Truck Mating Calls

Brooke Cox

This zesty adventure started late one evening as I was walking in the dark by myself. I had just dug my cell phone out of the floorboard of my husband Tim’s truck. Being an old geek, I was gazing up at the stars. It dawned on me that I hadn’t locked Tim’s truck back after retrieving my phone. Without taking my eyes off of the night sky, I tossed my hand back and pressed the lock button on the clicker. Ka-Click. The truck beeped.

Ka-KAW Ka-KAW rang out.

I came to a dead stop and stood there alone in the darkness. Goose bumps ran up my arm.

Our house was built on my Papaw’s farm, where I was raised, so I am very familiar with animal calls; even the nocturnal ones-the night animals. So, I instinctively knew that call didn’t come from a local animal. The only thing I could tell was that it was from some kind of strange bird thingy. I wondered if the bird thingy had answered the truck’s beep, so I pressed the lock button again. Ka-Click. The truck beeped.

Ka-KAW Ka-KAW rang out again.

I ran into the house and straight into the living room where Tim and our daughter Sara were sitting and watching TV. “Hey guys! There’s a strange bird thingy outside that thinks the truck is giving it mating calls!” I don’t think I took a breath between the words.

A look of dread crossed Tim’s face. He was probably thinking, “What has she gotten into now?” Sara starred at me with raised eyebrows and her mouth open.

“I’m serious!” I pointed toward the garage. “When the truck beeps, a strange bird thingy answers. It must think the beep is the truck giving it some kind of love call. Step outside and see for yourself!” Crossing my arms, I made my stand.

Instead of accepting my challenge, he turned to Sara and said, “Go on out with your mother.” I don’t know what was more insulting; the tone of Tim’s voice or Sara rolling her eyes and huffing as she stood up. Sara and I walked out the back deck, which was across the driveway from Tim’s truck. She huffed again and crossed her arms.

I held the clicker in my left hand, but I didn’t immediately press the lock button. What if the strange bird thingy didn’t answer the truck beep this time? Tim and Sara would make fun of and laugh at me and then tell everybody else in the family. Then they would laugh at me too. Maybe I could save myself further embarrassment if I said, “Never mind,” and went inside and sit down.

No! I knew what I had heard and I wasn’t about to turn back now. Besides, I had already made too big of a deal out of it. Holding my breath, I pressed the clicker button. Ka-Click. The truck beeped.

Ka-KAW Ka-KAW rang out.

Sara’s eyes grew huge. “Do it again, Mom!” I hit the clicker: Ka-Click. The truck beeped.
Ka-KAW Ka-KAW rang out.

She spun around and ran straight back inside to Tim. “Daddy, Daddy! There really is a strange bird trying to mate with your truck!”

“Oh, all right.” He got up and stomped out to the back deck. He crossed his arms as he leaned against the railing. “Let’s get this over with.” I pressed the lock button. Ka-Click. The truck beeped.

Ka-KAW Ka-KAW rang out.

“What in tarnation?” He dropped his arms and jumped away from the railing. “Do it again.” This time I put in a little more hip action when I hit the clicker. Ka-Click. The truck beeped.

KAW Ka-KAW

“That’s some kind of bird!” Tim exclaimed.

“Yeah, I know. That’s what I’ve been telling you.” Obviously he hadn’t taken me or Sara seriously at all. But he did then.

“It sounds like it’s in your Papaw’s barn!” It was on the hill behind our house.
“Hey, why don’t we get some flashlights and walk up to the barn and see what it is.” I wanted to see for myself what kind of bird thingy was making those exotic calls. Plus, I was enjoying the excitement of the unknown.

“Are you crazy?” Like that was the first time Tim had ever asked me that.

I ignored that comment like I usually do. “How about we drive your truck up to the barn and shine the headlights into it? That way we can see what kind of strange bird thingy it is. We should be safe since it obviously has a thing for your truck anyway.”

