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Posts Tagged ‘Off the Pavement’

  1. Killing, Part III

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    June 5, 2011 by wcobserver

    Killing wild things that seemed to threaten something of value was standard routine in our early years on the hill: a possum in the chickens, a raccoon in the corn, and poisonous snakes anywhere. Copperheads were our particular concern with young children racing around in the woodland yard. Stealthy and well disguised, copperheads seemed to possess a particularly belligerent attitude so that once you crossed their path, they would just as likely come after you as go the other way. At least, that’s how it seemed to me. I was moving a brush pile once, grabbing limb after limb to throw onto the cart when I realized I was eye to eye with a fat old copperhead. It was coiled, watching me. Later we figured I would have been bit except for the fact that it had just shed its skin and its eyes were still filmed over. The husband dispatched that one. The neighbor in the cabin across the road told us he’d gone to crawl under his house to check on his water pipes and discovered a mass of copperheads. It was spring and they were probably breeding, and probably had spent the winter under there where the …

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  2. Killing, Part I

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    May 19, 2011 by wcobserver

    by Denele Pitts Campbell The game hens we ended up with were as bad if not worse than the Banties we already had, as far as going wherever they pleased and being completely beyond our control. In spite of extreme wing clipping that mostly contained the Bantams, the game hens couldn’t be kept in a pen. If I could have given them back to the people who gave them, I would have, but they had given up their game cock project. One of them remained a patriarch of the mountain, but his partner had moved on, so there was no going back. Over the next couple of years we had learned to spread chicken wire over the tomato crop to keep out these roaming pecking machines. It seemed a reasonable expectation that summer as the tomato crop ripened in the heat of August that we’d have a great crop. I sat out the big pots on the kitchen counter ready for making ketchup and went to the garden. But as I neared the plants where just yesterday beautiful red tomatoes had been hanging thick, I discovered with skyrocketing blood pressure that one or more ambitious game hens had managed to …

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  3. Bitten, Part 1

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    May 7, 2011 by wcobserver

    The growling woke me up, one of those deep in the throat “leave me alone or die” messages to the other cats. The pitch of her growl rose and fell for emphasis, vibrating through the top of her skull.

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  4. Bitten, Part 2

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    May 7, 2011 by wcobserver

    She was not a cat I particularly wanted to own. But I had a hole to fill with the death of a favored cat, and found myself at the animal shelter considering my options. The cages were full of cats.

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  5. Bitten, Part 3

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    May 6, 2011 by wcobserver

    After only once or twice, this became exactly what she screamed for. What could be better on a cold spring morning than a lovely episode of petting, lying next to surrogate mom warm under the covers? Her purring became a refined art, a whole body experience that flowed from her throat and vibrated off the walls of the room.

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