Saturday, March 5, 2011

No English Fox Hunt ...


As usual, Grandpa DooLittle and Uncle Virgil Hunnucutt were seated on discarded soapboxes at opposing positions around a good-sized pickle hogshead which sat on the front porch at the General Store, where upon they were deeply entangled in a heated yet seemingly eonion game of checkers ... Ansel Poteet Senior stood adjacent to the auld participants, along with the ever-stoic Wooden Indian,  glancing occasionally with mild interest at the protracted match before them ... now as I've often touched on in the past, the immutable Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt was rumoured to be well above one hundred years of age and a near genius, dazzlingly skilled in any field with an astronomically immense IQ ... accordingly, due to his advanced age, the prodigious centenarian was all but totally deaf and nearly blind--in spite of his store-bought ear horns and Coke-bottle eye spectacles, however Virgil Hunnicutt was still the sharpest knife to be found in any drawer ... off in the distance one could hear the soothing albeit frenetic baying of hounds ... "Whooooa!" .. "Whooooa!!" ... "Whoooooooooa!!!" .. "Whoa!" ... hunting dogs most likely, growing manifestly louder and nearer by the minute ... the old gentlemen mused amongst themselves for a bit before thus determining that it certainly could not be a coon hunt this early in the day, nor a bear hunt this time of year, neither yet a rabbit nor a squirrel hunt, for either or usually entailed far less distance as to length of chase ... no this held the tune and hackles of a classic English fox hunt--almost.

Just then a beauteous and regal red fox emerged from an immense corn field--its bushy tail held high like a glorious and noble oriflamme waving proudly in the air--and went rapidly bounding by, at times bouncing and pouncing from side to side in a zig-zaggy motion, then in an instant darting and sprinting straight as an arrow released from the faithful string of William Tell's true and accurate bow ... as the cunning Vulpes vulpes made its way, it proceeded to leap over logs, crawl under logs ... encircle particular saplings and small evergreen bushes multiple times respectively ... dash through a brier thicket and wade about tall bulrushes in the marsh ... trot up the side of a pile of stones then roll down the other side ... dart through a culvert then traverse a couple of flowing irrigation ditches ... at last apparently concluding its evasive maneuvers as it disappeared behind the store building ... but not quite yet ... the guileful critter reappeared from the other side, ran up the steps onto the porch and boldly perched on its haunches ... panting exhaustively ... right there betwixt Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt's greasy brogans just as his ragtag pursuers came into sight with Lester DooLittle and Ol' Blue in the lead ...

This was in no way a genuine English fox hunt, for there were no pedigreed foxhounds at hand--merely rangy, obnoxious and uncouth coondogs--among other lesser breeds ... neither was any individual in this hunting party attired in proper foxhunting habiliment, which was comprised of both Lester and his cousin Luther DooLittle, the infamous artificer Lamar Beefeater and the oft-avoided Ansel Poteet Junior--rather, they were all clad in well-worn and threadbare flannels, along with ragged denim britches ... nary a hunter rode upon the back of a well-behaved steed befitting of the sport--just listless and broke-down work mules ... needless to say--the fox was at great advantage! ... and if this confederate group could not possibly be more undignified or pathetic, every now and again Lester DooLittle would give forth a tawdry blast "Bluurrrpppp!" from a cheap tin bugle previously acquired in a swap for half a poke of "baccy" ... thus was the scene as those hounds snuffed the ground in a near-futile attempt at unraveling the tangled and twisted scent by mimicking every elusive move made by the now resting fugitive sitting motionless at the feet of Virgil Hunnicutt ... it took the better part of the afternoon for that pack of tiring coondogs to retrace the exact path of their majestic fellow canine before finally heading around the side of the store and returning from the other to the front ... then all activity abruptly halted and time stood still but for a fleeting moment ... then fire and brimstone was at once unleashed as that mob of hounds laid eyes on the subject of all their toilsome efforts crouching there next to Virgil Hunnicutt ... it was a horrendous assault as those angry dogs converged and fell upon that fox, along with Virgil ... alas fur flew ... slobbers were slung ... fragments of clothing were strewn ... checkers and checkerboard went airborne ... shrieks and cries for help were heard before Lester DooLittle and his collaborators were able to rescue the piteous Virgil Hunnicutt from the iron jaws of the relentless, mauling curs before they mercilessly tore the man to shreds ... fortunately Virgil was relatively uninjured considering the viciousness of the onslaught, yet suffered from numerous and painful bites and countless stinging abrasions ... it could have been much worse ... somehow that sly fox had managed to escape virtually unscathed and almost unnoticed from the midst of the mayhem ... and now a superbly enraged Uncle Virgil was about to give all present an overflowing earful as he proclaimed "fellers, that was the absolute worst attack on one of God's most grand and gracious creatures that I have ever seen ... an honourable mammal of the highest level of knowledge, intelligence and wisdom ... an adroit and ingenious beast of the loftiest order ... a far superior being than that of its motley peers ... a productive yet unassuming social being ... a master of its domain shamefully mishandled and abused ... a ah ahh uh" ... Grandpa DooLittle could stand to hear no more and thus interrupted "whoa, whoa, hold on there fer a minute Hunnicutt ... that ol' fox weren't hurt none ... he got away without barely as much as a brush of a tooth and sauntered directly back into that there corn field from whence he came" ... Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt stared disdainfully at Grandpa DooLittle for a bit until the silence became unnerving before audaciously replying "well DooLittle ... I wasn't speaking of that fox ... I was referring to myself!"


