Monday, September 1, 2014

Editor's Corner

September 2014

“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.”... Alfred Lord Tennyson

Did the summer heat wear everyone out or have the calendars stopped showing the days? Something dire it seems has struck some of our authors. Seriously, one hopes they are well and simply having a lovely vacation somewhere, but they are missed. Labor Day weekend sent a lot of people onto the highways and others stocked up to do the end of summer outdoor cooking. Of course in Texas, any time of the year or at least 90 percent of the year, the weather is fine for all that grilling.

Mattie Lennon, (Irish Eyes) gives a tribute to one of Ireland's recently deceased poets, Paddy Finnegan, and has written what he calls a ballad to the subject of his August column: Susan Jane Dunne, Miss Kilkenny. Thomas F. O'Neill (Introspective) who is teaching in Suzhou, China, wrote a poem in April 2004, explaining his motivation in life. We are sharing it from his bio which can be read by clicking his byline.

John I. Blair's column "Always Looking - People Who Made A Difference XXI brings an interesting look at Horace Greeley, journalist and editor, and publisher of (among others) the New York Tribune. Blair's two poetry selections are "What A Child Believes" and "I Thought You Had Forgot Me."

Bruce Clifford sent us "Where to Begin" and "Time to Run." Only one poem for September from Bud Lemire, "$$$Everyone's Out For Money$$$."

Your editor found the inspiration for "My Heart Never Wore Spurs." Melinda (Carroll) Cohenour, sister of your editor, shares her memoriam to a beloved family member, Dicy Malinda Westover Sullivan, in the article for this month. As family genealogist, she is thorough and always researching.

Mark Crocker aka Rabbo adds Chapter 6 "Mouse - The Other White Meat," to Lexi, his serialized tale written from Lexi's perspective.

Thank you again, Mike Craner! Your expertise is vital to this dear-to-my-heart ezine.

Look for the October issue of Pencil Stubs Online. Compositions are accepted throughout the period from publication through September 28th.

Click on Mary E. Adair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

Always Looking – People Who Made a Difference XXI


Meet Horace Greeley

Horace Greeley (1811-1872), journalist, reformer, and politician, is best known as the innovative publisher and editor of the New York Tribune. Born in New Hampshire, Horace was largely self-educated. In 1831 he went to New York City to seek his fortune as an editor. Three years later he was able to launch a literary and news weekly, the New Yorker, and, in 1840, a Whig campaign weekly, the Log Cabin.

Soon after coming to New York City, he had joined the Universalist church on Orchard Street. In 1841 Greeley founded the New York Tribune. By 1861 circulation had risen to more than 250,000, and the Tribune became the most influential newspaper in the country. 
1961 Stamp issued to honor Greely 100 years later.

To news reports, Greeley added editorials and commentary on social and political issues, hiring top newspaper men and a few literary stars like Margaret Fuller, George Ripley, and Richard Hildreth.
Margaret Fuller wrote reviews and social commentary, later acting as a European correspondent. Greeley taught her to write rapidly and tersely; she lectured him on woman's rights. He was at first skeptical. "So long as she shall consider it dangerous or unbecoming to walk half a mile alone by night—I cannot see how the 'Woman's Rights' theory is ever to be anything more than a logically defensible abstraction."

Eventually his opinion shifted. In 1850 he gingerly endorsed the First National Woman's Rights Convention. "However unwise or mistaken the demand, it is but the assertion of a natural right, and as such must be conceded."

In the course of his career Greeley came to espouse a wide variety of liberal causes, including abolishing slavery and capital punishment, improving working conditions, and free-soil homesteading. An admirer later wrote, "Greeley labored with the world to better it, to give men moderate wages and wholesome food, and to teach women to earn their living."

Greeley was famous for promoting western development and emigration. "If any young man is about to commence in the world," he wrote, "with little in his circumstances to prepossess him in favor of one section above another, we say to him . . . go to the West; there your capacities are sure to be appreciated and your industry and energy rewarded."

Greeley helped organize the Republican Party in 1856 and campaigned for Lincoln in 1860. Greeley's political and social views reflected his strongly held religious views, aiming at creating a society in which men and women would be inclined toward actions that "shall ultimately result in universal holiness and consequent happiness."

A pacifist, in 1861 Greeley nevertheless came to believe the South had to be resisted with force. He applied public pressure on Lincoln to immediately emancipate slaves. In an 1862 editorial addressed to the President, "The Prayer of Twenty Millions," he wrote that he was "sorely disappointed and deeply pained by the policy you seem to be pursuing with regard to the slaves of rebels."

Lincoln famously answered, "If I could save the Union without freeing any slaves, I would do it—if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it—and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that."

