Beware of Animal Bullies
Don't Be Fooled! Cuteness Doesn't Mean Cuteness . . .
when it comes to some breeds of animals. Oh sure, I love animals. Who doesn't? Animals are so cute, cuddly-wuddly, soft, sweet, and nice to pet, that we could just caress their backs and scratch their chins as daytime rolls by. I am not making this stuff up, friends. There are some animal-lovers among us, that I have read about, who love their animals to such a degree, that they leave their worldly good to them--home, car, boat. Yeah, that is the thing to do. But I am not judging. Or pointing a condemning finger at anyone. If you want to adopt your cat and rename it from "Jinx," to "Peter," that is your own business. Have at it. With my blessings.
I started loving animals when I managed to reach the age of six. Actually, I loved animals a lot more than I did people. At first. Don't look at me with your eyebrows raised. I can name the reasons then, and now, why I love (some) animals more than I love (some) people.
Animals make great friends.
You can tell your animal friend you deepest, darkest secret and not worry about them squealing on you to other people.
Animals are trustworthy.
Animals are loyal. Not like some people who love to lie to us and laugh about it.
Animals, if treated with respect, will return their love to you.
Animals are useful to us as a society--seeing eye dogs, dogs to help the crippled, dogs that help the police find dangerous drugs that will take the lives of our children.
Animals should be honored, appreciated, not abused.
Animals make great company to the elderly and shut-in's.
Should I go on? I could. Easy. But I might bore you with all the reasons why I love animals. But in all honesty and sincerity of heart, let me say this to you. This is really not about my love for animals, but my care for you, as my friends, who are lovingly-blind to the cold, harsh fact of life that some animals, reptiles, and mammals can be dangerous. To you. Your limbs and well-being. I know for a fact what I am talking about, for I have had several encounters with a few of the 'critters' you see on the right of this story.
These particular animals I like to call "Animal Bullies," and if you are wise, you will leave these animals alone and keep moving on--minding your own business. This is what Animal Bullies want. They are not extortionists, they are Animal Bullies. Equipped with fang and claw that can drive home their point to you. Very well. So well in fact that the scars on your legs and hands will serve as reminders to you that in the future, leave Animal Bullies to themselves.
Before I continue, I have a little poem about Animal Bullies I'd love to share with you at this time. I know that by now, you think that I am so predictable that I cannot do anything but talk. Relax for a moment and let your mind drift to the forests as you read my Animal Bullies poem.
Animal Bullies short and sweet
Cutting and Slashing My Two Good Feet
Animal Bullies, There's a Dog,
No, I was wrong, it's a Ferocious Biting Wild Hog
Animal Bullies, leave me alone
Stop that growling, I'll soon be gone
Shut That Foaming at The Mouth
I'll Leave Now As I go To The South
Did you appreciate that? I haven't set it to music yet. And probably won't. That might tend to take away from the warnings I am going to share with you in the remainder of this story that you can use when you meet an Animal Bully.
When you venture into the woods and meet an OPPOSSUM do not be deceived by that grin on his cute face. These creatures can literally tear you to pieces. They do not fear humans. When my daughter was eight, she ran into the house and yelled, "Daddy, there's a smiling animal under your car. Come and look!" Of course I ran to see this spectacle that had captured my daughter's attention. Not realizing that it was an opossum, I knelt down to look underneath my car and there it was. The opossum grinning, bearing its sharp teeth and making a hissing sound. Yep. Scared silly. That was me. I tried to verbally coax it to leave. Guess what? Opossums do not understand English. I tried using a stick to prod it from underneath the car. Nope. Animal Bully opossum wasn't leaving. I threw a few small gravel at this creature. No dice. So, being bested by the opossum, my daughter and I went back into the house heads held low in shame for letting an Animal Bully run us off. An hour later I peek through my living room curtains to see a gloating Animal Bully opossum went scurrying down the road adjacent to our house. I could have swore I heard it say, "Try to run me off! That'll show you. Stupid human!"
SNAPPING TURTLES are bad news. And I mean bad news if you are wanting to go down a wooded trail and find this Animal Bully blocking your path. You won't have to wait to be told by this Animal Bully to move it, it will suddenly raise up and snap at you and mean to hurt you. These creatures have no soul. Conscience or feelings. I met one in a dirt road when I was eleven and I took me using a long wooden pole to fence with it, to get it to move along. If I had stayed in one spot, this short-tempered Animal Bully would have taken a chunk from my leg. If you encounter a snapping turtle. Do not antagonize it. Be silent. Motionless. Odds are it will slowly, and on its own terms, leave. You have to watch it though. It is always ready to snap.
