The Caliche Times Vol  2, No  6     10/02/99

(c) Jerry Davis

It’s Just Me and my Brudder, Please Don’t Look

I have never seen two faces before with more look of innocence, well, except on my grandchildren. As Lou Jane and I made our tour of the cattle pasture, checking all ponds’ water levels, we came to an area where the wild persimmons grow. There are probably a hundred trees in the wild persimmon grove. The day was disappearing and thunderstorms building off to the west. The late afternoon was very still and the heat beginning to wear off the day. We had decided to make this drive with our old ’73 Chev pickup and it was running good for this trip. The ’73 Chev has been on a lot of adventures with us and seemed to be holding up good for another one. Well, we proceeded on and as we came close to the persimmons, we noticed a large raccoon race away from one of the trees and disappear near an old barn. I said "That rascal is stealing our persimmons." We observed that the persimmon tree was loaded with fruit. The fruit looked like it had been drought dried and ripened; looked like suspended red-orange prunes. The severe drought with low humidity and many days of temperatures 100 degrees or better had air dried the persimmons. Higher in the tree we noticed a gray and black fuzzy ball; looked like a large fuzzy knot on the side of the high vertical trunk of the tree. I said "Lou Jane, a baby raccoon is still in the tree." She said," No, it’s two raccoons because the ball of fuzz has two tails." The two babies were so close together they looked as if they had grown to the tree. The mother raccoon knew she didn’t have time to get the babies out of the tree when she saw us coming and probably told ‘um, "You boys hang tight, trouble’s a’coming". So they were "hanging tight". One little face was sadly drooped through a "Y" of the trunk and staring off into the distance; eyes straight ahead and not blinking. The other face was as flat to the other side of the branch as it could be and staring upward. These looks portrayed "Don’t look at us, we are just brothers out to play, we didn’t steal any of your persimmons, we promise." I’m thinking, "Yeah, I know your type, you look like the little thieves that steal peaches out of fruit orchards the night of the day before they are ready to be picked. Somehow run your hands inside of cantaloupes and watermelons, the day before they are ready to pick; run your dirty hands around inside the melons and carve out all the heart of the meat; don’t eat the rind. The melon looks like it’s OK until someone picks it and finds it to be hollow. If times weren’t so hard for wildlife right now, you guys would be in a lot of trouble. You keep that innocent look on your face, but just remember you better stay away from Sinbad The Cowdog’s food. Sinbad has a no tolerance policy toward coons that interrupt his sleep while going for his food dish. He’s not as forgiving as we are. You can have all the ole dried up persimmons, they aren’t very good anyway. Tell your mother what I said too, especially the part about the dog."

The sun had set and dark was approaching as we left the wild persimmon grove. The mother raccoon headed back to the persimmon tree to teach her babies some more about "how to get out on a limb, and not get caught".

 

Cats and Rats

 

We received a greeting card from our cats mailed via email by Sharla so I felt I should send them a reply as follows:

Tawny and Cream Puff,

We appreciated the nice card you sent me and Lou Jane. It has been many years since we have received one from you. I have petted you for many years now and you never said anything. All you do is get real mushy and start rubbing on me. You have managed to irritate me on occasion by rubbing your furry tail against my bare legs when I had shorts on and was trying to concentrate.  I have moved you off the pickup tailgate many times when you wagged your tail in my face and I didn't have time to play with you. You have always been faithful however. You always brought dead rats to the back step when you were in your younger days and could manage to catch one. You always waited until I saw it before you ate the gross parts of it and left bloody spots on my back step. You never waited for me however, when you had a nice juicy lizard to eat. I appreciated you leaving me the head and tail though so I could understand what you had caught. Guess tree lizards taste better than rats since you never saved me any of the good parts.

You have been real faithful and always returned home after your week-long adventures. I always wondered where you went and who was feeding you while you were gone. I guess you liked us OK;  you always returned and gave your big hungry meow as you came up on the back step. You are getting too old now for those wild adventures; something could happen to you out in the woods on a cold day, you know.  Don’t try to do all the things you used to do when you were younger.  You can retire right here at home and we will continue to feed you. Sinbad the Chowdog  loves you too even though you don’t act like you care for him. You need to run for him some though so he will have something to chase.  Most of the squirrels and rabbits have disappeared  now, so it is very boring for a country dog like Sinbad.  Remember he never sees any of his own species and he only has you to play with, so don’t be too hard on him. I don’t think you should scratch him in the face, usually scatting at him is enough to slow him down.

Well, just remember that we love you but don’t let it go to your head.  When you get hungry just come to the back door and let us know,  like you have for so many years now.  Just tap on the door or let out a good meow and we will be there as soon as we can to wait on you.

PS: Is there anyway that you can keep from shedding hair. That is such a nauseating thing. Mother always said that things can’t always be perfect so I will try to understand it.

Your servant always,

Jerry

 

Terms defined:

Going out on a limb - taking chances. From the viewpoint of the farmer, these raccoons were stealing persimmons that belonged to him and were putting themselves at risk by doing so.

Hanging tight - the raccoons were gripping the tree with all their strength.

Wild persimmon grove - these wild persimmons came from a couple of domestic persimmon trees. The seeds of the domestic persimmon were scattered by raccoons over past years. When the seeds came up the persimmons were no longer the delicious large persimmons but small wild persimmons that lost their original domestic genetic qualities.  So depending on one’s point of view this orchard may belong to the raccoons and not the farmer.

Tawny and Cream Puff - a couple of real mouse-catching cats that have grown up here on the Davis Elm Creek Ranch. 

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