When Lincoln published the Emancipation Proclamation, Greeley rejoiced: "it is the beginning of the new life of the nation."

During 1863’s draft riots, a mob nearly succeeded in storming the Tribune building. When weapons were brought in to stave off attack, Greeley exclaimed, "Take 'em away! I don't want to kill anybody!"

Statute to honor Greely.

Discouraged by the progress of the war and conflicted about use of deadly force, Greeley made several attempts during 1863-64 to bring about peace, each resulting in personal embarrassment. Throughout the war Greeley alternately castigated and lauded Lincoln.

"I do not suppose I have any right to complain," Lincoln remarked. "Uncle Horace agrees with me pretty often after all; I reckon he is with us at least four days out of seven."

Since his death in 1872, Greeley has been remembered as his country's greatest newspaper editor, an outstanding popular educator, and a notable champion of the downtrodden and dispossessed.
    Adapted from an article by Charles A. Howe
Researched and compiled by John I. Blair

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online. Pictured below: Horace Greely plaque for establishing New York Tribune.


Irish Eyes

Finnegan’s Wake, With An Apostrophy.

Poet Paddy Finnegan passed away, unexpectedly, on 16th July.

Shortly after his death poet and writer Stephen James Smith wrote, “Paddy was a wonderful man who inspired me with his poetry and acted as a great supporter of other young poets too. . . as he speaks to me beyond the grave his verse is still unnerving me with his gravely pitted voice holding my ears. . . .Paddy you’ll always live on in my memory, you’ll always be one of the first people who made poetry sing to me, you’ll always be a writers’ writer, a warrior with words. The Fionn mac Cumhaill of verse.“
Paddy was born “between two years” either in the dying moments of 1942 or just after midnight on New-year’s day 1942 in Dereen, Kilkerrin, County Galway. Like everywhere else in rural Ireland clocks weren’t all that accurate at the time.

While a pupil at the National School in Kilkerrin a teacher convinced his father, Michael, that Paddy had academic potential. He got a Scholarship to St Jarleths College, Tuam, in 1956 and continued his formal education in UCD.

Paddy had a fantastic knowledge of the English language, was fluent in all dialects of Gailge and had a good grasp of Greek and Latin. His versatility was increased in the year he spent in Wolverhampton as one of “the men who built Britain”. He became an expert on how to fry steak on the head of a shovel.

He joined the Irish Civil Service in 1962 but office work wasn’t for Paddy. Apart from being on a higher mental plane than most of his colleagues he was an open-air man. During his stint there I’m sure Sigersun Clifford’s line often went around in his head, “They chained my bones to an office stool and my soul to a clock’s cold hands.“ He worked as a bus conductor with CIE from 1971 to 1980.

When I got a job as a bus-conductor in 1974 I was sent to Donnybrook garage. I didn’t ask who was the most intelligent person in the garage but if I had the reply would have been concise, “Paddy Finnegan.” As a conductor he could reply to any criticism from an irate passenger; in several languages if necessary. During this period Paddy and a few of his fellow intellectual would assemble in a city centre flat which was known a Dail Oiche. It was a later edition of “The catacombs” as described by Anthony Cronin in Dead as Doornails. With such a collection of intelligentsia you can imagine (or can you?) the topics under discussion. He lived for many years in Lower Beechwood Avenue, Ranelagh. If ever a house deserved a Blue Plaque it's Paddy’s former residence.

He brought out a collection of his poetry, sadly now out of print, titled Dactyl Distillations. I know dear erudite reader that you know the meaning of dactyl but I had to look it up. It is, “a foot of poetic meter in quantitave verse.”

He was inspired by everyday events. His "Post from Parnassus" was inspired by the annual Saint Patrick’s Day commemoration of Patrick Kavanagh on the banks of the Grand Canal.

Post From Parnassus
(after Patrick Kavanagh)
by Paddy Finnegan

 Here by my seat the old ghosts meet.
Here, the place where the old menagerie
Relentlessly soldiers on
Remembering the old green dragon, me,
On the feast of the Apostle of Ireland.

Ye greeny, greying catechumens
Will cease to stage this ceremony
Only on the command of Sergeant Death.
Then break not the heart of poet past
Nor that of preening poet present:
But know, ye prodigies of prosody
That multitudes in times to be
Will listen to my lays
And look askance
While cods forever fake
Their own importance.
More recently he recorded a, limited edition, CD, Fion Ceol agus Filioct. I hope that somebody will now bring out an “unlimited” edition. Since 1995 he was a familiar sight selling the Big Issue outside Trinity College and more recently at Bewleys on Grafton Street.

