Mountain Empire Magazine
Mountain Empire Issue 1
country tales of snakes, rats, dogs, and cats

Just for Animal Lovers

One time or another, I'm sure your household, like mine, has resembled the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, and Wild Animal Park, all stuffed between the pages of Alice in Wonderland.

Richie, the first heir to my fortune, is one of those weird scientific types, who over the years has collected, examined and studied just about every critter that crawls, flies, walks, or slithers. At the present time, our house guest, among others, include contrictors, or more familiar boa constrictor, AKA Crunch. He lives in a huge aquarium in Richie's bedroom, and dines on rats from an inexhaustible supply on the patio.

Brian, the second heir to my fortune, is the more practible type, who also has pets he keeps in the garage. They are the two wheeled species that eat gas and oil. Occasionally they try to eat Brian.

When Richie first brought Crunch home, he was about 12 inches long. To Cricket, our miniature female dachshund, Crunch looked like an overgrown worm. True to form, Cricket had to established the pecking order in her realm, as she does with every new arrival, by letting Crunch know who was boss. As usual, she scratched at the viewing glass, yapping and bad mouthing him at every opportunity. Poor Crunch would hide in a corner and shed skin twice as often as he should. This harassment continued unabated until Cricket realized that Crunch was growing... FAST. Today Crunch outweighs her three to one, and is six feet long! You might say that the worm had turned. She now lives in mortal terror of him.

Several times Crunch has broken out of the slam, and Cricket has heard him say, "Oh, Cricket, I've come to play with you. Where are you?" She could see the evil glint in his eye, accompanied by the exacted flickering of this tongue in anticipation of settling old accounts with malice aforethought.

Cricket is no dummy. She knew old Crunch was trying to sell her a "wolf ticket". At the first chance, she knew, he would violate her Civil Rights by swallowing the evidence like a junky caught with a balloon. Before he got too far, she would snitch him off by sounding the "general snake escape alarm: You can only inmagine how so much can come out of the mouth of a little dachshund when she is panic stricken. Then she runs and hides until the National Guard comes to her rescue.

snake and dog face off
Another character in this tail is a critter by the name of Fang.

One day, a female friend of Richie's wanted to see the rats. The instant he placed Fang in her hand, she screamed. They parted company, both terrified of the other. Fang hit the floor on the dead run, slipping under the refrigerator, with Spookie, the Siamese, in hot pursuit. Old cross-eye was in her usual Code 5 position when she spotted a hot lunch in the form of Fang. Too late, she hit the pads, skidded and ricochetted off the refer door, just as the tip of Fang's tail disapppeared.

A few weeks passed before we noticed that the food dish, next to the refer, was alway empty. Cricket, Spookie, and her new kitten, Freckles, were loosing weight and more hungry than usual.

Suspecting a rat, we investigated developing evidence that pointed the paw of suspicion at Fang. Skillful interviewing also revealed that Cricket had been mugged twice at the food dish. Freckles was the victim of an attempt kidnapping, and Spookie was receiving threats on her life!

Armed with arrest and search warrants, the boys pulled the refrigerator away from the wall, after the proper knock and notice. Fang had barricaded himself, snarling and snapping, defying properly constituted authority and letting everyone know he would not be taken alive.

In the face of such belligerence, the boys retreated to the command post to evaluate alternative solutions. Fang feasting on expensive, high-protein, vitamin enriched dog and cat food had grown enormous with protruding front teeth that resembled twin sabers.

Crunch was no good to us, having overdosed at Thanksgiving on minced rat pie and still suffering from indigestion. Too confining for a swat team. Tear gas out. Fang would just play a game of jacks with traps by springing them and watching them jump into the air.

My wife, Geri, a nurse, came up with a brilliant solution. She pulverized a capsule of mysterious ingredients, mixing it with a large portion of peanut butter and leaving it where fang often excerised each night.

The next morning, there he was, flat on his back, softly humming a few bars from "I'm just a stranger in paradise".

Fang plea bargained to a reduced charge and was sentenced to a hundred and eighty days in the slammer and five years formal probation. Guess who was appointed his P.O.

You guessed it, Crunch.

About the author:

Rich Showalter of Julian and San Diego, CA.

Custom Search

Link to us!

To trade links with Mountain Empire Magazine use the following text and link:

Mountain Empire Country Living Magazine
An online magazine for rural life and country living.