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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Day at Park...

A Day at the Park

Oh, look, squirrels! Arenít they cute? City dwellers donít see a lot of wildlife, so even the sight of so mundane a creature as a gray squirrel in a city park is reason for a mild excitement of sorts. They scamper about chattering and scavenging for food - charming little critters. Touched by their plight, we throw them a few cold French-fries from the last scraps of our fast-food picnic dinner.

Apparently this wildlife is not quite as wild as we thought, though. The more French-fries we throw, the closer they come. What do they want, ketchup? "Scat! Go away!" We climb up on the picnic table as the squirrels surround us, finally scampering up a tree and peppered us with leaves and bark as we run for our lives. Stupid vermin! Probably never had to beg for a peanut in their spoiled, rodent existence.

Letís move on. I love the duck pond in the park, always occupied by both wild and tame ducks, and even migrating Canadian geese at this time of the year. See that little baby ducky! Isnít he adorable? Look at the green, iridescent head on the Mallard! He is virtually tame, living in the protected environment of a city park. Letís throw him a few crumbs. Look at him come swimming.

Look at all the others that are coming too! Where did all these ducks come from? Canít they quit all that quacking? Shut up ducks! We donít have any more bread! Dumb ducks! Feed one duck and a hundred friends come to the party - bunch of moochers. You canít even enjoy the duck pond for the ducks.

Well, we can always just go for a nice peaceful walk and get away from these critters. The weather is beautiful late in the Fall season - leaves falling, a breeze blowing. Arenít the leaves beautiful? Red, orange, yellow, all colors are floating around in the breeze.

Speaking of the breeze, that wind is really beginning to blow. I feel a bit chilled. And where did the sun go? It isnít going to rain, is it? Tell me it isnít going to rain! Why does the wind have to blow so hard? Suddenly, Iím not one bit interested in a bunch of dead leaves. Itís a blasted hurricane out here! I just want to finish this hike from hell and get back to the car! How far is it? My feet are killing me, and Iím freezing to death. Maybe Iím not the outdoor type after all.

What are all those people doing out here in the park in the middle of winter anyhow? Donít they have jobs? Why arenít they working? Must be nice, nothing to do but hang around in the park all day. That one guy must be a starving artist. I figured that out when I saw the canvas and easel he was carrying. I think he is going to paint a picture of that big oak tree. Personally, I like the weeping willow better. But he is the artist, isnít he? Guess he will paint what he chooses.

All the people are stopping to watch him paint. Bring out a canvas and easel and the whole world is populated by art critics. They canít draw or paint a lick, but always have an observation to make about what someone else is doing. Guess they think he should be painting the weeping willow too.

Maybe we can just sit here on this wooden bench in the sun and warm our bones for a moment. The sun has come back now and feels really good. But, what is that funny looking bee doing? I think he has taken a liking to us. He keeps buzzing around as if he is looking for something. Probably hopes we have a pencil sharpener for his stinger. Hope that bee hasnít fixated on my perfume or hairspray. Honestly, bee, you cannot make honey from hairspray.

I know you can only be nice to a bee for so long, but donít swat at him. We donít want to upset him. He probably has friends waiting in the bushes. Just back away slowly, and hope he isnít after your wallet. Okay, bee, take the park bench. Itís all yours. I was only kidding about how warm it is in the sun anyhow.

Well, guess it is about time to go home. Nothing like a nice day at the park to make one appreciate nature. Nothing like a day of nature to make one appreciate home either.

Copyright 2001 Sheila Moss


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