Mrs. Smith’s Useless, Horrible, Wonderful Walk to The Park


Almost everyday Mrs. Smith takes an exercise walk. IMG_2169Usually Bob, the black farm dog, goes along with her. But this day, Mrs. Smith had a lot on her mind, so she walked alone. She walked down her IMG_2187road and then entered the gate to The Park where she walked on a wooded trail.

She wanted to take an enjoyable walk and not think about ANYTHING.

She walked along the trail. She took three deep breaths. She relaxed her shoulders. She stretched her arms to let go of tension.IMG_2509

“That’s more like it,” Mrs. Smith said aloud, “I need a good walk.”

The trail ascended toward the river. Mrs. Smith paused on the bluff and sat on a fallen log to watch the river flow by. The water carried along sticks, a Canada goose family swam by, the water made a rippling sound. Mrs. Smith thought about how the Indians and early settlers Backgroundused the river for food, for transportation and for washing and bathing. That lead to Mrs. Smith thinking about the dirty dishes in the sink and the piles of laundry. She began making a long mental listing of all her “To Do’s” and then, began to rank priority… Her mind had jumped down the rat hole of her mind and was racing through the maze of tunnels of “need to do.. will do…don’t want to do…never get to….”

“STOP!” Mrs. Smith thought to herself “I am here to NOT think.”

So Mrs. Smith got up and started following the trail again. She took some deep breaths and relaxed her shoulders. She heard woodpeckers drumming, tapping and hammering on the trees overhead. The nuthatches called “Tug Boat” to each other in their sing-song way. Squirrels chattered to each other. IMG_2456A traveling mob of Crows and Blue Jays hustled a sleeping owl from his napping spot. They chased after him “Crowing” and “Cawing” as he silently glided across the river to try to escape the noisy mob.

“Always some kind of argument going on with crows and jays,” Mrs. Smith thought. Her attention turned to watch the vultures soaring above the trees on air currents. They soared around and around, without bumping IMG_1931into anyone. Mrs. Smith began to think about how difficult it is sometimes to get along with people, including Farmer Smith. Her thoughts and thinking began to churn on and on….down the rat hole again and into the maze of “did say…didn’t say….should say……”

“Stop” said Mrs. Smith aloud to herself. “Don’t go down the rat hole.” So she took a deep breath, relaxed her shoulders and continued walking on the trail.

Mrs. Smith noticed many trees had been gnawed off and down to sharp points. “What busy animals beavers must be.” Mrs. Smith said aloud, “they must work well together to get so much work done.” She did not know where they lived in The Park.IMG_1990 But the gnawed off trees proved there were many and they were busy. Then, Mrs. Smith began thinking again about working with people. From there, she began to think about her schedule for the week.… her thoughts began to race on and on….. And, her mind was racing again in the rat maze of “want to….have to..…don’t want to…..”

“STOP this THINKING!” Mrs. Smith cried out out loud. “I am here to forget all this and just take a walk in The Park.”

IMG_2472So Mrs. Smith continued along the trail heading up from the river to the thick woods. She noticed a bushy tailed squirrel sitting on a branch busily whittling on a walnut. Another squirrel crossed the trail ran up a tree and disappeared into a hole. Mrs. Smith sat down on a stump to study the busy rodents. She began to think about how much work was waiting back at the farm. What should they have for supper? Can the mowing wait another day? And her thoughts were off again…… down the rat hole…. “coulda…..woulda…..shoulda….”

“THIS is USELESS. THIS is a HORRIBLE WALK! I CAN”T STOP THINKING! I might as well just go home.” So, Mrs. Smith headed back up the trail, out the Park gate and onto the road that lead back to her house. She walked along quickly. “I can’t stop THINKING, and I don’t WANT to THINK about ANYTHING!” She shouted out loud in aggravation with herself.

Then, Mrs. Smith heard a noise behind her.

She continued to walk, and listened again. There! that noise again.

Mrs. Smith recognized it was footsteps coming toward her from behind.

Mrs. Smith was a little afraid. She could feel her heart beat a little faster and harder. She continued on the road a little more quickly. She listened carefully.

Yes, definitely, they were footsteps and there were more than one. The footsteps were coming up right behind her.

“What should I do?” thought Mrs. Smith to herself.

Suddenly, Mrs. Smith stopped and turned around.

“OH MY,” she exclaimed out loud, and then began to laugh.“ You guys scared me!”

“Gobble. Gobble. Gobble.” The flock of wild turkeys stopped in the road right behind her.IMG_1860
It was the flock of wild turkeys that hung out near the neighbors’ houses.
The group was fairly tame, which concerned Mrs. Smith. On days when she walked to The Park, if the flock was resting in
the neighbor’s yard, they would often run out to the road to seemingly greet her. IMG_1845There used to be eight females and one male in the friendly flock. Then seven. Then six. And now, only five females remained in the dwindling flock.IMG_1845

“Nice to see you today.” Mrs. Smith greeted.

“Gobble. Gobble. Gobble.” the turkeys replied.

IMG_1871Mrs. Smith stood still and quiet. She admired the beautiful birds. She saw the birds relax. Some of them strutted right up close to Mrs. Smith and brushed her pant leg. They were also interested in her reflective lights.IMG_1869

The tall wild fowl walked around her and eyed her cautiously. Mrs. Smith tried her best turkey talk. “Gobble. Gobble.” she called softly imitating the sounds she heard. The turkeys liked it. They began to talk back to her in low gobbles, too. Mrs. Smith studied the birds in amazement. Their heads and neck had skin instead of feathers. Some of the turkeys had long wattles hanging from their necks.

IMG_1864The turkeys stood on long legs. Three toes on the front and one on the back. Each toe had a sharp toenail. Mrs. Smith didn’t even want to breathe for fear the turkeys would fly away in fear. And, they didn’t. In fact, some even sat down to study her, too. When one turkey fanned his beautiful tail feathers, showing beautiful feathers underneath, Mrs. Smith could not help from exclaiming out loud “Oh, How Beautiful.”IMG_1863

But, Mrs. Smith needed to continue home. She shooed the group out of the road. The leader, or so it seemed, flapped his wings and turned away from Mrs. Smith. He lead the group away from the road, across the ditch, into the corn field and quickly disappeared from view.

Mrs. Smith could hear the leaves rustle and sticks snap beneath their strong feet.

“Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!” called Mrs. Smith in her best turkey voice.

“Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!” came the reply from deep within the woods away from the beyond

“See you another time. Stay safe.” called Mrs. Smith.

“Gobble! Gobble! Gobble” came the reply again.

Mrs. Smith continued her walk home. STD_0443Bob waited at the end of the driveway, wagging his tail and happy to see her return home.

Farmer Smith, waited, too, waving his hand in greeting.

“How was your walk today,” he asked.

“It was WONDERFUL. I didn’t think about a THING! But I had the most AMAZING experience on the way home.” Farmer and Mrs. Smith walked arm in arm back up the driveway to the house.


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