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'Round These Parts

Updated on September 13, 2016
ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies is a retired teacher. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.S. in English/Secondary Education.

Source


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.

Now what?

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

shucked.



Feedback

Dear Readers,

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

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 22 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Congratulations Kim, you succeeded with writing an engaging short story. The language you used was very appealing and added to the appeal. I can't offer any improvements...just fine as it is. Well done, I hope it's one of many more.

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 22 months ago from North Carolina

      Thank You John. Though others may disagree for my score dropped almost immediately. Oh well...Still felt good to write.

      Perhaps, as a writer you can relate: just pushing the "Now Publish" button allowed me to breathe--I have a terrible habit of holding my breath--don't even realize it lots of times until my therapist points it out : ) Thanks for reading. Wishing you a wonderful day.

      Kim

    • Max Havlick profile image

      Max Havlick 22 months ago from Villa Park, Illinois

      NORTH CAROLINA MOUNTAINS

      A New American Sonnet

      (for Kim, ocfireflies)

      . . . . .

      She gravitates toward beauty

      as if it were her duty,

      the essence of her living,

      per-pe-tu-al-ly giving,

      not meekness as in weakness,

      but rather in uniqueness.

      . . . . .

      Her Kimberly is writing

      about a special sighting

      that only she could measure

      to share with us the pleasure,

      a momentary snuggle

      derived from years of struggle.

      . . . . .

      North Carolina mountains

      sprout energetic fountains!

      . . .

      Max Havlick

      Chicago west suburbs, 2:45 p.m., Thursday, September 10, 2015.

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 22 months ago from North Carolina

      Thank you Max.

      Blessings,

      Kim

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 22 months ago from California

      Well done Kim! The diction is great and the story pulls the reader in!

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 22 months ago from North Carolina

      Audrey,

      Thank you so much and especially for commenting on the diction.

      Blessings,

      Kim

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 22 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Great story Kim; I really had fun reading it! Don't worry about the score drop it always happens to me too, one reason I don't write more lately! No idea why but letting you know you aren't alone. It (and mine) will hopefully go back up.

      Will share you around and perhaps that will help!

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 22 months ago from North Carolina

      Thank You Jackie. It is like I really have been gone forever--so many changes...I really appreciate you for reading it and saying you "had fun" doing so is just like hot butter on a silver queen--smiles

      Pretty sure I hit share on yours, but will go back and make sure...

      Kim

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      What a fun story, and the "authentic" diction was great. I hope you do more of this in the future.

      bill

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 22 months ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      I think it is pretty awesome? eerie? just plain cool?

      that I write a story about cages and you write a piece about fences and us being on separate ends of the country. Going to get me some tea and then I will be over the fence to your farm.

      Smiles,

      Kim

      P.S. thanks for the note about the diction--which truly is how lots of us 'round here still talk~

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 22 months ago from southern USA

      Hi Kim, wow, what a wonderfully creative tale you have written. Your words painted the visual clear in my mind. I'm so happy you were able to get this one out and feel good about it. Yes, it seems when you first published the score will drop initially then pick back up. Oh, HP will take points away for using a watermarked photo or image. Jackie and I find hundreds of great free and legal images on Pixabay. Just type in search, "corn" and they will come up. No need to attribute ...just type Pixabay. So easy. You are inspiring me to get writing too, Kim. Again, wonderful story. Blessings always

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 22 months ago from North Carolina

      Faith,

      You must be psychic. I received an email from HP regarding the images. Thank you for providing me with a way to solve that issue. I will go to Pixabay and see if I can find better images. It is difficult for me to feel as if I am an inspiration so for you to say that is just so appreciated and needed. As you always do, you always know just what to say and for that I thank you for being YOU.

      Shared Blessings,

      Kim

    • profile image

      Benton Arnschluke 22 months ago

      Wonderfully written!

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 22 months ago from North Carolina

      Hey Benton,

      Hope all is well. Thank you for your kind words. They mean more than you can ever imagine.

      Blessings,

      Kim

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 22 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Kim, it's always a pleasure to see your name pop up in an e-mail from HP, telling us of something new you have written. I love your use of words and colloquialisms in this colorful, thought-provoking charmer. I could read stories like this all day.

