February 16, 2011

In my Own Backyard

In my soon-to-be-published historical novel for kids, WASATCH SUMMER, Hannah receives two turkey wings for her birthday. One is a gift from her Blackfeet friends, who tell her they use the wings as fans in hot weather. The second wing is from her mother, who uses them as a dusting tool.

Anticipating school visit requests, I've been looking for a turkey wing to use for show and tell when I speak to classes about the book. I've asked people I know who hunt or who know someone who hunts--but with no success. Monday, fiddling around on my laptop I typed "turkey wings" into the Google window and up popped several sources for intact feathered wings. The first site showed a gorgeous object, suitable for smudging. It cost $185. I gulped and went on down the list.

I came to a listing for Custom Feathers, which offered a variety of wings, feather sizes, and prices. I found one that sounded right and was reasonably priced. So I clicked away and put in my order.

Tuesday afternoon i heard the mailbox creak as it does when its lid is lifted. Normal sounds for mail delivery. But then the doorbell chimed--not normal. I found the largest Priority Mail envelope somehow managing to remain upright in our tiny mail receptacle. Inside was a beautiful turkey wing.

Amazed at the one-day delivery, I checked the return address. Custom Feathers is in Chillicothe, MO--a few counties away from Kansas City. I had found just what I was looking for--right in my own backyard.

Something to think about. How many other things, people, ideas have I roamed far and wide in search of, only to find them close to home?

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