SHEEP FOOTBALL AND OTHER STRANGE TALES
Paperback or eBook, 107 pages, Alpine Books, 2007
“In the United States there is more space where nobody is
than where anybody is. That is what makes America what it is.”
Imagine a place where moose outnumber people, where bears chase cyclists down mountains, where the Milky Way shines brightly in the sky, and the nearest traffic light is an hour’s drive away. In this collection of stories, essays, and a few poems Eric Pinder, author of North to Katahdin, celebrates America’s rural way of life.
Most of the essays and stories in this book were previously published in Country Extra, Bike Culture magazine, Illumen, Echoes and other periodicals. The nature writing essay “Peeking Behind the Page” was the winner of the 1995 Eclectic Rainbows Creative Nonfiction contest. (First prize was a whole $100.) The short story “Regarding Mr. Sanders,” on the other hand, kept collecting ten years worth of “close but not quite” rejection slips.
Here’s a sample of what you’ll find in Sheep Football:
Once every four years in rural New Hampshire, the world turns upside down. Governors, senators, and presidents grovel and beg at the feet of farmers, teachers, and Wal-Mart clerks. Powerful politicians are eager to shower you with praise, lower your taxes, pave your roads, finance your schools, and kiss your babies. Suddenly you can’t turn around without bumping into someone who’s running for president. The only escape is to stay indoors and disconnect your phone. In the humorous essay “Signs of the Times,” experience the New Hampshire Primary—the way it used to be.
Are sheep the stupidest of the mammals? Are border collies the smartest? Morning chores on the farm become a battle of brawn versus brain in “Sheep Football.”
A young park ranger gets paid to tolerate tourists and execute bears. He’d rather just go hiking. In the short story “An Eye for Detail,” he stomps into the wilderness in search of job satisfaction.
Enjoy these tales and two dozen more—some funny, some sad—in a book that transports you from the vanishing family farm to the windswept summit of Mount Washington to the cold beaches of Maine.
Chapters also include:
THE POET BEHIND THE TELESCOPE (about Milton and Galileo)
AN EYE FOR DETAIL
BEAR WITH ME
TWO WHEELS GOOD
UP, UP AND AWAY
THE CAT WITH 10 LIVES
VARIOUS THUMPING ARGUMENTS
A FARMER’S ALMANAC
CLUELESS (A mock murder mystery)
A MORNING FOR ARTISTS AND PREACHERS
LONELY STANZA (a sad poem. Andrew Salkey liked this one.)