Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
This past weekend my husband and I went out to lunch with some friends of ours who we hadn’t seen in a few months. One thing led to another, and eventually we got around to comparing pet stories. My husband was once again gloating about how, when we are asleep, the cats only harass me-never him-when one of our friends began to share her experience of feline harassment.
“I was sleeping over on a couch at a friend’s house one night, when all of a sudden her cat jumped up on my stomach and knocked the breath out of me. This cat must weigh at least 28 pounds-it’s belly drags on the floor. And also, it only has three legs-the fourth one is just a nub. So it jumps on you, and then falls over to one side because it’s missing a leg.”
We thought that was really funny. But not as funny as the fact that, “She also has a three-legged dog. They call it ‘Tripod’.”
Further investigation revealed that our friend had had even more intriguing animal adventures in her small, rural, Southern town. She told us that there is a main road that is paved, but that the rest of the roads are basically gravel and dirt.
“So one day I was driving down this road, and I turned the corner, and then I had to slam on my brakes because there was a bull in the middle of the road.”
“What?!” We were suitably stunned. And, truth be told, a tiny bit jealous. The most exotic animal we’ve ever seen around here was a fox.
“Yeah, and where I’m from it’s considered common courtesy when animals get loose to herd them back to their pens.”
“You had to herd a bull?!” Now we were concerned, as if the story were happening now, and it was up to us to save her from such a dangerous fate.
“Oh no, I didn’t get out of my car. But I have herded cows and sheep before.”
“Like, ‘hi, how’re you doing, and, oh, by the way, here’s your livestock’?”
“Your town is AWESOME!” I exclaimed.
“Yeah,” she said. “I even had a tame deer once.”
“Oh, really-cool?!” Now we really were jealous.
“Yeah. It laid down on the grass next to me, and was letting me pet it and feed it. And then, all of a sudden, my mom shot it in the butt.”
“Yeah, it was just like a painting. The weather was gorgeous, the sun was shining down on the two of us, and we were enjoying our special bond. Then all of a sudden I heard my mom behind me, cocking a rifle, and then she just shot the deer right in the ass.”
“Why would she do something like that?!”
“I know! I was so upset, because of course the deer jumped up and ran away after that. So I burst into tears and as I was running by my mom to go and hide in the bathroom, I asked her why she did that.”
“And what did she say?”
“Because,” she said, in the voice of someone explaining the totally obvious, “it ate all my cucumbers!”
(Note to self: Never come between a middle-aged Southern woman and her produce.)