Boudreaux And The Hawk

Text and Photographs By

Bob Paty

Boudreaux tries to convince George to leave.


Hello there, my name is Troy Turtle, I live with my mother Elaine, deep in a Florida swamp, far away from cities and busy highways. On this particular day I was sunning on my favorite stump, when Boudreaux a Redwing Blackbird landed on a bush beside me.

"Heymonwhatchabeenupto."

I gave the blackbird a blank stare, "Boudreaux, I can't understand you when you talk like that, now say it again slowly."

Boudreaux was from the bayous of Louisiana and talked in the traditional way of natives of that part of the state.

Boudreaux said it slower this time, "Hey mon, what have you been up to?"

"Not much, just catching a few rays, waiting for mother to get back from shopping, Boudreaux, how have you been?"

" HeymonhaveIgotagoodun."

"Boudreaux, there you go again, don't run your words together."

"Boudreaux repeated what he said, "Hey man have I got a good story to tell you."

"That's better, tell me what happened."

"Mon, before I tell de story, tell me again, how you and you mudder get down here in de fust place?"

This would be at least the third time that Boudreaux asked the same question, I didn't mind, Boudreaux was a good friend.

I explained, that my mother Elaine came to Florida on vacation thirty years ago. and fell in love with a handsome Red-Bellied turtle named Sinclair. They were married and soon after that, I was hatched. A year later, Joy my sister came into the world. Some years later, our father was killed and eaten by Big Tooth, the gator. Later on, human trappers got Big Tooth, and good riddance, It was right after that, Joy, my sister moved up north to live with an aunt.

"Boudreaux, if something happens to mother, I will probably move up north too."

"Boudreaux, now you remember me telling you all this before, don't you?"

Boudreaux gave me a wink, "Sortamon."

"Boudreaux, what was the story you were going to tell me?"

"Mon, it started about a week ago. De brodders Leroy and Bubba, along with cusin Jeb started building de nest for families. We build de nest over in willow bush, you see dem from here, doncha?"

"I think so, over on the west side of the marsh?"

"Datsdeplacemon.'

Now, I will try to relay the incidents as they unfolded, just as Boudreaux told the story to me. If I try to unravel the story as told by Boudreaux, spoken in his Louisiana dialect, no one will understand what I am saying. It all took place a week earlier when Boudreaux, his two brothers, Leroy, Bubba, and cousin Jeb started to build nest's, in preparation for the new arrivals of the baby blackbirds.

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