--sja
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9 comments:

texwisgirl said...

Ahh yes. Of course!

Just this... Alice said...

Thanks for the memories evoked of my dad telling me of the stories of his father and grandfather and their coon hunting escapades. Your stories are almost like sitting on the front porch in the rocking chair listening to my dad's.

BOB said...

Still trying to comment ... fourth try should be more than a charm!

Well, "Just This - Alice" ... to me, what you say is a lot like "daydreaming" which is SJA at his hest!

Once, at Eagle Trace, a fox came up one the green and stole my ball and took it into the woods ... he was fearless ... scared me!

Danged if he didn't greet me at the next tee!

I thought he might be rabid and reported him to the club pro.

"Oh, that's Charlie ... he's harmless!"

Here goes nothing!

PJ said...

No lack of modesty there, huh? LOL!

God Bless,
PJ

PJ said...

Hey Guy! I'm being a pest tonight! Are you hiding a "blog button" somewhere? I was gonna grab it and put it on my blog, but couldn't find it.

God Bless,
PJ

sja said...

PJ, you're never a pest ... and sorry, but no blog button, most folks just add my link to their site ...

BOB said...

PJ's always a delight ... never a pest! There's a difference!

Hey Donkey, it's Spring Training time ... since we can't make it down to Florida for the doins, here's a little something from way out in left field ...

What's the difference between a good and a bad teacher?

What say ye?

Says me ... "Not much ... "

Both do exactly the same thing!



What is it that they do? They are the real power brokers of society, both influence hundreds, sometimes thousands, of young minds.

That's what they do!

Is not our fate in their hands ... the good, the bad, and the ugly teachers?

Both the good and the bad ones shape, if not control, the destinies of our life's blood.

What's the difference? ... not much, I say!

The only difference I can remember from when I was in school is that while Mama was always active in the PTA ... Daddy was not ... he had no interest in ugly teachers but his interest piqued whenever I had a young and pretty one.

Do we not need to take control and expunge the mediocre, unqualified and misguided ... well, at least remove their fangs?

I may be coming from out in left field ... but don't let that stop you from stepping up to the plate and hitting the pitch out of the park!

PJ said...

Hey jBob! Thank you for the compliment and I enjoyed your explanation about the teachers SO TRUE, and I've had both! LOL! Luckily the GOOD ONE'S teachings over-rode (is that a word?) the bad ones. Usually, I've found that bad habits are picked up much quicker and easier, but I'm thankful that the good ones stuck with me longer.

God Bless
PJ

BOB said...

PJ, flattery will get you everywhere!

Of course, truth is truth too!

Uncle Virgil is the word expert but "overrode" is the way I spell it.

You're the exception to the rule, methinks ... I find it much harder to rid myself of bad habits than good ones ... it's frustrating ... one requires no effort at all while the other seems impossible, no matter how hard I try.

It's strange what you remember of your teachers ... the one I remember least yet perhaps best was a man who taught political science.

I don't even remember his name, only that he piqued our interest in political science ... he motivated us ... everyone looked forward to his class and wanted to know more, none more than me!

We had him but for a week ... replaced, for health reasons I think ... his replacement was inept ... literally went by the book, reading the course material the night before and then rereading it to us in class.

I had no further interest in political science the flame had been quenched!