Laugh Tracks in the Dust 7-12-10 |

Laugh Tracks in the Dust 7-12-10

Observed an interesting wildlife happening from our kitchen window one recent noon hour.

I wuz eating my leftovers lunch when I happened to look toward our pond and saw a highly unusual event occurring. Now it wuz midday, the sun shining as brightly as it can, the temperature in the mid-90s, and the humidity so high if you went outside your tongue would sweat.

What I saw wuz a resident doe who apparently had brought her twin fawns out for their first play excursion into the big wide world. The trio wuz at least 100 yards from the nearest tree or cover. The fawns were little guys – about knee high and still with all their spots. But they were really enjoying themselves.

While mama seemed to enjoy herself by wading hock-deep into the pond, (I’m guessing to ease the bother of biting insects on her legs) the little guys (or gals) raced and frolicked up and down the pond bank. They would run one way as fast as their little deer legs would take them, then stop and buck and paw at each other.

Then they’d head the other direction at top speed and repeat their playing. Then they’d run to check in with mama and then do it all over again.

I watched them with the binoculars for at least 15 minutes before mama doe slowly waded north up the pond until they finally went out of sight.

I’d like to know what possessed that doe to bring her babies out of the trees and into the sunlight for a mid-day recess. It was totally unlike deer behavior. But, I’m glad she did. I enjoyed it as much as the deer did.


All little farm kids at some point in their childhoods, envision themselves flying like a bird. I recently heard of two childhood incidents where children tried to fly and found out the hard way that unassisted flying is best left to their feathered friends.

In both instances, the young ‘uns built a pair of wings, put them on, and then flung themselves into space to try out those wings. One launched himself from a hay mow window of the barn and the other from a tree limb.

Both of them “flew” from their launch point to the ground below where they each fell in a crumpled heap. Neither hurt himself seriously – except for his ego.


Speaking of childhood activities on the farm back in the good ol’ days, I heard of a new one from two of my classmates while we were visiting during my recent 50th class reunion.

Eben and Jerry lived close together and, as most farm kids did in those days, pretty much had the run of their farms and had to find their own ways of entertaining themselves.

Well, one day they discovered a bumble bee nest in the ground and immediately saw the promise of much fun.

First, each of them got something to swat the bees with – probably a stick, board or a leafy switch. Then one of the boys threw his hat over the bumble bee nest and they commenced swatting the “bothered” bees as they crawled out from beneath the hat.

That all worked well, until the boys missed a couple of bees and got behind on the swatting.

The whole play thing quickly turned into a “run for your lives” event. Both boys got stung and they had to wait until dark to retrieve the hat.


I think I’ve told this story before, but it’s been years ago and it’s time for repeating. Another childhood friend, who now lives in Bridgeport, Texas, came to the reunion and we recalled our “turtle pulling contest” from years ago.

It wuz a year when the box turtles – land terrapins, to be correct – were plentiful. My friend and I collected a couple dozen of those turtles and kept them in a pen.

Every time we got together, which wuz almost every day, we would each select a turtle. We’d drill two small holes in the rear-rim of their shells (it wuz painless to the turtles) and tie a string into the hole.

Then we put a tiny pulley we’d found somewhere and hooked it to the clothes line and ran the string through the pulley and down to the ground. To the loose end of the string, we hooked on various metal gram weights that my friend’s father owned.

The purpose wuz to see whose turtle could lift the heaviest weight the highest. We turned the losing turtle loose and kept the champion “on line” until it wuz eventually beaten. We had “grams” of fun with that improvised game.


Now, I’m gonna have fun again by quitting this column and drinking some iced tea. I’ll close for this week with these words of wisdom from Nobel Peace Prize winning agronomist Dr. Norman Borlaug, who I once interviewed years ago when I worked in Pullman, Wash. He said, “Almost certainly, however, the first essential component of social justice is adequate food for all mankind.”

Think of that, and be thankful, when you eat supper. Have a good ‘un.

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