It was hotter than 400 and 52 hells! Shelby.....my
adopted grandchild decided she wanted to do some Yak'n in the
Yakette. Well, I really didn't have anything else to do 'cept
try to stay cool, so to keep the young'un happy even as hot
as it was, I loaded up the Stealth and the Yakette and took
off to the lake as that sounded like a good way to get cool.
The water was high and muddy, and I knew fish'n
wouldn't be worth a damn, but I had an excellent excuse to get
out in one of the boats and splash a little cool water on us.
Shelby has a keen interest in boating and
for a 12 year old is a lot of fun to have around. After launching
the boats (made her do it all this time with the Yakette), we
paddled down to the south end of the lake, got into shallow
water to watch the mud swirls as we spooked some carp, and with
the water being high as it was, I took her into the back tributaries
where I ain't been in a very long time since most of the time
that was dry land or a 3" deep swamp. That's where I take
the .22 and bushwack a goose for Kaye around Christmas if there
ain't too much ice to break through. It's a 700 yard paddle
or a 2 mile walk - I'll paddle. I know what you are thinking.
Kaye loves animals and all that. But it's different when it
don't have a name, and she don't have to see it killed - and
she likes to eat goose! Not me - too damn greasy! It just ain't
the same according to her like I said if it don't have a name
and all like everything else does around here! I hate damn geese!
Actually liked them till they started bombing me every time
I set out across the lake. Some just don't know when to leave.
Must be a global warming coming on ‘cause they hang around
all year, 'bout a hundred of 'em! They're learning to stay clear
of my boat now - that's the one with the antiaircraft .22!
Now Shelby is an unusual girl and loves to
catch any kind of critter that walks, crawls, slithers or flies!
Really have to watch that kid! She don't think nothing about
picking up any kind of damn snake, crayfish or anything else
that might bite, sting or impose some type of bodily harm. When
she is out on an excursion...sometimes she just don't think
rational! Shelby plays in the school band, is a straight A student
and has got more sense than most grownups I ever known - most
of the time that is. She's still a delicate little female and
does have her moments. Glad I ain't around then!
We landed on a little island from the back
side that's too shallow to get into most of the time and had
a can of pop, some snack cakes and other junk that kids her
age like to munch on. I had a rice cake and a small can of prune
juice with wonderful thoughts for the next day! I'll keep them
to myself! That's when we saw all these little things scootin’
thru the weeds. I thought it was some kind of bugs at first,
but upon closer scrutiny discovered a menagerie - in other words
a huge herd of fully developed itsy bitsy tee tiny little bitty
ass frogs not even 1/2" long! Oh boy, did she get excited!
"Hey Richard (she calls me Richard), we got anything to
put some in? I can take Kaye a bunch of them!"
I figured I'd ended that! I got to thinking
to myself - I do that a lot here lately - some of it ain't good!
But Kaye don't need anymore damn frogs or anything else I gotta
build cases and buy food for! So I mentioned that fact to Shelby.
I brought Kaye a bullfrog big as a damn rabbit a few weeks ago
when I was fishing down on the creek, so she could put him in
"her" goldfish pond out by the steps. I mean that
was one big ass frog! Shelby brought her one too, just a little
smaller! She finally turned 'em loose at the creek a week or
two later cause he wouldn't each Doritos, worms gummy bears!
You can see in the pic how absolutely delighted she is! I think
she has a mental problem worse than mine!
Kaye loves critters of all walks - especially
frogs, dragonflies, etc., 'cept she don't do mice and rats like
Shelby! Kaye is terrified of rodents that even resemble a mouse
or rat. She don't even like squirrels! Goes back to her childhood
days many many years ago. Hope she don't read this. Anyway,
she ain't that fond of rabbits neither! That's the only time
she yells at Shelby, when Shell brings her a gift of good will
and it's a kangaroo mouse or a relative! (Damn I hate that word
more than I do geese! (relative) - hers that is! Ain't none
of'em got both oars in the water! More on that later!)
