birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Hickory, Dickory, Dock

I said, EEK. I actually said, Eek!

It was totally involuntary, like pulling your hand back from a hot stove or flinching when you drive too closely to a parked car.
I had no intention of saying, Eek. Never thought it would come up in anything but an ironic or goofy way.

Eek is an expression of fear or horror or surprise, often found in comic books, or cartoons, where it belongs. Women in old family sit-coms said Eek. I didn’t say, Eek.

And yet, there I was, strolling into the kitchen of the San Francisco apartment where I lived and worked as a factotum, a fancy word we used for keeper of all things household, wife without the wifely part, 11:00 pm on a Friday night. I was really thirsty after the dinner party we had earlier and I was looking to get a glass of water.

I turned on the kitchen lights and a startled mouse leaped out of a corner and shot across the floor. A tiny, little, grey mouse with a very long tail. I think startled would describe my reaction as well, and I shouted, EEK!

It was like an out of body experience where I saw myself shout and at the same time, thought, Huh, I didn't expect you to do that! What a bizarre thing for you to do!

After which I immediately started laughing because, I SAID EEK!

I laughed myself all the way to hiccups.

Where’s that glass of water already?

This Land Is Your Land, This Land is My Land

The Texas Howler