I wrote a novel for young adults, 9-14 and up, a long time ago. It was completely sold out, so Four Windows Press is re-releasing it. I am hoping some of the followers of this blog might consider purchasing it in amazon or at their favorite local bookstore.
Salt Bear is a story taken from the mythology of the American west. It is filled with mythological animals such as salt bear, jackalopes, cactus bucks, blind ravens, a snow owl, bears, and an evil mountain lion. At a recent WFOP meeting I was informed by a young attendee that it was one of his very favorite books ever. I’ve had quite a few young people tell me that since its first release.
The wild tale begins:
Salt Bear did not like the idea. Not one little bit.
Buddy, a jackalope, one of Salt Bear’s best friends, had started calling him George.
“Salt Bear’s a kind of bear,” Buddy had explained when he first started using George. “It’s not a name.”
“But why George?” Salt Bear had asked. “That doesn’t fit a salt bear. Why not Salty?” He brightened up. “That could be a good name for a salt bear.”
Buddy had scratched behind his right pronghorn just above his big, floppy ear. He looked like a jackrabbit. His brownish-pink nose was set off by a handsome set of whiskers, and he had powerful hind legs. Two slender black horns stuck out of his head above his ears.
“Salty’s a name for a bird,” he had said scornfully. “Besides, I would have liked to have been called George. Not Buddy.”
Salt Bear had shaken his gleaming white fur, and then blinked tan eyes in bewilderment. For a bear he was small, although he was full grown. He stood a little over three feet high. . .
I’m pretty sure you might remember the excitement you had reading The Wind in the Willows, Watership Down, or the Redwall books. I certainly had an enormous amount of fun writing the tale down.
a Spenserian Sonnet
by Thomas Davis
Four swans, crow-feather black, fly low above
The lake’s ice, white with tints of apple green.
Upon a red roof ravens, croaking of
The way the blue-black of their feather’s sheen
Swift shadows on the snow’s white shining, preen
Into a circle, stirring whispering winds
That cause white wisps to pirouette, careen
Across the fields as daylight slowly ends.
A black cat tops a hill and then descends
Into a field where fourteen cats have made
A ring beneath a full moon; each pretends
The others aren’t as eyes glow green as jade —
The wind blows cold; the silver moon is bright
As black swans fly into the spell-bound night.
a photograph by Ethel Mortenson Davis
Every year in one of our lilac bushes by our front gate, the long-tailed blackbirds that frequent our yard, along with orioles, hummingbirds, purple and yellow finches, sparrows, phoebes, western and mountain bluebirds, robins, ring necked and white winged doves, pinyon jays, and a bunch of others, build a nest at about eye level. Earlier I posted a photo of their eggs. This is a photo of the hatchlings that came from those eggs. We are always excited to see the new hatchlings with their beaks open, waiting for their parents to feed them. The day I took this photo, however, after the dogs and I came back from our daily walk into the Zuni Mountains, these hatchlings were gone. I came into the yard and the two parents dive bombed me and made a distressed fuss as if I was the reason their hatchlings were now missing. Every year the story seems to be the same. The ravens are hanging around the field on the Zuni side of our house, normally trying to get away from long-tailed blackbirds harassing them. Hawks circle in the sky. Snakes are not uncommon in New Mexico, and every year the hatchlings hatch, then, after awhile, disappear. This photo is the only evidence that they ever lived.