Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 9-30-13 |

Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 9-30-13

Sometimes wildlife predators around the farmstead are destructive and sometimes they are cute, or at least merely interesting. I’ve got stories about both this week.

On the destructive side, the coyotes have been playing havoc with my chicken flock this summer. I’ve lost at least a dozen chickens to the sneaky varmints. But, last week I closed the door on one chapter of this story when ol’ Nevah spied a coyote sneaking up on some grazing chickens in our front yard.

Since I keep my 25-06 Savage rifle handy in the kitchen for just such occasions, I grabbed it, jacked a shell into the chamber, and quietly opened the door to our deck. The coyote saw me, but it couldn’t smell me, and since I didn’t make any noise, it made the fatal mistake that coyotes often make — it stopped for just a brief moment for one last look.

That wuz all it took. One bullet dropped it on the spot and its chicken-killing days are over. It’s now composting nicely for next year’s garden. But, I’ll bet it won’t be long until another coyote begins it predations. Plus, fall is the season for migrating hawks and they always extract a few chickens from the flock on their way to southern climes.

Now for the cute, or at least interesting, predator story. My good buddy, ol’ Rollin Birdz, is raising his tomatoes in plastic half-barrels this year. They’ve been easy to water and he’s gotten a nice tomato crop. One day last week, he wuz watering his tomatoes with a hose and when he squirted water at the base of one plant, he noticed something moving around. Upon closer inspection, he discovered a nest of three baby cottontail rabbits. The doe had hopped two-feet into the barrel to build her nest — I guess thinking it wuz a good safe place.

But, even though Rollin quit the watering before he drowned the little bunnies, alas, the next morning the tomato barrel proved to be a not-so-safe place for a rabbit nursery.

Rollin and his wife were having coffee on their enclosed porch the next morning when they spied a bobcat in their yard — hungrily eyeing the pens of chickens, quail and doves that Rollin raises. But, as they watched, the bobcat perked up its ears at a nearby tomato plant.

Carefully, the bobcat approached the tomato barrel and listened intently. Then it rose up on its hind legs and with a front paw silently extracted a baby bunny, grabbed it in its mouth and retreated to a safe place and had the first course of what eventually turned into a three-course bunny breakfast.

When I told Rollin that the bobcat wuz sure to return and try and kill some of his birds, he replied, “That’s a different situation all together. I’ve got too many rabbits around here and I wuz willing to share. But, I’m not willing to share any of my poultry. Next time, that bobcat will get the same treatment you gave your pesky coyote.”

I read the other day how many stores here in the U.S. and around the planet that Wally World owns and operates and how it squeezes profits with a lean and mean business plan that it sticks to over time. It’s astounding.

On one hand, I have a low regard for Wally World because I think it is slowly sapping the economic lifeblood from rural America. On the other hand, I still have to give credit to it’s business model as a method of getting high shareholder returns by squeezing the heck out of its suppliers, its supply lines, its inventory management, and employees.

That got me to thinking what would happen if we put Wally World in charge of the federal government. If Wally World stuck to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as consistently as it sticks to its business plan, we’d have no more $1,000 toilet seats or $500 hammers, no more cost overruns on federal projects, no more bureaucratic “uber-regulation,” and no more bloated, over-paid federal workforce. That might work out better for all us regular ol’ taxpaying shareholders.

I’m not much of a fan of the mainstream media these days. The way journalism is practiced at the national level is quite unlike what I learned in journalism classes in what seems like 100 years ago.

So, I ran across this old quote about the media to end my column this week. This is a quote from Joseph Sobran, who at the time was senior editor at National Review. He said, “The media are less like a neutral lens than like a spotlight that fixes our attention on chosen objects while casting others into total darkness. At times they are like a little boy with a magnifying glass. The passer-by may think he’s just looking at a bug on the sidewalk, when he’s actually frying it to death.”

Think about that quote when you watch the national news. In my opinion, the magnifying glass is trained on trivia, while the real news is under-reported, bias-reported, or ignored.

Have a good ’un. ❖