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 22 months ago from North Carolina

      Genna,

      Those true stories are the easiest to write about ; )

      SO thankful for you and always honored by your comments when I know what an awesome writer you are. Love You Girlfriend!

      Kim

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 22 months ago

      I loved the setting for your story and it draws the reader's interest from the beginning. You wrote this well and the diction was unique. I had a great throwback memory when you wrote, "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.". Oh how I remember the days when I would eat corn in this fashion outdoors.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 22 months ago from Texas

      Kim,

      Hit don't make not never-mind,

      if you use hit/it from time to time.

      Your story was just fine.

      And I too had a share of Silver Greens from time to time

      Wonderful story

      Blessings dear friend

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 22 months ago from North Carolina

      Dianna,

      Coming from a teacher, your analysis is priceless. So glad you have memories of eating corn on the cob the best way where it is so messy, you have got to eat outside. Big Smiles.

      Shyron,

      Hit makes me happy to see

      that ye don't mind hit

      if sometimes I am me

      SMILES. Thank You so much.

      Blessings to you both. Thank you so much for readin' my little story.

      Kim

    • profile image

      frances fuller 22 months ago

      Girl, I'm tickled pink with your story. So proud of you for getting back on the horse and giving 'em a good kick. I think you did a great job and I loved the pace. I know you must have had a fun time writing this and I am so so glad you did. thanks for sharing friend. I want to eat some of that buttery silver with you and sit on top of a mountain. Can't think of anything better.

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 22 months ago from North Carolina

      Frances,

      Thanks so much for reading and leaving your cool comments. Girl, just let me know and we will go sit on top of a mountain and eat silver queens drippin' in a butter for as long as you want.

      Love You,

      Kim

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 22 months ago from San Diego California

      I loved your little story and narrative style. Hit was funny. Enjoyed the local color. William Faulkner meets Larry the Cable Guy. Great hub!

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 22 months ago from North Carolina

      Mel,

      Thank you for reading my little story...and especially for the reference to Faulkner. You made my day.

      Kim

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 21 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You certainly did a great job. I enjoyed reading. Keep it up!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 21 months ago from Taos, NM

      Kim: This story is just precious. I love the voice you wrote this in. Your creativity and versatility as a writer certainly is on display here. Great Job!

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 21 months ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Suzette. Will be over to your hub base soon. Please find it in your heart to forgive me for my late response.

      Kim

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 18 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You write from the heart and so greatly expressed.

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 18 months ago from North Carolina

      Thank You Devika.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 18 months ago from SW England

      Great story, Kim! I could hear the voice narrating in that wonderful accent. About it/hit - I didn't find it distracting but maybe it's the difference between vowel or not at the end of the preceding word, for example 'maybe hit...' and 'they got it'. Maybe you can decipher that from listening to an old local!

      As you know, I love regional accents. You've done your bit to keep this one alive - it adds such character and charm to the story, as of course it does to the language. Well done!

      Ann

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 18 months ago from North Carolina

      Ann,

      You are a genius. Yes! A vs. An! When I was in the classroom, I called this the A Man/An Orange rule-Smiles. Thank you for giving me something concrete and for inspiring me to remember something that always made me and others : )

      Blessings,

      Kim

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 18 months ago from sunny Florida

      Well done... I have lived in areas for a time where the folks spoke just as you shared...

      And those little critters do surprise us so often...interesting read from beginning to end.

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 17 months ago from North Carolina

      pstraubie48,

      Thank you for always sending angels my way. I need them every day. Smiles. Thank you for reading my little attempt at oral history and for leaving such nice comments.

      Blessings,

      Kim

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 17 months ago from sunny Florida

      This was a fun read...I had to reread it since I enjoyed it so much the first time.

      Angels are once again headed your way ps

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 17 months ago from North Carolina

      Thank You! Thank You! So in need of those angels. Please keep sending them my way.

      Blessings Always,

      Kim

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 10 months ago from Texas

      Kim, I am back

      To read again about your critters

      Even though they give me the jitters

      As I look around for some critter riders

      They have upset my serenity

      And have become my enemy

      With runners running everywhere

      They are giving me quite a scare

      *

      *

      Blessings again Kim

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 10 months ago from North Carolina

      Thank you Shyron. Those 'coons were back again this year and just as drunk as ever.

      Smiles,

      Kim

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