Caption That Cartoon!

Hi everyone,

Here’s something new I hope you’ll enjoy. Do you ever look on the back page of THE NEW YORKER and make up captions for the cartoons there? I’m always surprised by the variety of captions people find to apply to the same picture. Sort of like looking at one word and finding multiple ways to become inspired. So I begged my friend, artist Rob Shepperson, to play along with me to bring you: CAPTION THAT CARTOON!

Here’s the first of what I hope will become a regular (or irregular) feature. See what you make of this picture and dream up a caption for it. Try as many as you want to and tell others to join the challenge.

If Rob’s work looks familiar, it should! We’ve done two books together, BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS and VACATION, WE’RE GOING TO THE OCEAN.

Rob has partnered with others, too, including award winning Carolyn Coman and J. Patrick Lewis. If any of you editors out there think it would be fun to see a new Harrison/Shepperson collaboration, we do too! Wink wink.

I’m including some links to help you get there faster to learn more about this talented artist. At my request he also included this brief bio.

Rob’s drawings of humans and animals can be seen in children’s books such as David L. Harrison’s BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS, and newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal. He is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institue, and lives in Croton on Hudson, New York.


An albino surprise at Goose Lake

Hi everyone,

Every morning at 6:00 I walk through the house to the kitchen for coffee without turning on a light. I always hope to see some creature of the night on the way home for the day. This morning I was rewarded richly. A family of our fully grown raccoons moved quickly across the back yard, across our neighbors’ side yard, and on down the way toward a thick stand of trees not far away. That was exciting, but what amazed me was that the largest of the animals, the leader of the group, was completely white. I’ve never seen or heard about an albino raccoon. I may never see this one again. But WOW what a way to get the day rolling!

I sat at the kitchen table reading as the night faded into a gray morning. A few geese started their daily conversation. The pair of swans did a fly by, circled the lake, and settled into the water directly in front of the window where I could watch them for a while. Our remaining hummingbird darted by, sipped from the feeder, and off it went. I have to go to a morning meeting now and I just hate to leave this place. I’m going to make a little pitch for my e-book, GOOSE LAKE, which I haven’t done for a while. I’m copying and pasting here from an earlier post. If you haven’t gotten a copy or gifted one to someone else, it’s never too late

Hi everyone,

I hope that in the next month I’ll find a little time to try my hand at promoting GOOSE LAKE. If you look it up and it appeals to you, I hope you’ll get a copy. It costs $3.99. If you like the book and don’t mind leaving a review, those are appreciated. It also helps, I’m told, to “like” it. Perhaps you know someone who might enjoy the collection. Please let them know that it’s available. Thanks! Here’s a sample. This one appears in the new book edited by J. Patrick Lewis for National Geographic called BOOK OF ANIMAL POETRY.

What Was That?
David L. Harrison

If the lake were a mouth wide open to swallow sky and popcorn clouds, the narrow strip of land stretched tightly around it would be its lips. Seeds planted by wind and obliging birds sprout tangled gardens of saplings, and weeds run amok. In rocky places, stones shoulder to shoulder wear sunbathing turtles like bronze helmets.

The lips of the lake never sleep. Life and death meet in the twisted underbrush where herons stand like statues of herons awaiting the unwary. A kingfisher that looks like it needs a haircut watches the shallows for a minnowy snack.

Geese defiant with motherhood hiss away foxes with a hankering for gosling. Finches flit from limb to bank, ignoring sleepy-eyed bullfrogs that need their rest till sundown.

Ducks catapult into the water
and herons’ legs trail like kite tails
in their sudden flight to
somewhere safer.

Flat shells smack the lake.
Bony heads resurface,
stare at their forsaken thrones.

What was that?

Maybe nothing.

A dog barked,
a child ran,
a turtle slipped.

All’s clear
on the lip of the lake,
for now.

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