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Mr. Ed

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· My Dog Is My Hero

· Where The Redwing Sings

· Through Katrina's Eyes, Poems from an Animal Rescuer's Soul

· Mystery of Madera Canyon

· Cemetery Island

· Gold River Canyon

· Curious Creatures - Wondrous Waifs, My Life with Animals

Short Stories
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· The Dog At The Drive-Thru Window

· Home For The Holidays

· Two Bonded Street Orphans, In From The Cold

· A Survivor's Tale

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· Gentle Cemetery Dog Finally Safe

· Freezing, Starving, and Scared

· A Home For The Holidays

· The Dog On The Tracks

· I Am a Dog, Not a Thing

· Ghost Dog Rescued From Hot Dog Stand

· February is 'National Spay/Neuter Awareness' Month

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· Saving Our Canine Vets, This Veterans Day

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· Please Don't Worry So Much, H.P.

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· Earth Day Blues

· What Have We Become

· The Victims of Our Cruelty

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This Homework Was Cool
By Mr. Ed
Posted: Monday, January 17, 2005
Last edited: Monday, October 27, 2008
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Mr. Ed
· Pigs, Turtles, and Bugs!
· The Easter Skunk
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           >> View all 53
Hummingbirds and Ghosts

       Although I went right to bed, I had no intention of sleeping.  I still had a lot of homework to do.  And, this type of homework was fun, man.

As a final birthday present, my father had agreed to drive me and Lobo to Madera Canyon in the morning.  I had heard wonderful things about this place, but I’d never been there before.

I excitedly took out my Madera Canyon books, maps, and brand new bird book and excitedly went to work.

            Well past midnight, I was still awake under my bed covers with a tiny flashlight in my hand.  Good old Lobo was right there with me.  This stuff was pretty interesting!

            First, I learned all about the history of Madera Canyon.  Madera is the Spanish word for lumber.  Early settlers had cut down lots of trees there to build their homes in Tucson.  The book said the canyon was way up in the Santa Rita Mountains and described it as ‘a beautiful, moist, refreshing haven from the hot desert.’  That sounded pretty cool.

It was also in the Coronado National Forest, which is huge.  The book said this forest contained 12 mountains and almost 2 million acres of land in both Arizona and New Mexico.  That’s a lot of trees!

            Madera Canyon was also loaded with hiking trails. There were all kinds – from easy, sissy ones to steep, tough ones.  There were so many hiking trails I couldn’t decide which one to take in the morning.

            But what fascinated me the most about Madera Canyon were the birds.  The book said, ‘Madera Canyon is a haven for bird watchers, with over 240 different species of birds.’

Can you believe it?  Over 240 species of birds!  It was hard for me to imagine that many different kinds of birds.

            Then I saw the information on hummingbirds and really got excited.  The book said, ‘There are 22 species of hummingbirds, and 16 of these species can be found in Madera Canyon.  Some of them fly 2,500 miles to reach the canyon.’

            “How can those itsy bitsy birds fly that far?” I whispered to Lobo.

My dog just looked back at me and yawned.  I guess he was getting tired.  But he woke up real quick when I read this part to him.

“The hummingbird is considered nature’s stunt bird.  Unlike other birds, it can hover, and fly up, down, and backwards.  Like a helicopter, a hummingbird can even tilt the angle of its wings and execute precise, accurate turns and movements.”

            I could tell that Lobo was impressed.  But now I was getting sleepy.   2 AM!  Where had the time gone?

I put up the books, shut off the flashlight, and got ready for some shut-eye.  But I looked out the window first.  That was a mistake, man.

It was a clear night, and a full moon was now shining down on the desert.  Just as I was about to fall asleep, my eyeballs popped wide open and I stared out that window again.

            The full moon?  The full moon?  What had I read somewhere about Madera Canyon and the full moon?  Think, Bonafacio, think!

I turned on my flashlight again and found the book I was looking for.  It was one of those weird mysteries of Arizona type books.  I had lots of them.

I gulped hard, and read the passage out loud to Lobo.  I definitely wanted to get his reaction on this one.

