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'Round These Parts
Now, I'm gonna warn you all
the story has all the fixings of a good tale
and really for only one reason:
It is true.
'Bout a month or so ago, I knew hit was gittin' 'bout that time when the critters would be uh scouting and searching for where to have their Annual Coon Shindig. I knew this because they had chosen my silver queen patch in times past. You know all that, "Fool me once" stuff and all. Well, let's just say, I've used up my quota of tomfoolery. So, when I started seeing that coons had started their scouting, I got to working on making my silver heavy-wired cages. Now, I don't mean to brag, but my silver queens are the envy of not just the coons. Folks 'round here know I put out the best gardens. My silver queens stand proud. And this year, I intended to make sure they stayed that way until it was time for them to make their way to my lap where I would shuck 'em, comb out their silver strands of hair...
Now, you got to understand, I had been...What is that word? Oh yeah! "Pro-Act-ive" in what had become the annual regal battle between me and the critters. I had set out my old radio and tuned it to the saddest country music station I could find thinkin' that that would send 'em scouts a running in a different direction. And, I reckon you've heard about "best-laid plans" and all. Things didn't go as planned.
Oh! I built 'em cages and set 'em up right and proper so that the scouts could git close, but if one got too close, well, they got caged. And my plan worked...for awhile...
Every evening after I got off work, before I even went home, I would drive on up the mountain to my garden so that I could unwind, take in all the beauty, pull up a weed or two or a thousand, drink a few beers, well, maybe a six-pack...and check my traps. Being a country boy that I am, I could tell if any scouting had been going on. Just gotta know what to look for. Contrary to what some folks may think, not all scat looks the same...
It only took a few weed pickin' evenings before I caught my first critter. I have to say. It was not what I was expecting. But there she was, a baby pole cat-just as cute as she could be.
I wouldn't sure what I should do. I continued to 'mire that little ball of striped fur, but from afar. I decided to call my buddy who traps on the side and ask him. I just didn't know whether or not a baby polecat can skunk ye yet, or whether or not hit's born with that weed killer sprayer and just automatically skunks. I don't know if it happens in your parts, but 'round here, no summer ever goes by without reports of somebody gittin' sprayed. And hit ain't good when it happens...
My buddy said, "Yep! Their born with it!" But he wouldn't sure 'bout much more than that. It was gittin' dark so I decided I would study on it. The next day I couldn't talk anybody into coming and getting that sweet little pole cat no matter how hard I tried. Still, after work, I went back up there hoping maybe it had found its way out of there, and prepared to work on that cage so no critter so blame cute and tiny would ever git caught in my heavy silver-wired cages ever agin.
I put two slim nails in my tobacco stick and slowly opened the gate so that cute little polecat could scamper on out of there without either of us gittin' hurt. And waited. Waited for that little bundle of fur to git on out. I waited until dark. But for whatever reason, it wouldn't gonna move as long as I was 'round.
The next evening I went to check and sure enough, my little prisoner was gone. Feelin' relieved and all, I went to working on staking that cage.
Evenings went by and all seemed to be well. My silver queens were becoming more majestic every day. Then it happened. Another critter managed to git himself caged; but this time, by a big coon. Now, that was a critter I could handle, or so I thought.
From afar, I took my tobacco stick and opened the cage. And like hits supposed to do, the coon scooted on out and out of sight. And I commenced to fulfilling my daily ritual then headed back down the mountain to my house feelin' just a bit on the proud side. I pulled into my driveway, but before I could git out, I caught a glance of something.
Yeah. You got it. As part of celebrating my in-ge-nu-i-ty, I had picked me some of my queens, tossed them in a bucket and set 'em on the back of my truck.
That damn coon must have watched me for he had snuck up onto the back of my truck and had helped himself to my reward.
When the truck came to a stop, he raised his head which is when I caught my glance. He staggered on off the truck and made his getaway. Theirs nothin' more disappointin' than havin' your mind set on silver queens (fresh, sweet, butter running down your chin) just to have it taken away from you by a wily and now drunk on their sweet nectar coon.
"Hmmm...." I thought all the next day.
That damn coon is gonna go back and tell all of his friends about his adventure and cage or no cage, those striped critters are gonna not be able to resist having their annual coon shindig in my Garden of Eden.
So, that next evening, I was haf-spectin' my silver queen patch to be stripped and nothing left but scat. To my surprise, all was well. I figured that wily coon must have been so drunk that he was still sleepin' the night before off somewhere. So, I turned that radio station up as loud as I could git it to go, pulled weeds, drank my beer and breathed a sigh of relief.
For several more evenings, life was good. I even got to enjoy a couple of nights of my sweet silver queens for supper. I would stand outside and eat 'em, wipin' the butter I had smothered them in with the sleeve of my work shirt.
'Course all routines can git interrupted and I hate to say that as much as I had vested in preserving my silver queens, I got sidetracked busy working on my truck and forewent my daily ritual in my garden.
When I finally got back up to the garden, I brought plenty of buckets with me for I knew it would be time to harvest the lot of my silver queens. And that is when I saw him.That same wily drunk 'coon had managed to git his drunk ass back up the mountain and trapped in the same damn cage.
Now, let me tell ye, I tried to do right by building cages where I could catch and release, but truth is I let that coon down by not holding up my end of the bargain and sticking to my usual routine.
Perhaps, it wouldn't have mattered one way or the other.
Maybe we ain't the only critters in the kingdom that can get cirrhosis of the liver and die.
But, I ain't gonna lie to you now. I welled up when I dug his grave. And when
that new hit, "Forgotten" by Joseph Houck commenced to playing on the radio, let's just say
this would be one more year where I all I could feel was just plain
"Forgotten" by Joseph Houck copyrighted
- Forgotten | Joseph Houck
Forgotten by Joseph Houck, released 29 December 2012 A ghost had entered his domain A haunted soul, mind, and brain All that made him sane Was forgotten I told him that she was a lie— Stains of love bled from his eyes Their past he chose at no surp
This is my first attempt at writing a creative short story in a very, long time.
I tried really hard to capture the narrator via his way of talking.
One of the things I wrestled with was it vs. hit which is why in some cases I went with one and not the other; although, I wondered if you, the reader would find that as an inconsistency.
Anyway, just feelin' pretty darn good to have written anything at all. And, I am truly appreciative of any constructed criticism you have on ways I could have made it/hit a better story.
Blessings as Always,
ocfireflies aka Kim
© 2015 ocfireflies