geo geller

February 20, 2014

Swamp – a love story

Filed under: — GeoGeller @ 4:40 am

A View From the Other Side Series

Island & Land Stories

“Swamp – a love story”

dedicated to you and to wonder



geo geller – 280 9th Ave #20B – NYC NY 10001
copyright 1993 ver lndswmp1

(* = picture for story board film or childrens book)
– a work in progress –


This is a small story about an even smaller swamp that nobody visited…

It was on old Ryder Farm next to old Macdonald’s Farm in the Peach
Lake area. For as long as anyone could remember, it was the favorite
stopping place for all the birds and animals going north for the spring
and south for the winter. Birds from all over would flock here every
year. It was a great reunion. The birds would fly around in big groups,
covering the sky like a giant cloud. There were big birds, small birds,
birds with long necks, and birds with short necks. There were Geese,
Ducks, Swans, White and Blue Herons, Red Robins, Blue Jays plus every
type of bird and every color of the rainbow. Everywhere you turned
there were birds… talking, playing, diving and flying and doing
what birds do. The swamp was alive with everything under the sun…
it was a proud and happy swamp.

Sometimes a few New York City pigeons would stop by on their way north
or south. Nobody could tell which way they were going. Sometimes they
just flew around in circles. Everybody just looked at them and thought
they were lost. They were always busy. They even had their own language
and nobody could understand their accent anyway.

The swamp was so well known around the world that it was understood that
everyone would show up sooner or later.

There were houses all around the swamp but that wasn’t enough to stop
the geese and other birds from coming… even though they were afraid
of people.

It was covered with a thorny swamp thicket… so thick
and overgrown that even the animals and plants that lived there said
it was too much… they complained to each other about how dark it
was and how little they saw the sun. The frogs would sit on the islands
of moss and remark to themselves about how lonely it was. Nobody came
and visited anymore. The flowers were unhappy and complained that
the sun and even the bees would not visit them… the deer agreed.
The beaver just up and left down stream. It was too difficult to get
there. Only small birds came… but not many… they didn’t like that
there weren’t other birds and animals around… they felt it was too
quiet and dark. Everybody knew about the swamp and remembered how
beautiful it used to be… that was a long time ago. Now, the swamp was
sad and not a happy place.

One day, as the story goes, there were some people walking through
the swamp complaining about all the thorns. And the chipmunk, who
watches everything, heard them talking about clearing it up.
When all the plants and animals heard this they became very nervous.
They had heard about what people do to swamps… they fill them in!
The very next day they heard the sound of a chainsaw and that made
things worse. First, it was way off in the distance, then it got louder
and louder, and closer and closer… it sounded like an army of chainsaws.

The frogs were so nervous they were jumping out of their skin.. the
little birds didn’t like it either. The flowers that nobody saw, said
they had enough, and closed up. The chipmunks were watching everything…
and their cousins, the squirrels, were watching too. The trees were
really nervous every time they heard a thud! Everybody was afraid and
said the worst is yet to come… The sound of the chainsaw came closer
and closer until it was right over the swamp… and then it stopped…
everything was quiet… not a sound could be heard. All the animals,
birds and plants stopped… as if frozen in time… no one dared to
move… everyone was hiding. “This is it” was on everybodies mind
“The end is near.” To their surprise a tall man came to the edge of
the swamp and said, “Good Morning” to everyone in the swamp and that
he was sorry to make all that noise,

“don’t worry” he continued, “I’m not going to harm you.” They all
watched the tall man as he started to remove the dead branches from
the swamp and cleared off the thicket that hid the little green moss
islands. They looked like little heads in the water with green
hats made out of skunk cabbage. All the swamp animals, birds and plants
watched, speechless… they couldn’t believe it. The frogs jumped
up and down. They were so happy they wanted to croak but nothing
came out. The squirrels, chipmunks, birds… everyone was speechless
as the tall man worked his way around the swamp. He didn’t say
much. Except every once in a while he would step on something by
accident and say he was sorry. He liked the moss islands and took
special care of their moss-like heads. He cut and cleared working
fast and hard as if knew he didn’t have much time. The animals and
plants couldn’t believe their eyes as the swamp was returning back
to its old beauty.They had all given up hope… until the tall
stranger came out of nowhere. Everyone was excited because they knew
their old friends would be coming back and that the swamp would be
alive again. One morning the tall man came and brought the first people
to see the swamp.

They were from
all over the world. The animals, the trees, the birds and the bees
were proud and shined their brightest. The chipmunk and the squirrel
sat together and everyone listened as the tall man spoke, When he
first walked around the swamp it was overgrown with a thorny swamp
thicket. Then he saw the green moss-like heads, with their funny skunk
cabbage hats. He said, I felt something special about the little
swamp… and wanted to see it cleaned up and for the swamp to be seen.
He said, “I loved doing it… it was like gardening nature… caring for
what is already there… and I liked that idea. It was a work of love…

He told them It was his last day and that he would be leaving…
The swamp had given him much, including this story… a love story.

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