Monster's Bedtime Story
Field Journal Entry of Swamp
Migration's Brooke Pennypacker)
St. Marks NWR, Florida
was starting to settle back into my off-season life of rolling
around in the muck and scaring all the little frogs and salamanders
when I got a 911 (HELP!) call from Brooke and Bev over at St.
Mark's. Sheesh, can't a Swamp Monster get a break?
Apparently my favorite victim-crane-kids have become just a tad too independent
and were creating havoc around roosting time. My favorite kind of misbehaving
youngster: one who won't go to bed at night and wants to stay in the
swamp and play. Yumm!
On Wednesday night, so Bev told me, the chicks decided to take
off out of the pen right as the sun was setting. They went
back where they had
spent the morning to poke around in the mud some more. This
gave Brooke and Bev fits as they as they tried to get the naughty birds
back to the safety of the pen to roost. So I responded to their
went to help them out. (After all, just because I'm a Monster doesn't
mean I'm a bad guy.)
I took up my position out on the flats surrounded by all my favorite
things: stinky mud, mosquitoes, and sand flies. You know, I felt almost
at home there! Anyway, sure enough, out came the 7 chicks just after
sunset. Boy, did I put on a show for them. Jumping, growling, snarling,
blowing my horn, waving my tarp — all the usual things I do.
And do you know what? The little stinkers kept flying. They kept
flying alright, but right back to the PEN. Darn right
they did! When I scare something, it stays scared. They flew right
the pen and almost knocked Brooke down in the process because they
were so glad to see him. Then they marched right onto the oyster
like the good little chicks they are, and they didn't budge
for the rest
of the night.
I think I'll go have some more fun with them tonight. I really love
that swamp they live in. A Monster could retire there!