            “When a full moon rises above Madera Canyon, a ghostly figure soon appears.  This ghost stands high on a rock formation across a high canyon wall, usually between 10 PM and 2 AM.  It’s a large hooded figure with the face of a skeleton.  It moves back and forth on the rocks until it finally vanishes into the darkness.  It has been photographed and seen by countless numbers of people over the years.”

            Even old Lobo was sitting up now.  His big floppy black ears were pointing straight up.

Oye Chihuahua, Lobo!  And we’re going hiking out there tomorrow?  Good thing we’re going in the daylight.”

            Lobo seemed to agree.

            “There’s more, Lobo.  Listen to this!”

Lobo was staring at me now, his big black eyes almost popping out of their sockets, too.

“The ghost has a legend attached to it.  It’s said to be the spirit of an Indian woman who once loved a great warrior.  After he was killed in a battle in the canyon, she died of grief.  Some believe that she still wanders Madera Canyon in the moonlight, still searching for her dead husband.”

            I quickly shut off the flashlight again.  And this time, I hid under the covers with old Lobo.  We were both shivering now.

Man, that was pretty spooky, and neither of us got much sleep that night.


©2004, an excerpt from Mystery of Madera Canyon, a novel for young readers, by Ed Kostro


Reader Reviews for "This Homework Was Cool"

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Reviewed by Sandie Angel 1/15/2007
What a good story that is well-told. I'm often fascinated by the different species of birds. Thank you Ed!!!!!

Sandie May Angel :o)
Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson 1/12/2007
A excellent story! It held my interest, I could see what you wrote ........M P.S. How about writing another segment?
Reviewed by K. Mulroney 9/3/2006
Not only an informative story but a scary obe too, now thats talent!
Reviewed by Elizabeth Parsons 7/17/2006
I'm not exactly a young reader, but certainly enjoyed this, especially the relationship between Lobo and the boy. I think my son might like this book.
Reviewed by Sandra Mushi 7/17/2006
Lol. Its amazing how animals especially dogs seem to understand us. Delightful story, Ed.

God bless,

Reviewed by Cles Wilson 7/29/2005
Ed, I really enjoyed this. Going to put your book on my to buy list.
Reviewed by Joyce Hale 5/23/2005
I really enjoyed this tidbit, Ed Kostro!! You've made me curious to visit the Tucson area again, and especially Madera Canyon! I wish the story was longer, though. <grin>

Reviewed by Franz Kessler 2/23/2005
Great write, well suited for young readers full of imagination. I'm always fascinatied my colibris, humming birds - I spent hours looking out for them in my Houston garden, seeing them dashing in to the next hibiscus flower. These are most lovely creatures. A while ago someone found a fossil humming bird of Eocene age in the famous Messel shale. Look's like they have been around for a while. And ghosts.. Yeah, hey are kind of intersting, too. As long they don't get too close. Franz
Reviewed by Ron Henry 2/1/2005
I used to live near the Santa Rita mountains (in Vail, East of Tucson). I saw many hummingbirds when I worked at various houses as a handyman. I never saw Medera Canyon. I did not know there were so many species of hummingbirds in that area.

I enjoyed this story. I think many young people would enjoy it too. Very good writing.
Reviewed by A Serviceable Villain 1/28/2005

Delightful write; great pics; enjoyed this one immensely ... wonderful!!

Best regards,

Reviewed by m j hollingshead 1/22/2005
enjoyed the read
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 1/17/2005
Nice read Ed!!

Thanks for sharing!!

Take care!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Judy Lloyd (Reader) 1/17/2005
I like this too and the photos of the hummingbirds was beautiful. I just got a hummingbird feeder for my little visitors.
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 1/17/2005
nice write, ed! loved your beautiful story, and seems like this would be a great book to read! i normally don't do mystery stories, but this would probably be one that i would really enjoy! well done, buddy!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in tx., karen lynn. :D

Books by
Mr. Ed

Where The Redwing Sings

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My Dog Is My Hero

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Curious Creatures - Wondrous Waifs, My Life with Animals

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Through Katrina's Eyes, Poems from an Animal Rescuer's Soul

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Cemetery Island

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Gold River Canyon

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Mystery of Madera Canyon

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Amazon, more..

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