Goodbye Old Friend

Goodbye old friend. I know you're packing your bags. There has been such a closeness between us that when you cried I tasted the salt. Jes' yesterday I noticed a change in you. I shudda' seen that ramblin' fever coming on. There wuz a snake in the grass, too. I see sheddin his skin signs all over the place.

If you'll stay I'll rub your back and we'll tawk about when you'll be coming back again. I'll get slicked up and dressed up and we'll live life the fullest. Thet devil Fay messed with our state of mind when she stormed through here on her way to Indiana. Ike just blew his nose at us and kept goin'.

Fly away with me Summer. I got money for the juke box, a few rounds of moonshine and we can be drunk by 5:00 sumwhere. I hear Fall will be here tomorrow and she's bringing a whole passle of youngins with one on the way. I hear sheeze gunnin' for Ike. I'd admire the rich if they weren't so miserable.


On Writing

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."

Cyril Connolly(1903 - 1974)


A certain Southern man prefers to rise before dawn, take a warm bath and a long walk down the driveway for the morning paper on an empty stomach. Dawn is when men of reason (depends on your definition of ‘reason’) go to bed. Dawn is also when my husband's year-round yard work and drama at the rabbit saloon begins.

I like watching the breakfast crowd through the kitchen window. A big-hearted saloon bartender, (a rabbit) the villain (a cat) and drunken cowpokes (the squirrels).

When I first saw the rabbit three years ago he was belly deep in green clover. I figured his days were numbered. I did not know his gender but he looked like all other rabbits I'd ever seen. He just hung aound munching grass and other doodads.

One night my husband loaded a china plate with rabbit food he bought from a feed store and placed it near the clover patch. Within two days the rabbit overcame fear and ate his fill.

A village of birds of all colors and sizes swoop down on schedule to hop and peck around their feeder. The Senior Citizens Wal*Mart discount crowd, aka Dove, walk resolutely up the driveway across the front lawn and around the house. There they squat and wait patiently for their turn.

Our neighbor’s cat, a rags-to-riches, testosterone-laden bully slinks around behind shrubbery on his morning porta-potty journey. Hardly visible he inches into a crouch behind a pine tree to rabbit-feeder watch. Once in awhile he bounds toward the little group of gentle diners. His bullying startles the birds into flight but not the rabbit. He only pauses mid-nibble. The furball eventually skeedaddles home empty handed to lay upon a soft pillow; he is the neighbor’s porch thug. Meanwhile, the birds glide back to land softly back at the feeder.

Most rabbit and birdfolk, except hawks and blue-jays, are sober. Some are even polite. But this all changes once the squirrels ride into town.

Suddenly there are wranglers elbowing their way to the food bar for the cheek stuffing competition. They are the ones Willie Nelson said Mamas should not let their babies grow up to be. They have no table manners. They spit at each other: they rush about and kick tails. It’s either ‘Squirrel Hazing’ or ‘Squirrels Gone Wild’. The birds leave for the day when the ruckus starts.

When the interlopers leave all rabbitdom breathes a sigh of relief. My imaginary dog, Tattoo said all along that dadgum rabbit family would cause trouble.

This has become high drama like “Gunfight At The O.K. Corral” because our rabbit obviously loves the breakfast crowd. We told our neighbors. We told our adult children. We told our grandchildren. Even our yard service crew protects the little saloon and its patrons.

But it’s the cat that Homeland Security worries about.


My favorite coffee cup, a wicker chair and a quiet, sunny, cool morning on my west entrance porch: a train whistle - dew falling from the sweet gum trees....and there, in the sky was a H-U-G-E, black bird with a white head and throat and a HUMONGOUS wing spread. It appeared to me he/she was clutching something that trailed. Could this be an eagle??? Please don't tell me it was a vulture. I know it was an eagle - now.