A view from under the pew: amos gets mailed

 Editor’s note: Amos is a churchmouse, who types by hopping on the computer keyboard, but he can’t operate the capital shift keys, and he shuns punctuation marks – except dashes and hyphens. boss i suppose you re already chuckling by now i guess you heard that i fell into a mail drop the other day  […]

Badgering prey makes little sense

My brother and I came upon a badger out in the pasture one summer afternoon. He looked at us. We looked at him. He glared at us and looked mean, so we thought we should return his angry stare. His body was muscular, and his mottled brownish gray fur was highlighted by a white streak […]

Animals safe with country kids

Our family always has made pets out of all kinds of living things. We had a dogie goat named Penco, which isn’t terribly original since Penco means dogie in Spanish. Penco learned that when the back door slammed either food or fun were on the way, and he always came running. Our pet squirrel named […]

Animals contain surprises

The high-powered quarter horse mare had been to the breeding barn, and was bred to an outstanding stallion. Everything seemed fine. Maybe not. She colicked, and they ended up taking her to the veterinarian. He got that problem solved, and while he was at it he checked, and pronounced her “open,” no baby in there. […]

Finding humor shows resilience

We attended a Chautauqua program recently. The performers — a lady named Jane and a guy named Hoyle — presented a “Brief Historical Timeline of the Great Depression” covering the 10-year period from 1929 to 1939 in the United States. Jane sang and played guitar while Hoyle also sang and played piano, mandolin and guitar. […]

Old-timers should be consulted

I recently came across the following in a U.S. government publication: “Realistically, livestock are the primary practical tools for altering vegetation on rangelands because of environmental concerns about herbicides and the high costs of treating vast acreages of rangeland.” The story described a “recent development” called “conservation grazing,” and said it had “resulted in a […]

Daylight Saving Time disruptive

Rhythm rules the world. Years, months and seasons (where appropriate) are directed by a rhythm or cadence. Animal migration, hibernation, reproduction all follow the directive in Ecclesiastes: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Plants grow, bloom and die on cue. Even inanimate objects expand or crumble according […]

Cowboys aren’t afraid of honesty

My father left his parents’ Texas home at age 14 with thirty-six cents in his pocket. He became a cowboy, one of the best in the business, and he never moved back in with his parents and eight siblings. Actually, he never went back for a visit, either, until he was 32 years old. My […]

Forecasting requires short memory

We humans wonder about the future — ours and everyone else’s. The hunger for a glimpse of what might/possibly/probably happen sends people to all kinds of prognosticators. Those eager to attempt answers to questions about the future have been around for a gazillion years. Fortune tellers with crystal balls, palm readers and numerous other “advisers” […]

Balance freedom with responsibility

My mother was a homemaker. She made every old ranch house we lived in a comfortable home, which usually was not easy. She also was a neatness freak. Dishes were washed immediately after each meal — no waiting till later allowed. This was before automatic dishwashers, understand. Also, all beds were made first thing after […]