Stay on Target…Stay on Target

That's no MoonWe’ve selected a closing date for issue three of Sybil’s Garage: November 20th. This gives you the weekend if you so wish to refine and polish your gem of a story. Stories received on the 20th will be accepted. Stories received after will not be read.

From the slush pile:

About 135 submissions to date.

119 or so rejections mailed.

9 stories & poems selected.

About 20 items in the contender category.

We are looking to choose about 2 to 3 more stories. Several in the contender category I’m leaning towards accepting, but feel free to query us if it’s been more than 30 days and we haven’t peeped.

Great Bear RainforestThere was a fascinating documentary last night on the Great Bear Forest. Researchers followed around packs of wolves, some of which swam miles in open water. The native peoples told stories of the “wolves that fish” but science has only witnessed this recently. I watched as the wolves closed in on the shallow rivers during salmon spawning season and plucked the fish from the water, preferring fresh brains when the pickin’s good. Great bears, for which the rainforest owes its name, were avid fishers too. They hung on the edge of fallen trees, reaching into the water to snatch their prey. When the salmon weren’t plentiful, the bears ate the abundant sedge grass, and the wolves — well, they sometimes ate the bears. And there were white bears too — not albinos — but the result of some recessive genetic trait. Called Spirit Bears by the native peoples, their white color is supposed to remind man of the ice that covered the land 10,000 years before, a myth passed down by word of mouth from indigenous peoples and shown by science to be true. But what I found most fascinating was this fact: when the wolves and bears are feeding on the salmon, and the fish are mad with spawning, the wolves and bears take dozens of fish at a time into the woods, leaving behind the rotting carcasses of fish when they’re done feasting. As we all learned in first grade, fish make an excellent fertilizer. If we go to the tallest tree in the forest, say a spruce, and we take a needle from it into the lab, we will find nitrogen inside it from the deep sea, brought to the Great Bear forest by spawning salmon, and spread around the roots of millions of trees as fertilizer by the bears and the wolves.

Would that a fish become a tree, said the announcer. What a beautiful phrase.

Though I watched this happen through a tv screen, I could feel the land’s pain first-hand as I watched parts of this beautiful forest clear cut for lumber, roads built for hunters and trappers — the ancient forest decimated in the blink of an eye. Are we so cold, so short-sighted to destroy such a treasure (and others like it) merely for cheap wood? What will it take for the average man and woman to know what beauty still lies on this earth, and to know that they must with all their hearts do their best to preserve it?

A documentary, perhaps?