Sunflower Down

I regret to inform you about a micro-national disaster over the weekend, the consequences of terrorism, in the tiny nation-state of Goosecreekistan.

A significant and iconic treasure has been desecrated by unknown agents, and public outrage has risen to alarming and dangerous levels.

As in all such plots, a small number of extremists–perhaps only one–has penetrated border defenses and caused the maximum level of distress.

If they will do this to the Volunteer Chicken-Pen Sunflower, is there any safety for the Coneflowers around the mailbox or the hostas by the footbridge? These are violent times, full of uncertainty at every turn.

CAPTION: Local bomb-sniffer and crime-scene investigator inspects the carnage. Assessment: bear. None of the other known factions or groups would have the force necessary to do this. Approximate breaking pressures to cause this thick stem to break equals about 40 pounds, says Inspector Gandy.

“This attack will not deter man, dog or chicken from enjoying the idyllic and bucolic lifestyle to which all have become accustomed” she said. “We will rebuild.”

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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