Terry Drinkwine Outdoors!

Fly Fishing, Grouse Hunting and Fine Bird Dogs Spoken Here!

Feathers Don’t Grow On Trees!


Twice each year the Ostrich Society amends their meeting schedule to accommodate the members in their pursuit of Natives and Bonasa Umbellus. (For the uninformed, that’s brook trout and grouse.) So it was a surprise when the President of the Society called for a meeting at this particular time of year to discuss an item he deemed to be of extreme importance to the membership as a whole. He didn’t elaborate, he just set the date and time and issued the dictum that all were expected to attend.

By the time the ball-peen hammer hit the workbench in the President’s garage calling the meeting to order, the membership had already availed themselves to “two fingers” of bourbon and were engaged in discussion about the importance of the meeting, wondering why the President would interrupt his annual trek to the Manistee during the Hex hatch.

There was speculation that the Society had lost its debate with the State over its status as a “non-profit” because the State Liquor Control Committee noticed the Society’s volume of bourbon purchased, and threatened to make the Society apply for a liquor license. Others surmised that the City had noticed the racks of rods, waders and other necessities in the Presidents garage during an inspection for an addition he applied for and accused him of operating a sporting goods store. It wasn’t a problem as far as they were concerned, they just wanted him to pay a personal property tax on the merchandise he had for sale – no one could believe one man owned all those rods and other related equipment until Mrs. President set them straight.

The President was in no mood to be distracted. “Quiet down and pay attention. What I called you here for is of immense importance to everyone and we need to decide on a course of action.”

Suddenly you could hear a pin drop. The President had never been so serious.”As you know I spend most of the summer on one trout stream or another and this year is no exception – and most of you do too. I stop in local fly-shops to catch up on local happenings and the latest stream conditions and I always check out their supply of flies and feathers.”

They were with him so far; heads were nodding in agreement. He went on.

“At two shops I saw empty and almost empty racks where hackle used to be displayed. I thought it just a matter of poor inventory control until I found the same thing at the third shop. I asked about why they would be so devoid of feathers and was astounded at the answer.” He had everyone’s attention; no glass touched anyone’s lips as he continued.

“Kids, young kids, girls to be exact were buying any and all feathers they could weave, clip or tie into their hair. It’s so popular that beauty shops are offering the service and guess where they get the feathers from? That’s right; from the same places we buy them to tie our flies.”

Carl, the lawyer of the Society spoke up suggesting they needed to stock up and buy them from the net. Others agreed and thought they had solved the problem until the President continued.

“I checked into that and found it just as hard to get them ever the inter-net and for the same reason. It seems the feather merchants who we’ve been making rich over the years are getting a windfall from this new found use for their feathers. I even checked e-bay and found one neck being bid up to $385 and the bidding wasn’t over.”

Now glasses were refilled and large gulps were taken. Some even reached for their wallets. There was no doubt the President had stumbled onto something serious enough to call this meeting.

It was time to offer a plan of action. “While I was talking to Andy in the last shop, a teenager came in with enough feathers of various colors in her hair I thought she might be from one of the Tribes. I was tempted to ask her if the display of feathers had some significance but decided to just listen. Finding the rack empty, she asked Andy when he was going to get more and could he order some rainbow colors.”

The members got puzzled looks on their faces. They were intrigued by the rainbow comment.

“It seems she thought the feathers were synthetic and were made at a factory. You should have seen the look on her face when Andy told her the feathers came from chickens and there were no rainbow chickens available.”

“You mean you kill the chickens to get the feathers?” she asked. “Ooooh gross.”

“She had the same reaction my wife had when we passed a farm with calf pens and I told her that’s where the veal she orders at the Roma comes from. The last time we were there she ordered spaghetti.

Suddenly they knew what they had to do.

These minutes are submitted for the record to be THE TRUTH, WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH ……give or take a lie or two.


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