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The Elusive Thunder-chicken

by Jan Davidson, Director on June 16, 2016

in Jan writes ...

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The Folk Institute of Developmental Development and Lunacy Exorcism, (FIDDLE)

Dear Friends,

I appreciate your reading and responding to my humble efforts to keep you abreast of the important developments in facts and mythology from Brasstown. So here is about my 87th letter. It requests a donation. If that’s all you need to know, thanks very much, and please check out the great interview with Tim Ryan a few scrolls down.

Experts at the Brasstown Institute for Gratuitously Making Up Data (BIGMUD) are predicting a year of fright-making up 40%, dismay production up 15-25% and competitive incivility in one’s face increasing by at least 60% this year. Good news: The Folk Institute of Developmental Development and Lunacy Exorcism, (FIDDLE) is always ready with tested tips for living. They recommend as follows: every time you turn on the t.v. and anyone is being rude or insulting your intelligence, turn off the t.v. (including t.v. online) and go to folkschool.org. Every time. Good for you, good for the world, good for t.v., good for the Folk School.

Now more than ever, the Folk School meets important needs. The Folk School is here as your welcoming home, a timeless farmstead with humming workshops, woodland lanes, rolling pastures, flowers, gardens, greenhouses, fruit trees, bees and the blue mountains.

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That may sound like just fancy words, but it happens to be the truth. And thanks if you thought they were fancy words, that is what I was going for. I admit it. I am a word-person. I could not tell you what any of Yeats’ poetry means, but I have learned more out of it than any four pound of spreadsheets that have come my way.

I have a friend of a numerical mindset who puts on a shoe and thinks ‘fifty percent!’ Folks like that politely look at you with a sweet smile while you are talking pure poetry but not really hearing much until you get to the quantitative section. I too, have a sweet smile on my own face after half day or so of talking figures, by which time the numbers in my mind turn to 3 blind mice, 3 little fishes in an itty bitty pool, and fields of a thousand, thousand daffodils tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

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My dear number Folks, (there appears to be one in each household, but I don’t have data on that), we rise above words. I got unassailable numbers. In fact, if you feel like assailing these numbers, well, you can just come on over and count some of this stuff for yourself. I went to a lot of trouble, had our top people crawling all over the place, just to get these facts. Here, therefore, is a little, probably just around and about 11.853% of what we have to think about daily, and take care of down in the real world:

‘Yow,’ you are probably thinking, if you were me, ‘That’ll be a bundle to keep up. How will the Folk School get the money?’

We need to raise about $100,000 to catch up on some deferred items. I am sure you will help all you can with a tax deductible gift to the annual fund.

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Whenever anyone recites a long list of things with numbers attached, my wee mind always ends it with ‘and a partri-hige in a pear tree.’ So for the completeness of the list, yes we got‘em. We don’t know how many. Our partridges, as the old folks called them, are actually ruffed grouse, also known as Drummers or Thunder-chickens. The grouse sound begins below the bottom edge of the human hearing spectrum and then eases up into it. At first one is not certain one is hearing anything at all, and then one might think of an old Johnson Seahorse 5 outboard motor was in its death throes under yon bushes. The courting ritual of the male grouse is whomping the ground with his wings. Apparently grouse females are impressed by that. So love, you might conclude after all, is a many splendored thing.

Pear trees we have for sure. Full disclosure: I have yet to see 1 thunder-chicken in 1 of our pear trees, but, each day at the ole Folk School brings countless new experiences.

Love from Brasstown,

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Jan Davidson,
Director

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