Paddy always had a story, like the day he was chatting to his fellow poet Professor Brendan Kennelly at the gate of Trinity as dark clouds hung overhead . “ . . . I asked the Ballylongford wizard for a meteorological prognostication. He replied in the immortal words: ‘ There’’ be no rain; it’ll be as dhry, as dhry as a witches tit.’ He wasn’t gone fifteen minutes when amazingly the cloud dispersed and as our old friend Pythagoras used to say: ‘ Phoebus played a blinder for the rest of the day.”

That was Paddy.

I asked his brother James if there were poets in their ancestry. He said no, that their father was a farmer but, in the words of Seamus Heaney, “By God, the old man could handle a spade.”
The soil of Kilkerrin will lie lightly on Paddy; wasn’t it dropped gently on his coffin. Such a scene was described by his friend Dermot Healy who pre-deceased him by a couple of weeks, “ . . . shovels work like oars, rowing the dead man from this world.”
Portrait of Paddy Finnegan

* * * * *

Last month I told you about “The Pecker’s daughter”, well, here’s a ballad I’ve written about her;

The Pecker’s Daughter

Air: Sullivan’s John
By Mattie Lennon

Oh, Sarah Jane Dunne, ‘though she hadn’t won, on the nineteenth day of July.
This talented lass, from the Traveller class, was neither aloof or shy.
“Tinkers daughter”, you’d hear, amid debt-ridden fear in that place that’s called Dublin-four
She never felt shame but carried the name, as the Pecker had done before.

To the final she went, then felt quite content when her rival Miss Cork took the crown
All set to advance, with a positive stance Sarah didn’t see cause for a frown.
If one doesn’t stop, till they get to the top there’s always a price to be paid
Like Kipling she knows, no matter how the wind blows, there’s no failure just triumph delayed.

From the time she was small it was clear to us all, she was on the road to fame.
At a match or a fair in Cork, Kerry or Clare to busk with her father she came.
Unlike Sullivan’s John, from the road she’s gone but the globe she plans to roam.
She’ll model and teach and great heights she’ll reach; the world is now her home.

She has got this far and her rising star will continue to ascend.
New points she has scored and with critics ignored begrudgery she’ll transcend
And you can be sure that her Godfather, Moore, will pen her a song bye and bye
As the Pecker sings proud, on his Heavenly cloud, a new Tinker’s Lullaby.
©2014 Mattie Lennon

Click on Mattie Lennon for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.



The poem shown here
is by Thomas F. O'Neill,
and is included in his bio
which can be seen by
clicking his byline.


 The Altruistic Life

When you Love, you are loved.
When you care for others, you are cared for.
When you give of yourself abundantly, you gain an abundance in life.
When you are respectful towards others, you gain others respect.
When you are joyful you find joy in life and you bring joy to others.
When you enjoy the company of others, others will enjoy your company.
When you are forgiving, others will forgive your faults.
When you are nonjudgmental, others do not cast judgment upon you.
When you accept others into your life, others will accept you into their lives and you will never find yourself alone in the world.
Do not impose your will or beliefs upon others. Simply live your life as you would want others to live their life in doing so others will emulate your way of life.
Teach others not only with words but by revealing the essence of love that is within you in doing so others will reveal themselves to you.
Do not approach others in need with religious platitudes but rather be the presence of God to others.
Recognize the spirit of life that is within you and around you as being the spirit of love and your existence and the existence of all things as the subtle altruistic outreach of gods loving presence.
Keep in mind that the love that is within you cannot be contained in a church, creeds, or dogmas, because that Love sustains you and all things it is the Love of God.
God and life are synonymous we cannot separate the life of god from the life that is within us they are one and the same. This is not a religion or religious beliefs but simply a spiritual way of living and experiencing my life with others.
©April 2004 Thomas F. O'Neill

I wrote “The Altruistic Life” in April of 2004 and it is pretty much a brief overview of my beliefs.
Imagine if we could master these principals how much better the world in which we live would be.
    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    U.S. voice mail: (800) 272-6464
    China Cell: 011-86-15114565945
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill
    Other articles, short stories, and commentaries by Thomas F. O'Neill can be found on his award winning blog, Link:

    Click on Thomas F. O'Neill for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Dicy Malinda Westover Sullivan

My Memories of Cousin Dicy Malinda Westover (Sullivan)

In the summer of 1959, my thirteenth year, my parents and Mom's mother, Carrie Bullard Joslin, delivered me to El Paso to spend a couple of weeks with "Aunt Dicy". She was absolutely delightful, a sprite with the energy of ten men! She was very active with her Catholic charities and we went daily to handle her "chores" which consisted of delivering meals, clothing and medical needs to the less fortunate, visiting various children's homes, homes for the aged, houses which were provided by various Catholic parish members to furnish free lodging for families who were in El Paso to be near a relative whose misfortune, old age or disease had landed them in the hospital there.

