the Beasts and the Children
weekend was the "Cherry Blossom Festival/Mulberry Street
Arts and Crafts Show" in Macon, Georgia. For the past five
or six years my fellow author Jackie White and I have had a booth
at this event. We sell copies of our books and have a great time.
This year we both had a new book to sell. She had a mystery titled
MOCKINGBIRD IN THE MOONLIGHT and I had a collection of short stories
titled THE BOOKBINDER.
year the weather was awful. It rained so hard that Sunday's events
were cancelled. Usually, the Arts and Crafts Festival is held
on both Saturday and Sunday. The year before that I had almost
frozen to death. You never know what the weather is going to be
like in middle Georgia in March.
year the weather was predicted to be clear and hotand it
was. The temperature climbed up into the mid-eighties on Saturday
and to near ninety on Sunday. Luckily, we have a tent that keeps
us covered and out of the sun. It did get a little warm but nothing
like it was out in the open.
friend Jackie White is an animal lover. Every year she would observe
the pets being strolled down the street in front of our tent and
comment about how hot and thirsty they looked. This year she decided
to do something about it. She brought a metal bowl and some containers
of water, along with her books. She also had a sign that read,
"Dog Refreshment Center."
water and the sign were a big success. People were amazed that
we had refreshments for their pets. And boy, did those dogs lap
it up. We had dogs of all sizes stopping by for a drink. One dog
was as big as a Shetland pony, and another was one of those tiny
nervous dogs that looked like he could be stepped on and destroyed.
happy as I was about the dog refreshment idea, I wish we had also
had baby bonnets to hand out. I saw way too many babies in strollers
with nothing covering their heads. I hope their parents had slathered
them with sunscreen, but I don't think so. As the day progressed,
I saw little people getting pinker and pinker.
really confused me was that most people brought their pets and
babies out in the middle of the day. The Festival went from ten
in the morning to six at night but the big crowds were out around
the noon hourthe hottest part of the day. In the late afternoon
as the weather got cooler, the crowds got smaller.
have a feeling there were a lot of babies having a hard time sleeping
Saturday and Sunday nights because they were sunburned.
year when we are preparing our tent and other paraphernalia for
the Festival, maybe we will remember to bring the bowl back along
with the water. And maybe we will have a "Bonnet for Baby"
sign put up, too. Or maybe the Festival planners can come up with
a cheaply made baby cap that will have the Cherry Blossom logo
yet let's add the logo of "Bless the beasts and the children."
That says it all.
K. Cooper was born in South Carolina and now lives in Georgia.
He is familiar to people living in the middle Georgia area as
the "entertainment man" since his entertainment reviews
run in newspapers and are shown on television there. His short
stories have been used as commentary on Georgia Public Radio.
He also keeps active appearing as an after dinner speaker for
has lived an exceptionally interesting life and portions of it
are contained in his first book Journey of a Gentle Southern
Man. The journey continued in Chances and Choices.
first two books, Journey of a Gentle Southern Man
and Chances and Choices, were reprinted and published
by Mercer University Press in July 2004. His third book Halfway
Home was published by Mercer University Press in October
fourth book, released in 2006, is The Bookbinder.
his website, or email
Jackie K. Cooper