“You’ve got the keys. You can drive up there if you want to, but I am going back inside and finish watching my show.” He walked back inside to his place on the couch. I’m sure it was still warm.

I really did want to see the strange bird thingy for myself. Having a vivid imagination, I envisioned it to resemble something big like an ostrich with tall antenna projections coming out of the top of its head and a beak that was long and pointed. And it had huge feathers that were as colorful as a rainbow.

Tempting as it was, I gave Tim his truck keys back. I went back inside to the living room with him and sat down. I was rather proud of myself for not backing down. I had proven to them that I really did hear the call of a strange bird thingy. So from now on, they needed to believe what I tell them no matter how it sounded.
The next morning, Papaw found a few peacock feathers in his barn. I was close with my image of the strange bird thingy. He never saw the bird. It was gone by the time he reached the barn. There was a man who raised peacocks about a mile and a half from our house. Obviously, one of them had gotten out and made its way to Papaw’s barn.

I got to thinking about it. That peacock had to go past lots of sheds, carports, and other barns to get to Papaw’s. Why did it do that? I wondered if it saw Tim’s red truck going down the road and thought, “Ooh. That bird’s got some pretty red feathers. Think I’ll follow it.”

But, if that peacock could’ve read, it would’ve stayed at home for in the back window of Tim’s truck was his business sign, “Cox’s Taxidermy.”

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” Ephesians 6:14.

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Events

Facebook 101 for Direct Farmers

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 08:00

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• November 14 in Kingsport
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• November 28 in Jackson
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Exact location information will be emailed to registered participants the week prior to workshops. Participants can bring their own laptop or tablet or use a tablet provided by the instructors. Because of the hands-on nature of the workshop, space is limited.

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Obituary

Helen Marie Hulsey

Helen Marie Hulsey, 95, of Knoxville, passed away peacefully on November 12, 2018. Born on October 30, 1923 to Giuseppe and Mary Vazzana. Preceded in death by husband of 34 years, John W. Hulsey; daughters, Judy Petree and Brenda Underwood.
Survived by children Deborah Hulsey of Knoxville, James Hulsey, Mary James, and John Hulsey, all of Indianapolis. 16 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, 1 great great grandson, and her brother and 2 sisters. She will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and all who knew her.

Ruth Jean Campbell

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Survivors: daughter, Donna Campbell of Sharps Chapel; sister, Dot and J. C. Cox of Maynardville; brothers, Larry and Helen Sharp; Jack and Brenda Sharp, all of Sharp Chapel. Several nieces and nephews.

Richard Lewis 'Bud' Richardson

Richard Lewis “Bud” Richardson-age 57 of Maynardville, born October 16, 1961 passed away suddenly Saturday morning, November 10, 2018 at North Knoxville Medical Center. Preceded in death by parents, E. R. and Mary (Anderson) Richardson; brother, Eddie Richardson.

Survivors: children, Jason, David and April; four grandchildren. Sisters, Patsy (Billy) Humphrey, Vickie Shope; brothers, Jeff and Jessie (Jessica) Richardson. Several other family members and a host of friends.

Wanda Lee Eldridge

Wanda Lee Eldridge-age 77 of Luttrell passed away Friday evening, November 9, 2018 at her home. She along with her late husband were the owners of the former Mark’s Market in Luttrell. Preceded in death by husband, Alvin A. “Mountain Man” Eldridge; daughter, Robbin Fortenberry; granddaughter, Misty Leann Childress, parents, Samuel and Nana Lane Seivers; brothers, Robert and Bobby Seivers

Curtis Nathan Case

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Lucy M. Grigsby

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Rev. William Darrell Brewer

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Linda Sue Wilkerson

Linda Sue Wilkerson-age 71 of Corryton passed away Thursday morning, November 8, 2018. She was a member of Hoitt Avenue Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband, Harold G. Wilkerson; daughter, Deborah Atkins.

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Evelyn Grace Helton

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DeAnna Alexi

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