by Lawndale Stalker

Manning Woods pushed through the heavy glass and steel airlock doors and into the lobby of the Washington Fish and Game Department, glad for once to trade the bitterly cold winds outside for the halfhearted bureaucratic backbiting within. As he hurried down the government green painted hallway he thought again of the secret Sasquatch project he'd recently heard about, and reluctantly postponed his plans to apply for it. Maybe next spring, when it warmed up a little.

Entering a door marked Washington Biological Surveys and Census, he hastened to claim a hook on the nearly full coat rack. A cheerful, robust looking young woman, long hair caught up in a businesslike bun, approached him carrying a handful of papers and envelopes. "Hi, Mister Woods. Here's your morning mail," she said.

"Good morning, Ella. Anything interesting?" He asked.

"One of the Spotted Owl tags came back. The rest is more of the usual."

"Thanks," he said, taking the stack, noting that she seemed amused at something. She bustled off with the rest of her load before he could ask her about it. The Spotted Owl tracking project was one of the few parts of his job that made him feel he was making a difference. He went to his cubicle, sat down at his desk, and began sorting , stopping when he came to an opened letter with a bird leg tag taped to it. He began to read.

Dear Sir Or Mizz.,

I was kickin my football in the park an I kicked it in a tree an this bird fell out of the tree an he had this tag on his leg an I got it off even with it tryin to bite me an I tapd it on here an return it like it sed to.

If found pls return
to address on back
Wash. Biol. Surv.

I did like it sed I washed it I bioled it an I surved it (well my mom did) it tasted auful. PS my dad hepled me with my speling.

Kevin Thompson,QB
Lawndale Washinton

Manning woods put his head in his hands and concentrated on not screaming, cursing, or weeping. He reconsidered the Sasquatch project. After all, how cold could it be in the mountain forests of Washington in mid-winter?