Wild life in prison

Russell, Stephen

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16 July 2019 Wild Life In Prison At Central Prison (CP) in Raleigh, N.C., my window had a view of the roof of the hospital. Not a pretty sight except for a large hawk. Sometimes he would sit there for hours so I could watch him. He was very well fed. He ate only pigeon and had plenty to choose from. My last job at CP was painter. I painted the kitchen at night. I could look out the back door window and watch the rats play about 30 ft away. There were too many to count. (They would not stay still to count). Once, I looked down and saw just the back ½ of one. It was as big as a cat and 6 inches away, the Door was between. At Pender County Corr. I was feeding the ants when the Sgt and 2 agents ran up and said "What are you doing?" I said "Feeding the ants". He said, "What?" I said "I am feeding the ants and when they get the hole big enough, I am crawling out of here." Oh, wrong thing to say. The Sgt went ballistic! He fussed and fumed and told one agent to strip search me, and he stomped off. No sense of humus. Later, there was a lg. hawk on the fence. The young men tried to hit it with rocks, but it was too far away. They did hit the fence and set off the alarm, so the agents drove up from both sides fast and scared the hawk and he flew off between the trucks. The agents knew we did something, but could not prove it. At Brown Creek in Anson County I saw a very big praying mantis fly by roof high, as it got close to me, a purple martin swooped down beside it, turned his head to look close at the mantis. The mantis was bigger. I swear it looked like that bird shook his head, "No way", and flew off. I would save the unpeopled corn from my popcorn, take it out, crush to corn meal, as I was beating it with a rock on the cement slab, the little birds would gather about 10 ft away and watch me. As soon as I got up and moved 3 ft away, they were on it, eating it up. We could watch the rats play about 30-40 ft away and at times the cats after them. One man on the 2D8 yard had one rat trained to eat out of his hand. At Randolf County, one of the cats brought us a rat, and put it down to play with it. Well, cat got distracted and rat got through the fence. Cat could not. By the time cat got around to that spot, rat was over the bank and down the hill. Now cat can't figure out where the rat went. For the next 30 min we watched the rat go across the field of tall grass as it would jump up now and again. We lost it about 80 yds out. At Mountain View in Spruce Pine, N.C. I saw wild turkey, deer, bear, fox, squirrel, chipmunk, crow and swallows. One year we had a white turkey and a white deer. The turkey lasted a yr, the doe 2 yrs. She was beautiful. Out my 3rd floor window I watched a swallow pounce on the back of a crow and drive the crow to the ground from 40 ft up a few inches at a time, then the swallow flew off. At Hyde County the swans came in by the 1000s each winter, and the geese not as many. They would cover some fields like snow. I watched them for hrs. I fed the baby rabbits, one came past me within 6 inches. I feed the small birds more than the big ones. At Columbus County I fed the mice and rats. One rat would come up close. She like crackers. As it turned out, I fed the rats and the hawks ate them. Also fed the small birds, the hawk got them too. I also saw eagles at Hyde and Columbus. It would be very easy for me to live by myself in a wilderness, so I could watch the animals. The prisons could be used to help bring back the song birds, that are in great decline, but officials are short sighted. It would cost the prison nothing and the P.R. would be priceless. Prisons could also provide habitat for other types of animals on the edge of prison property. Again, No insight. If you teach people about wild life and what we can to do protect endangered species, many would become more responsible for their actions and some could use that knowledge when they get out to be help and not a hindrance. [Happy Face] SGLY Stephen Russell

Author: Russell, Stephen

Author Location: North Carolina

Date: July 16, 2019

Genre: Essay

Extent: 2 pages

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