From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Strolls With Skittles

All In The Family... Life in Christian County, Kentucky...



Soybean fieldSoybeans awaiting harvest


After seven inches of rain in the Hopkinsville area, the last of the storm clouds floated eastward this afternoon. Isaac and I took a walk down our lane and enjoyed the fresh September air.

We hadn't gone far when we heard a piercing, plaintive meow. Skittles had decided to come along and she wanted us to wait for her. She was hurrying to catch up, but when she saw that we had stopped, her kitty-trot dropped to a slow saunter.

Isaac picked her up and carried her for a few yards, but she wanted none of that. She leaped free and began exploring the corn stubble in the neighbor's field. We walked on as she dawdled, and soon we heard her distressed voice complaining again that we had left her behind.

CornfieldOur neighbor's cornfield today
Again we stopped, and when she saw that we were waiting for her, she was pleased. She held her tail cheerfully straight-up as she strolled down the road toward us. Then she became interested in a clump of tall grass in the ditch.

And thus with many pauses, we went down the hill and back up again. Skittles loves to go for walks, but walks with her are predictable. She refuses to be carried, refuses to hurry, and resents being left behind.

One day last summer, she meandered down to the mailbox with me in her usual manner. Going back up the hill to our house, a Mennonite fellow came up behind us quickly and quietly on his bicycle. As it happened, Skittles was preoccupied with observing nature right then, and she didn't hear or see him until he was very near her.

Startled terribly, she ran up the road a short distance and turned around. To her dismay, the strange man on wheels was still right behind her, apparently determined to catch her and perhaps have a fast meal. Skittles decided to make a run for it.

Up the hill she went with the bicycle close behind her, and every time she paused to look back, she found him still at her heels. She had to run, and run she did, until finally she was safe at home and the bicycle whizzed past her and on down the road.

Who knows why that silly little cat thought she had to outrun the bicycle instead of just stepping aside and letting him pass, or maybe climbing a tree?! As I watched Skittles race toward home, I laughed until tears ran from my eyes. For once, she wasn't loitering!

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6 comments:

Mark Paris said...

That sounds kind of like my wife's morbidly overweight cat. We take the dog for a walk and the cat tags along behind. He will run full out for 20 or 30 feet, then drop to his stomach and pant for a while. Then he strolls, then he dashes, then he meanders. About halfway up the hill he meows and hides until we come back down. I do the sound effects for his panting and complaining. Even my wife finds it funny, to a certain extent.

Genevieve said...

Over the hot months of summer, I got out of the habit of walking my 2 miles daily, and believe me, coming up our hill now, I feel like dropping to my stomach and panting too. ;)

heelers said...

I savoured reading this today. Also loved the photo of the soya beans and the sky.
James

KennethF said...

Hey Gene?
That top photo... just knocked me right off seat! Whoa, what have I been missing.
Your public will grab that photo post card off the rack so fast that refill order will go out on the same day?
The double-frame, the bottom additional info., the color looks tweeked (to me?) It's an 11 on the second look!
Most sincerely, KennethF__
ps: I did not even read the post yet!!!

Genevieve said...

I am telling you the truth, Kenneth -- that is untweaked color. Bright sun from the west was shining through and on those heavy clouds, and the sky was just spectacular.

That photo is looking north, and that is the actual color of the soybean plants drying on the stem. I noticed another field of soybeans today that had the same almost pinkish-sepia color.

I also took some photos looking east, and the sky is so dark in them that it looks absolutely unnatural. I'll post one of them too.

I hope you're feeling a little better. It's great to see you on the blog!

Sarabeth said...

My mother would take one of our cats for a daily walk around our backyard years ago.

That was a nice story and some very lovely photos.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.