The Christmas Loon

Terry’s Loon Box

THE CHRISTMAS LOON

     On the last Christmas my brother Terry was alive, I heard a loon. From the top balcony, outside his house it came, drifting down Sheridan lake.

I had stepped out to be by myself. Admiring the stars and the way the snow wrapped itself on the tree’s. Here and there a Christmas light poked through on the tree closest to the balcony. Having enjoyed a beautiful Christmas dinner with my family I pondered there. The haunting sound of a loon answered. I looked down the lake thru moon light and shadow only to hear it again.

“Loons in the winter,” I thought. “Was it possible?” So I went downstairs where the men hang out.

“You’ll never guess what I heard…a loon on the lake!”

I had to speak a couple of times. They seemed to be unaware of what I was saying. Then it came:

“Oh no! That couldn’t be…,” they chorused.

     Perplexed, I went back up the stairs and stood by the large glass patio windows. The night was bright and the stars were dazzling. Turning to face my sister-in-law Roberta’s shelves, I was deep in thought. I know what I heard.

     Faintly, like whispered murmurings, the sounds of a nature tape. “Oh,” I thought, Roberta had this on so low she must have thought she had turned it off! Would this tape have the sound of a loon on it? And if so, how did it get outside, increase in volume and come down the lake?

Today, I remember my brother Terry with the only craft he ever made. Dad had shown him how to make a loon box out of wood. He only made a few so I bought one before the other’s went into Roberta’s store. This was the summer before anyone knew… Now I have his loon box and the mystery of the loon I heard after our last Christmas Dinner with him.

Did the loon call come from the tape? How did it find its way into a beautiful night and setting? I often think of it as the Christmas Loon and it makes me think of my big brother.

“Shake a paw for a treat!” Sam and Boots with Terry 10 years earlier @ Christmas 1988.

©Katie Kidwell, 2018

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