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Animals: They were here first

The Eagle’s Eulogy

A Pocket Play

by Kathleen Franks



Father Flynn stands at lake’s edge, cattails swaying in the pine-scented summer breeze... saying his last few words in memory of the deceased, Will Davidson. Will’s parents; his wife, Carla; sister, Nicole; with family and friends seated on chairs facing the lake.


And now, Carla would like to close with a few remarks...


This was Will’s favorite spot. We spent many wonderful years coming here in every season. On warm days, we would spread a blanket on this sweet grassy meadow... breathe in the mountain air... spread a picnic of wine, cheese and bread. I would read stories aloud, sometimes the classics, sometimes just a magazine article... Will liked whatever I read.

Carla pauses to look up at a tree on the far side of the lake.

Eagle in pine tree


A family of eagles has lived in that tree for all these years. Will especially loved watching the nest... seeing the great eagles fly in and out...  and the babies take their first flight... 

Carla bows her head... then again looks up at the tree...

Eagle flies over lake

Father Flynn steps over and puts him arm around her, then places a small box in her hand. Carla removes the lid and tosses Will’s ashes across the lake. The breeze carries the ashes upward, swirled into a silver cloud of dust... and the eagle swoops down from the tree and flies through the ashes.

Curtain Closes

Animals: They were here first

My Father's Best Friend

  Lisa Rivera and daughter Violet, 2, play with one of the goats on a vacant lot in Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood on Friday.  / Photos by Romain Blanquart/DFP

Lisa Rivera and daughter Violet, 2, play with one of the goats on a vacant lot in Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood on Friday.  / Photos by Romain Blanquart/DFP

My father’s favorite pet was the goat he had as a child. This goat was his sole companion and his best friend. My father was an orphan. He had no siblings and lived on his grandparents’ farm. The little goat left my father with memories so wonderful that in his last years, while dying of cancer, this goat still brought a smile to my father’s face as I sat by his bed hearing about all the antics of the goat and the great fun they had.

This past week in Detroit, a battle has been going on about a few goats that were placed in a vacant lot to help cut down on the weeds. The City had to deliver an eviction notice because the idea to place goats on this vacant lot was not passed by the City for approval.

Mark Spitznagel, founder and Chief Investment Officer of the $6 billion hedge fund Universa Investments, and Idyll Farms, a Leelanau County-based farm, are the creators of this large-scale urban farming experiment named Idyll Farms Detroit. The goats’ job as weeders is just one aspect of the overall plan to combat blight in Detroit. 

In the few short days that the goats lived in the neighborhood, residents took a liking to them. Parents and children got to hang out with the goats and expressed how much they enjoyed having the animals around. So on the one hand, the idea has already produced a positive effect on the community, but on the other hand, the idea could also cause some issues down the road that Idyll Farms did not thoroughly think through. We’ll see how the story unfolds. Here is the link to the latest article on the saga in the Detroit Free Press:


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Cover photo by Kathleen Franks

Background image by Getty Images

© 2014 - 2017 Kathleen Franks