Baxter Black: When the cat hits the fan
The Discovery Channel and Animal Planet have exposed our suburban children to the dog-eat-dog reality of nature. I applaud their philosophy that it is important to show the unbreakable connection of life and death in Earth’s giant panorama.
It allows the biologically innocent a significantly deeper understanding of the world than their daily doses of virtual mass shootings, bombings, zappings and killings that video games, TV and movies provide.
Farm kids who are raised with domestic and wild animals make this connection earlier. I think it is more an acceptance of mortality than a numbing of the senses.
Cowdogs and barn cats on farms are often functional, as well as pets, but they are prey to the coyote, lion, hawk, wolf and man-made contraption.
A young couple, we’ll call them Lafe and Annika, left their dairy farm in Freeland, S.D., to do some shopping at America’s biggest mall in the Minneapolis area. They stopped to eat breakfast and pick up her folks. They got all loaded and departed. It was a cool, brisk clear-sky day.
Down the road a mile, Annika commented on a strong unpleasant odor.
Once on the freeway, the smell dissipated some. As they drew closer to their destination, the wisps of smell changed from a pungent acid bowel bouquet to the aroma of a burnt hair and Valvoline clambake!
In the mall parking lot, Lafe popped the hood. Suffice it to say, the scene was as gruesome as Freddie Kruger’s barbecue.
Grandma recognized the remnants of one of the barn cats. From the evidence on the fan, she remarked that “at least death was instantaneous. : 3,000 RPMs will do that.”
They put the scrapeable pieces in a shopping bag and Grandma started for the trash can. From out of nowhere, a shady lady in a long coat raced by Granny, grabbed the bag and ran inside.
Lafe was right behind the thief, and chased her to a restroom. He stood outside the door banging on it. The mall police arrived just as a spine-tingling scream erupted.
Within 10 minutes, the paramedics loaded the unconscious woman on a gurney.
“Fainted,” they said to the crowd, “Fell, maybe even a neck injury.”
They were halfway to the exit when a good Samaritan came running after her.
“Wait a minute!” she hollered, “You forgot her shopping bag!”
“Thanks,” said the EMT, as he set it down on top of the comatose robber. “Smells like she’s been to the pet store.”
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