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Ants

Ever wonder why Americans have become so combative? We used to argue, but as I recall, the arguments were largely persuasive, not combative.

The above observation was triggered in my mind when I received an e-mail from a kindly reader from the Show-Me State. Here’s the text of the e-mail. 

“If you can catch about 100 red fire ants that live in the southwestern desert and also about 100 of those large black carpenter ants that also live there, and then drop them all into the same jar, not much will happen. At least until the jar is shaken vigorously and all the ants dumped out on the ground. 



“That’s when the red ants will attack the black ants and the black ants will fight the red ants. And, each group will fight until each group is devastated. Where they were once commingling peacefully, now each group identifies the other as the mortal enemy.

“But, neither ant group ever realizes that the real enemy is whoever shook the jar in the first place.”



I have no idea if the science in that e-mail is true. But, the moral of the story sure is plausible. Too often, we argue combatively in response to an outside influence that we don’t even recognize.

However, when I googled the story, it has a varied history. The most probable source was Kurt Vonnegut’s 1963 novel “Cat’s Cradle.” So, perhaps there is some basis of truth in the story.

***

As readers know, I’m an “age retired” hunter. My heart and memory still takes me into the field to recall the thrill and excitement of staunch bird dogs and big bucks, but my legs and balance keep me rooted into a more sedentary mode. 

However, I still try to keep up with outdoors hunting news — and I still enjoy reading outdoors books and magazines. Which reminded me that I recently read that almost 37 million American hunters went deer hunting in the most recent deer season.

And, they harvested tens of thousands of deer, and I’m sure a few dummies accidentally killed and injured a few of themselves.

But, I want to point out that with 37-million hunters afield with high-powered rifles and shotguns, in all 50 states, not a single time did they commit a mass shooting. But, the news reports are filled daily with sad stories of dozens of  persons killing each other intentionally in the urban centers … usually over gang-related drug disputes or domestic disturbances that go off the deep end.

I hope the above information helps readers put the gun-control discussion into a better perspective about who is responsible for what. 

***

While I’m on the subject of outdoors activities, the outdoor activity I’m still able to enjoy is fishing. That’s why, my new fishing buddy, ol’ Kastin Flingitt, and I went fishing two days ago. The ice had melted off the ponds, the temperature was near 60, and the wind near 40. We went to a watershed lake and caught the number of fish we expected to — zero. Nada. Not even a bite. However, it was sure nice to get out of the house and breathe some air that ain’t been recirculated.

***

 Well, I’m still poor. I wuzn’t any luckier in the second Mega Millions jackpot drawing for $1.35 billion than I wuz in the first. So, all the good folks that I planned to be charitable to are still poor like me, too.

***

We got a nice rain this morning. We got seven-tenths of an inch and actually gave us some nice runoff into the pond. We need a lot more, but it was at least a start.

*** 

The saga of selling my old pickup truck to ol’ P. Lowe deRhode up in Ainsworth, Neb., just keeps going on — all thanks to my negligence. First, after the pickup wuz headed north, I remembered that I’d forgotten to take the garage door opener off the window visor. So, I e-mailed Lowe and he’s sending the opener back.

But, that’s not all — or the worst or dumbest. When I wuz fishing two days ago, I realized that last fall I’d stashed my fly fishing rod and reel behind the rear seat of my old pickup. Of course, I forgot to take it out. So, I e-mailed Lowe once again … and he confirmed the fly rod  and reel wuz in the truck. 

I told him to keep it for awhile and fish with it to pay the rental and storage fee. Ol’ Nevah and I might use retrieval of my fly rod as an excuse to make an early trip into the Nebraska Sand Hills. If not, Lowe can ship it to me later.

***

My two college alma maters, Bea Wilder U I & II, both won big rivalry games this week. My thanks go out to the basketball Gods.

***

Words of wisdom for the week: “A government that requires you to accurately account for the way you spend your money, but refuses to be accountable for the way it spends your money, should be highly suspect.”

Have a good ‘un.  

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Milo Yield

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