutes. Serve hot.
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