To Kill a Common Loon
by Mitch Luckett
"I had to become a bird to become a man," Grandfather Two-loons told the boy. The boy grew up into a latter-day minstrel, wandering the highways with his dog, Medusa. He's lost his way. He's lost his knack for carrying a tune. He's thrust into the Olympic Mountain wilderness without a clue how to survive. He's got a dragon on his tail, a cougar at his throat and a murder on his hands. His one saving grace is he's got avian pluck in his heart. With spiritual guidance, he might be able to solve the mystery, save the Indian Princess, and find a home place.
Mitch Luckett has been a free-lance writer for twenty-five years, contributing dozens of articles and short stories to regional magazines and newspapers. For over a decade he's written a monthly Naturalist column for the Audubon Society of Portland. Two naturalist pieces are in the anthology and guidebook to Portland, Oregon's natural areas, "Wild in the City." Also a bluegrass and old-time musician, Mitch combines two art forms, music and storytelling, into humorous and sometimes poignant stage performances.
Luckett is an avid birder and claims to at least partially understand the "language of the birds," although when challenged on this claim, he will frequently go into a high-pitched yodel that will float your eyeballs.
Whether Ozark Mountain tall tales, narrative songs, Olympic Mountain parables, or Native American myths of a book-length yarn, Mitch has a gift for the ancient art of storytelling.
To Kill a Common Loon is his first novel.
Portland Tribune photo: Jim Clark
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