Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Hunting Aid

I once had a fine hunting dog, but since the patent medicine business was keeping me very busy I sold him to a couple backwoodsmen I know -- Jim-Bob and Joe-Bob from Buzzard Mountain. They came to me about a week later and said they wanted their money back.

“What for?” I asked. “That’s the best hunting dog in three states. He’s treed everything from raccoons to alligators.”

“Well he’s no good at duck-hunting,” said Jim-Bob. “We want our money back so we can get a smaller dog. Maybe one of them Mexican chihuahuas.”

“A chihuahua?” I asked, “For duck-hunting?”

“Yep,” said Joe-Bob. “We can barely get your dog up in the air. We figure we can throw a chihuahua much higher.”

“You don’t want a dog for that,” I said. “Everyone knows cats are better at catching birds. I’m happy to refund your money, but I happen to have a half-dozen trained birding cats that will save you a trip to Mexico.”

“We don’t need a half-dozen; just one,” said Joe-Bob.

“You say that now,” I replied, “but the next time you startle a flock of mallards, you’re going to wish you had a few spare cats. I will even include a bottle of Wizard Water© to strengthen your throwing arms.”

That said, they exchanged the dog for six young felines and a bottle of my elixir. The dog seemed none the worse for wear, except it refused to go near ponds.

When I recently returned to Buzzard Mountain, Joe-Bob informed me that the cats had not caught a single duck.

“We ain’t upset, though,” he added. “They’re too good at keeping crows off our corn. Jim-Bob thought he’d feed them some of that Wizard Water©, and danged if it didn’t improve their leaping ability. You never seen so many cats leaping so high above a field of corn, just a-swattin’ crows out of the air left and right.”

“Well that’s wonderful, gentlemen,” I said. “I know you will put the corn they save to good use. I was prepared to help you if the cats didn’t work out for their original purpose, though. My mother-in-law has acquired one of those Mexican dogs you spoke of, and you are right – they are perfectly suited for duck-hunting. Hers is especially good at clamping on to something with its jaws and not letting go. For a small fee, I will to loan it to you.”

The boys declined my offer, but only because they were too busy with their farm. I will check with them next fall, though, when the geese fly south.

copyright ©2010 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

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