My children are convinced I’m an inveterate liar. Since all but the youngest have been disabused of their belief in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, passing off whoppers has become more difficult. The ten-year-old is the only one left that believes. At least, I think she still believes in them. If she doesn’t, that little girl put a lot of effort into maintaining the façade this past Christmas. And she tends to make herself scare when butcher rabbits.
As an adult, the idea of a fairy with a dentine fetish leaving cash in exchange for teeth is odd. What does she do with them? Are they the raw material for a finished product? Souvenir shark-tooth necklaces are something I can understand, but children’s teeth are entirely too small and not near scary enough.
An old, fat man in a red suit with the ability to conduct background checks on children makes me cringe both at the extent of Big Brother’s intrusion into our personal lives, but also, the cyber-security shortcomings of the system containing that information.
Old Saint Nick is either a government intelligence agency unto himself or the head Anonymous hacker.
Considering everyone at my place has seen the inside of a rabbit and none of them have asked where the eggs are produced, I guess it’s safe to conclude that wild rabbits pooping out chocolates is the first bit of childhood to go by the wayside.
For all the fantasy children believe in, the one bit of childhood reminiscing that always earns me a sideways glance is recounting the annual tradition at my high school of Donkey Basketball. They never believe me, and are particularly incredulous when told I hold what is believed to be the highest single-game score, at six points.
As you can imagine, they tended to be rather low-scoring affairs. Shooting baskets from donkey-back is one of those things you can’t really practice without a donkey. Free throws while perched atop a friend’s shoulders is a poor simulation.
Clearly, my children are too busy searching out Disney and pornography on the internet because a two-word Google search for “donkey basketball” will provide an overwhelming amount of evidence that it exists.
Oh, and by the way, the usual suspects of animal rights loonies are apoplectic that donkey basketball continues to be a tradition. Of course, these are the some sorts who think people who eat meat and wear leather are barbarians. I’ve dealt with a few of them before, and they believe my ilk, who hunt, trap, and raise our own protein for conversion into individual-sized portions, are absolute monsters.
Nowadays, it seems that protective equipment is required, but there wasn’t a helmet or elbow pad to be had when I was balanced along the back of an Equus asinus. Donkeys being donkeys, they don’t need the protective equipment. The real danger is to the players, but animal rights folks are possessed of such self-loathing for human beings that they place themselves at the end of the list of things that are important.
I hate to break it to the self-appointed animal lovers, but those of us who keep animals, whether for commercial sale, personal use, or somewhere in between, tend to take pretty good care of our animals, if for no better reason than to protect the investment of time, money, and resources. My wife spoils the shit out of all our animals. They probably eat better than the average homeless person, and I’m convinced, better than eighty percent of people in the non-Western world.
We can debate the morality of factory farms and point out individual cases of abuse or neglect, but ultimately, they are used as tactics to proselyte to the ignorant.
Selective editing and presentation of horrific, worst-case examples as the norm leave the gullible, inexperienced public-at-large, whose contact with the food they consume limited to a trip to Kroger’s, with the impression that all animals are sentient, self-aware creatures that could cure cancer, return us to the moon, and develop advanced civilizations, if only we gave them access to a free college education.
Speaking as someone who keeps chickens, I can tell you there is no intelligent life in the hen house, Captain. Luckily, they are delicious and crap out eggs, so I gladly put up with their stupidity.
Even though I’m the dealer of death on my farm, I don’t take joy in the activity. It’s just part of the process that I carry out as quickly and with as little fanfare as possible. If any deaths bother me, it’s the ones that were not scheduled.
We lost three rabbits recently due to (as near as we could tell) a respiratory infection. Two were put down out of kindness and the third died while we were hunting down antibiotics. The good news is that after a couple weeks of isolation in a warm location, the rest of the litter is doing fine.
Why my wife insists on using the tub in the master bathroom as a Homestead Intensive Care Unit is beyond me, but every animal that have gone it sick came out well, so I’m not going to complain. It’s going to be a real mess in there, if we ever get a cow.
Worse than losing an animal to disease or sickness, is when the life is lost through inexperience. I once accidentally killed my daughter’s favorite chicken, but there was no amount of doctoring that would have saved her.
The most recent loss was yesterday. I have my suspicions as to the how and why, and will deal harshly with the inattentive, lackadaisical young man responsible. Death by mishap is one thing. Death by stupidity is another.
We have a Head Hen, who is kind of a twat. John Wayne took one strutting lap around the chicken run, she met him going the other way, and they had about a ten-second discussion regarding who was in charge. Through the dust and feathers, I called the fight in his favor.
It kind of reminded me of the spanking scene in “McLintock.”
While driving to town with my wife and lamenting the loss of my favorite bird, we saw a banner hung between two poles on the lawn of our local high school that proclaimed, “Donkey Basketball Sign-Up Next Week.”
Go suck a lemon, PETA.
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