Odds are, you will not meet any BATS in your night-time adventures such as camping, fishing, or just floating down a body of water such as the Mississippi River with your family or friends. But listen to me. Bats are vicious little creatures. Little, but mean. Able to inflict a bite with their sharp little teeth that may infect you with rabies or some other near-fatal diseases. Vampire bats, according to the World Book Encyclopedia, are able to land undetected on backs of sleeping cattle and suck the blood from their veins. I told you bats were mean. Alone, a bat cannot be a threat to you as a lone Animal Bully, but when they are with their thousands of friends, they are Animal Bullies, actually Animal Rodents, to be reckoned with.
CATS and DOGS are both lovable, cute, cuddly and friendly. But as in one bad apple spoiling the entire barrel of apples, some cats and dogs can be down-right mean. Ugly. Terrible around people. And love to be given their ways. Growling and snarling by dogs are clear signals to unassuming humans that mean, "Leave me alone, stupid! Get away from me," and you should never stop to be a good, caring, care-giver to a vicious dog or cat. Cats, who are are Feline Bullies are always short-tempered. In a bad mood. Ready to fight. Anything. Anyone. Cats hiss and growl deep in their throats telling you like their Bully Dog counterparts, "Hey, idiot! I will scratch your eyes out and leave scars," so leave as quietly as you can without disturbing them more than they are while they glare that evil glare at you. It's your skin and eyes. Take care of them.
DEER can be known to be Forest Animal Bullies. Especially in breeding season. Deer can literally stand on their hind legs and attack a grown man. The hooves of deer are sharp and can cause deep cuts. If you are out in the woods, God forbid, during breeding season for deer, please make sure that you are near a tall tree that you are able to climb for safety if attacked by a raging deer, or Forest Animal Bully. Bambi was cute, but that was in the cartoons.
Talk about ugly, mean, and a carrier of dreadful diseases. A GOPHER RAT is the rodent for you. They can be identified by their long, rough tail and black fur. Fear is not in a gopher rat's vocabulary. Gopher's can fight the most-tenacious dog. Or cat. Gopher rats rate high on the list of Barnyard and Farm Animal Bullies for they do not fear mankind. At all. The best way to deal with a gopher rat is to set a professionally-designed trap or strow some professional-strength gopher rat poison. I do not advocate the killing or abusing of living things, but take my advice. If you want to be bitten and given a near-fatal disease, put your arm or hand near a gopher rat. They will surely accommodate you.
Cute? Yes. Cuddly? Probably. I am talking about the common SQUIRREL that comes in gray or brown colors. Squirrels are actually rodents because of their two sharp front teeth that can not only slice through a hard walnut with ease, but if cornered, can bite through your hand with no trouble at all. You might be under the false notion that squirrels, because they "act" scared and pretend to run from you, are not Animal Bullies. Think again. If they have set up housekeeping in the trees near your home, there is no way, any sensible way, to rid your yard area of squirrels. They multiply like the common rat. They feed on seeds, corn, and even birdseed that you feed to your songbirds. Squirrels are passive aggressive, but still an Rodent Bully who probably meets with friends at night--plotting new ways to torment you. Squirrels are much wiser than a common rodent. Remember this as you form your game plan against these Rodent Bullies.
The vicious and dangerous WILD HOG is to be left alone. At all costs. In some parts of Alabama and Mississippi, hunters are allowed to hunt wild hogs for how they run roughshod over farmer's crops, chickens, and other living things. Wild hogs are dangerous Animal Bullies for their sheer strength and animal cunning. Wild hogs are not about to give up their territories. To you. Or anyone. Wild hogs can stare down a rattlesnake. They are just that mean. And some species of wild hogs can actually chase hunters out of sheer meanness. Please, I beg you, if you love the forest areas near your home, do some research first. Go online, visit your public library, talk to professional hunters and even foresters, these sources of information can tell you what type of Animal Bullies are present in the areas you are planning to hold your next camping or hiking trip. Remember, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,"
and a safe, happy, care-free trip with family and friends . . .without the clear and present dangers of Animal Bullies.