I feel like I should be wearing a top hat and a striped blazer tossing a cane back and forth between my hands shouting "Step right up ladies and gentlemen, don't push, don't shove, there's room for everyone in the tent, put the kiddies on your shoulders so they have a better view….."
When I go to the park I see a lot of fun things.
I could tell you this story:
Last week there were six people all in a line on Segways travelling the walking path at the park as though they were some kind of high tech circus act. They added to the circus effect by parade waving and mugging at all who passed by.
Or this story:
One day I was taking a nap at the park and I woke up because I smelled this extremely strong odor and just as I opened my eyes a giant Buck emerged from the woods and stepped delicately over me.
Or I could tell you about the tree that looks like an octopus, about the time a mama beaver got out of the pond with her three little babies and walked right in front of me, or tell you about the day when a bunch of us saw a mink frolicking on the riverbank….
But I'm not going to tell any of those stories.
I'm going to tell you a tale of two bonks.
That's a great title.
When I told this story to a girlfriend she told me that I had better hurry up and write it or she was going to steal it.
So, here I am writing it.
Last Thursday I was having a pretty typical walk at the park.
The only variation from normal was that it was fairly late in the day.
I walked the ponds and got a good dose of vitamin D and overdosed on frogs.
After that I looped through the woods where a family of three deer walked right up to me.
I communed with them for a bit and then walked on.
In the butterfly garden a gorgeous dragonfly landed on me and then a tiger swallowtail let me get close enough to take an awesome photo with my camera phone.
I stopped as usual to look at a waterfall and some chickadees wove a little crown out of leaves and placed it on my head.
That was when a bunny came and sat on my foot and after I visited with it for a minute I hit the walking trail again and had two babies and a puppy launch themselves from their mother's arms at me.
Pretty standard stuff. And ok, one or two of those things didn't actually happen….
By this point I was walking along grinning like a fool and high fiving chipmunks.
I was JUST about to make the turn that marks the last half mile back to the parking lot.
I was on a hard scape walking path and not actually IN the woods anymore, so what happened was doubly surprising.
I was bonked on the head with a nut by a squirrel.
Which made me laugh.
The squirrel shinning down the tree and YELLING at me made me laugh some more.
If you've never seen a squirrel yell, what they do is chitter really loud while shaking their bristling tail.
It's pretty hilarious.
This squirrel was really upset. His nut had bounced off my head and was laying on the path about three feet from my foot.
I stood still and watched to see what he would do about his nut.
What he decided to do was begin a cycle that went like this…. he yelled at me, stopped, shook his tail, stopped , took a step toward me, stopped, waited for me to step back away from HIS nut, yelled again, stopped, yelled some more at me, stopped, waited for me to take a step back away from his nut, stopped, shook his tail again at me, took a step toward me, stopped, waited for me to step back away from his nut, yelled again….you get the idea.
After we had gone through several steps of our standoff and I had stepped back six paces [we had drawn quite a crowd by then] he finally ran over to his nut, picked it up in his paws and yelled at me again, stuffed the nut in his mouth and ran back to the tree, where he PUT THE NUT DOWN, yelled at me once more for good measure, and then finally picked the nut up, stuffed it in his mouth, shinned back up the tree and disappeared.
It was one of the funniest things that I've ever seen a squirrel do, and I've seen squirrels do a lot of funny things.
So, I chatted with a few of the folks who had witnessed the event of the day [and watched one guy's video] and then grinning hugely went to retrieve my car and leave the park.
But wait…..there's more.
So I'm leaving the park and I see a guy on STILTS doing something interesting in the parking lot.
So NATURALLY I made my way over to him.
As I approached he walked toward me, held out his hand and said "Hi, what's your name?" we shook and introduced ourselves and then for the next hour or so I talked with him while he went through his stilt dancing routine.
The whole time he was playing this really cool European music that reminded me of the music they use in Cirque du Soleil.
He was using only two stilts at first and then he pulled out two more and showed me how he could crab walk and lay flat out on all four stilts and then he brought out his balance stick and showed me this amazing movement stuff that looked just like martial arts dancing. Very flowing. Very Tai chi.
I tell you it was something to see and he was really interesting to talk to.
He's also a juggler and juggles FLAMING THINGS and sharp machetes and is just working up a fire eating routine.
I should get to see some of that on Friday because he's performing at the Detroit Superior bridge. And of course I'm going to go with my camera so I can capture people doing amazing things.
So to round out the piece and tell you why I'm calling the story the story of two bonks….
I didn't mention the stilt dancer's name.
It's Bonk. Aaron Bonk. And it's not a stage name. I asked. It's his given name and it's what's on his business card which reads:
Aaron Bonk, Object Manipulation Specialist…..Juggler…Stilt Walker….Fire Performer…Customized to your Desires…..
That last part REALLY intrigued me until I found out that he's only 32…..*sigh*
Also see Aaron's Ten Questions Tuesday Interview Here
Aaron's How to Juggle Video