The other night Kaye and Shelby and the other
grand daughter, Julie, who's 6, took a notion to catch a bunch
of tree frogs as well as other frogs and toads around the creek
and yard. They were successful and had 5 or 6 tree frogs in
a small aquarium, a couple of bullfrogs in the pond and toads
around the big bush by the steps after burning up 2 sets of
brand new D-cells in my Mag lites. Then at 10 o'clock at night
they decides...(I say decides cause they all thought of it at
the same time and began a womanly argument amongst the 3 of
them as to who thought it up first!).... to dig up the landscape
and make a frog place by the Rhoderdindrum bush, right by the
steps across the walk from Kaye's pond. "Her" pond
is shown behind her in the pic with her and her damn Big Ass
Bullfrog. What a man will do to keep grandkids and a wife happy!
Along about 11 the next night (I'm usually
in bed by then), a buddy of mine called and wanted to go fishin
the next day down at the spillway. I couldn't hear a single
word he said because of them damn frogs! Had to shut the door!
I din't realize frogs could make so much noise, but when they
are practically inside the house you can make for a whopping
discovery! They started up again about 4pm the next afternoon,
and I had to shut the door again cause I couldn't hear the damn
TV. Bout half deaf anyway! Guess it comes with age. That's when
the X-Files comes on, and I'm glued to the TV till 6. Comes
on again at 5 on another channel. On Friday nights at 8 Eastern,
I got to see what Burt Gummer is up to. Course he's out trying
to trying to appease the government, protecting the Graboid
and all that! There's times I wish we had something like that
around here! Mostly when the relatives "drop by"!
My sweet wife Kaye is an animal lover and
goes along with Shelby "protecting" and caring for
most stuff she brings in when they ought to just leave the damn
thing where it is! Kaye has this thing about Box turtles too!
Gets everyone she sees off the road. Don't matter if I'm late
for a cardiogram test or what, have to stop for the turtle so
nobody else will mash it flat when they come around the curve!
There's more to the turtle thing too! She had one she called
Charlie for a very long time. He loved bologna! Must have been
allright for him to eat...he lived a very long time. Maybe I
oughta to try it - naw, I hate the stuff! They just ain't no
sport in eat'n bologna. I mean look at how it's pronounced,
then how it's spelled, not to mention what's in it!
One thing I don't and never will understand
is that on Valentines Day I got Kaye a baby guinea pig to help
her overcome her fear of something that resembled the unmentionable
rodents. To my astonishment, she fell in love with it. Not that
she don't have enough critters as it is! Three ducks, a goose,
3 cats, 4 ugly little dogs, plus Morgan the outside dog. That’s
12, same as Shelby. I named him after Capt. Morgan. Those were
the good ole days before I had a heart attack. It cured everything!
Sure would be nice if it mixed with all those heart pills. Kaye's
guinea pig whistles, makes all sorts of odd little critter sounds.
I never had one before this one. He's been around for quite
a while now and is fully grown..fat as he can be and very lovable.
"Ellie Maes" other critters don't seem to mind at
all. Dogs, cats, ducks, goose all get along! It is amazing!
Had to put my foot down about a goddamn monkey! They look too
much like folks you know! She named her new cockapoo Monkey!
Anyway, she holds the guinea pig on her chest, and he makes
loud purring sounds when she rubs his fuzzy little butt. Hell,
I guess I probably would too! (Hell, she don't even sit by me
anymore! That's why I like the TEARDROP (trailer). If I feel
friskie and got plenty of heart pills she ain't got nowhere
to run! Love it!)
While I wuz out in the weeds taking care of
a nature thing, Shelby was scurrying around the island gathering
itsy bitsy tee tiny little bitty ass frogs and hiding them in
the hatch of my boat! When I returned, she told me she'd caught
a few little frogs in a coke can and stuck'em in the hatch of
the Stealth, and hoped I didn't mind cause there ain't no hatch
on the Yakette. I smiled and really didn't mind, ‘cause
I know how she is. I'd already seen the little buggers, so I
didn't check and look inside the hatch like I should have. Big
We left the serenity of the island and paddled
down and beyond the iron bridge till we got to some mild white
water. We had fun trying to go upsteam into the rushing current.
