The following is an old piece of writing long thought lost.
April first is a time of jest, when people test their wits and compare their pranks to decide which comes out best.
The competition is not always fair, when there’s a ringer in the air, up above, looking down to try and claim the jester’s crown, to be the one with bragging rights who from his heights looks down and knows that he has accomplished the best jest yet.
This story is true, more or less. It’s changed a bit I must confess, to add finesse, but I digress. The perfect setting for a jest, April First, nonetheless, in a state that’s known for pranks. In ’87 the jester king was a bird on the wing
An Alaska Airlines flight rose into the clear daylight with little to obscure the view of what soon was to ensue.
This is where it gets absurd. For a soaring eagle, a mighty fishing bird is he, pulled his catch out of the sea to soar away to the safety of some unknown tree.
I’ve no doubt but to assume he wished to eat his dish away from his fright at noise of the Juneau but his flight was laden by the weight his fish.
I’ve always thought it odd that our country’s mascot is a bird such as this. For our façade that we share with the world, we chose a majestic flying rat, albeit with wings unfurled, soaring high throughout the day, surviving by scavenging what it may, out of the way, avoiding anything that may become a fray, least the hunter become the prey. For truth be told, the mighty eagle is a coward. Far from the image we portray, this bird is easily spooked away.
In fairness to the bird, if I saw a jet airplane chasing after me, I would run away at great haste too, and when the 737 climbed towards the bird, a bizarre collision soon occurred, as the plane spurred the bird to drop its fish and quickly bid adieu.
Of course you know the fish hit the plane. The gift the eagle did bestow was in vain, as the plane changed it’s pace not at all, climbing far away from the denizens of the sea, or at least where they ought to be, far below in the Gastineau Channel.
This is not the end of the fishy tail, as calls for help proved no avail, for it was April Fools’day, where normal rules are thrown away. When Boeing field got the word that a flying fish had struck their bird, their response time suffered some delay on account of the foolish day.
And who can blame them, truth be told? The outlandish claim they were being sold? Flying fish do exist, but a salmon on the wing? What a thing to behold. Given the day, let caution hold sway, and don’t fall for a tale so bold.
But what are our pilots to do? The tale they told was true! In Yakutat they were grounded lest they fly their craft impaired, their efforts were confounded to get their aircraft in the air. Their radio sounded messages back to base until finally an astounded mechanic flew out to confirm their tale, or become a part of it.
What he found was indeed a scene so very rare. Fish slime and fish scales, yet no reason to repair the aircraft. The plane was cleared for takeoff to continue on its flight, the passengers lead safely home; well into the night. The passengers were inconvenienced, as many will attest, yet they were there to see the years best jest.
The foolish jests of April are the best that fools can bring, but in ’87 the jester king was a bird on the wing.