Last week, my sister, Sandra directed my attention to a feature story in the Greene County Daily World. She knew the article would be of interest to me and it was.
Kevin Blackford set a have-a-heart trap for the purpose of catching the culprit that was partaking of his cat's food. The trapper's plan was to out- smart the scavenger during the night. It worked! He caught a raccoon. What's unusual about that? The little rascal's coat was orange. The nocturnal critter's eyes appeared to be golden in color.
After, "show and tell" runs its gambit; Mr. Blackford plans to release the rare find back into natural habitat from which it came, the woods.
I know that domestic cats and those that live in the wild do not interbreed with raccoons, as a general rule. I am familiar with Maine coons, a large breed of both wild and domesticated cats of various descriptions and colors. Folklore tells us that they do. Sometimes female raccoons, known as "sows" are reddish in color, the tones may vary. I have only encountered those that are chiefly gray, have a black mask and a bushy ringed tail. They are abundant, beautiful and bold.
I think more goes on in the wild than we know. In my opinion, most animals figure that what goes on in the woods stays in the woods. Its only when some wild child slips out, gives the secrets away and exposes the truth before us; we are convinced that all is fair and "possible" in love and war as far as they are concerned.
I commend Kevin Blackford and his family for handling the little visitor in such a caring and humane way. I thank the Greene County Daily World for bringing us that interesting feature story.
Many of you who knew my late father, Hugh Lynch, also know that he could offer up a wealth of information, in reference to the husbandry of woodland critters as well as domestic ones. Dad was a learned student of nature. He was a rabbit breeder for 70 years. Some of the young rabbits from his meat pens were utilized as our family's meat source or sold as fryers to others. Older and larger sized stock was breeders or bakers, while others of selective- breeding with sought after characteristics and markings were offered up for show.
Dad was a pigeon fancier that boasted the ownership of many breeds, including giant homers, capable of living up to their names and fantails. Ducks, turkeys, geese, and every breed of chickens available to him were his to have, sell, barter with and enjoy.
Oh how I wish he could have seen that raccoon. He had an explanation for every odd ball delivered or hatched on our place or thereabouts in the wooded areas. His theories always made sense to us, even when he laughed while informing us.
Last week, a beagle became top dog at the 2008 show of Westminster Kennel Club. Who would have thought that? Ch "K-Run's Park Me In First," a. k.a. "Uno," a 15-in. black, white and tan male beagle strutted around that floor, in perfect form, with his head held high, as proud as a peacock. Much to the delight of his owners and other interested parties the beagle met the criteria and stole the hearts of the judges of the event.
When "Uno" came on the scene, the fancy breeds barked in dismay. He turned around, as if to say, "Eat your heart out, all of you, fancy pants!"
My dad would have loved that. Beagle was his breed of choice. Over the years his kennel comprised of many beagles, a breed best known for hunting rabbits. The excellent bloodline that he developed through selective breeding and field training was known far and wide. "Lynches Peerless Beagles" bore champions and field winners.
Once in a while a wild child of a proven and prized female would fall short of expectations. He or she would rather chase his or her tail and watch the domestic rabbits in the hutches than show my dad a good "run."
He'd blame it on the sire's side. I don't know what side of the raccoon's family determined its unusual look.
Next week I will be guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Clay County Historical Society.
This week I send my condolence to the children and grandchildren of Maxine (Hudson) Byers. She was a lovely lady that I knew and admired.
I can be reached at 446-4852 or drop me a line to 613 North Elm St., Brazil, IN, 47834 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.