Not strong enough as to be dangerous, but enough so you couldn't
go but so far before it turned you around and sent the Stealth
and the Yakette zipping along downstream. She and I both were
having a smashing good time as they say in England till I got
tired and said it's time to head back. My huffing and puffing
made me realize that white water days were only fond memories
now! ‘Course I knew that already, but that little thrill
brought back a lot of them. We encountered more wildlife on
the way back. Ducks, the normal hoard of damn geese, a carp
now and then, and a blue heron or two that raise havoc with
the baby frog population! I've even see these great birds gulp
down a humongus bullfrog as well as some pretty damn good sized
fish! Yep, and about the bullfrog, I'm talking about the ones
that have legs the size of a big chicken! We're talking over
14 inches long now and that's a helluva lot of froglegs for
a bird to swallow!
I took a few pics of Shelby's itsy bitsy tee
tiny little bitty ass frogs so you can see just how small they
were before I went on my call to nature, and a few pics of where
we went. Like I said, din't bother to check the hatch, and when
we got home Shelby got called in to eat, clean up her room or
something, and I put things away - life jackets, paddles and
that sort of stuff. She yelled, "Best boat trip I've been
on so far!" as she went inside. Still ain't checked that
hatch! Got around to that the next morning to make sure Shelby
didn't leave Twinkie wrappers, Animal Cracker boxes, coke cans
and other stuff in there for me to clean out! Figured she took
care of her couple of itsy bitsy tee tiny little bitty ass frogs
too! She's pretty good about that sort of thing.
Good thing I checked, which I did the next
morning. (Now don't get me wrong, I love that child dearly,
but if I could have got my arthritic hands around her neck I'da
killed her for sure!) Must have been at least 125 of her itsy
bitsy tee tiny little bitty ass frogs in my hatch jumping all
over the place when I took the lid off! Talk about a bitch to
catch! I ain't near as fast as I use to be! Found that out real
quick! They were sticking to inside top of the hatch that you
can't get into to grab 'em, and I couldn't reach 'em with nothin!
What pissed me off real good was that SHE (dear sweet grand
child) somehow plain forgot to mention the fact that she'd also
caught a baby northern watersnake 'bout a foot long and stuck
him in hatch too! They get very aggressive and from his dark
hiding place in the hatch that I couldn't see, the bastard reached
out and nailed me on my little finger as I was trying grab some
of those little frog critters. From what I saw after I slung
him off and cussed a lot, he had gorged himself on at least
10 of these itsy bitsy tee tiny little bitty ass frogs! I picked
him up to make sure he wasn't hurt. He was ok and just sat there
beside me watching me curiously as I tried to get those damn
frogs out of my boat!
Finally I turned the boat upside down and
rinsed'em out with a soft spray from the garden hose, caught
the fat little snake and turned him loose in the creek too!
I think I got 'em all out! I check the hatch everyday to make
sure there ain't none left, and to be sure ain't nothing else
in there that she plain forgot to tell me about! They all found
a new home in our creek - all 125 of what remained of these
itsy bitsy tee tiny little bitty ass frogs and the well fed
fat little snake hauled ass downsteam.
Point is, if a kid is interested in stuff
like that, take part in it. You'll get mad as hell sometimes;
even grandpaws have the right to get pissed once in a while,
don't you think? Git'n snake bit's push'n it! Long as it don't
show a whole bunch it's alright, and you'll get to laugh about
it later or so they tell me! Still wondering about that part.
I ain't laugh'in yet! Something is stinking in my boat! There
mighta been 126 itsy bitsy tee tiny little bitty ass frogs not
counting what the snake et!
Anyway Chuck, I'll see ya'll in Canada