Dicy was fully energetic and had an agenda for every day I spent in her company. One day we took the bus to the large park downtown. The highlight of that trip for me was our visit to the pool of live alligators. You can only imagine my shock when my ornery little sprite Dicy suggested I stick my head over the rim of the round, solid white, plastered-cinder block enclosure and one of the devilish creatures ignited the rush of all the leathery inhabitants toward me with a sound approximating that of an air gun combined with the muted roar of a pack of lions! One look at those huge, gaping jaws and red eyes and I was both terrified and enthralled. It was fascinating to watch those creatures whose appearance has hardly changed since their most ancient ancestor first left their marshy pond. Dicy shared my enthusiasm and we loitered for some time.

Aunt Dicy told me of her trip on the railroad train when she was just a young girl, traveling to California with the intention of beginning her career as a teacher. A freak flood washed out the tracks and stranded the train on the edge of El Paso. Dicy (I've mentioned "sprite" but you should know she may not have reached 5' in height and weighed nowhere near 100 pounds soaking wet as a grown woman.) with her "travelling clothes including the required lacy blouse, bustle, bonnet, laced and buttoned ladies boots and gloves was hard-pressed to depart the train safely. She watched with growing anxiety as the flood water swirled with angry red muddy vigor, when suddenly appeared a very large, blue-eyed, red-headed Irishman who reached up easily, placed his hands about her tiny waist (completely encircling it) and lifted her to the ground. Timothy Sullivan "Tim" to one and all, quickly made up his mind that Dicy Malinda was not leaving El Paso if he had anything to do with it. He proposed, she accepted and the rest was history.

Dicy maintained the massive bedroom furniture that had been hand-carved in Mexico to accommodate Timothy Sullivan's size: the four-poster bed required a set of steps to climb upon the mattress, while the posts (each with a circumference of near twelve inches) reached 7' toward the ceiling. Similarly, the gentleman's chest was carved to match and made of massive blocks of wood as well. The mirrored dresser dwarfed Dicy and the wardrobe looked like a small house. These pieces were kept gleaming such that one could almost use the wooden surfaces as mirrors.

I began that summer's vacation with the typical teenager's trepidation: fear of absolute boredom, anxiety about staying with an elderly relative never before seen, and reluctance to leave my friends and first-time boyfriend (I even had his copper penny on a chain, worn with matching baby blue long-sleeved soft sweaters to match that we wore over white collared shirts - so almost 1960's chic!) but I shall never regret one moment spent in the company of that delightful lady! She introduced me to El Paso (unabashedly one of the dustiest and least attractive large towns in Texas if not the United States) with a grace and hospitality that has left its joyful memories etched upon both my heart and my memories.

It was with a deep and painful sense of loss when I first began my genealogical research into the life of this wonderfully fun, vivacious, kind, loving, generous woman only to discover her life was lost to massive cardiac arrest not six months following my summer visit in 1959. Long may her memories live!

(A memoriam to Dicy Malinda Westover Sullivan by her 1st Cousin, twice removed, Melinda Carroll Cohenour. Shared 25 Aug, 2014)

From Ancestry:

Dicy Malinda Westover

When Dicy Malinda Westover was born on January 20, 1877, in Pineville, Missouri, her father, Benjamin, was 34 and her mother, Elizabeth, was 33. She married Timothy "Tim" C. Sullivan in 1900 in El Paso, Texas. They had one child during their marriage. She died on December 20, 1959, in El Paso, Texas, at the age of 82.

How We're Related: Dicy Malinda Westover (1877 - 1959) was my 1st cousin twice (2x) removed. The daughter of Benjamin Westover and wife, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Hopper (1843 - 1937) who was the elder sister to Malinda Ellen Hopper (1845-1937), both Lizzie and Malinda were daughters of John Hopper (1823-1895) and wife Mary Johnson Young. Malinda Ellen Hopper and husband William Henry Bullard were the parents of Carrie Edyth Bullard (1890-1974) who married James Arthur "Artie" Joslin (1874-1956) who were the parents of Lena May Joslin who married John Edward Carroll. They are my parents.

Click on Melinda Cohenour for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

What A Child Believes

What a child believes
So long as it is healing
Is true within that time.

Yesterday I sat beside
My granddaughter
Painting pots.

We were in a happy spot,
All laughing children
And smiling parents

Doing what we did,
Occupying hours
With color and imagination.

She turned to me
And softly said
“Grandma’s watching us.”

She’d loved her Grandma
As only children love,
Purely, without complication.

I hugged her, told her “yes”
And felt no need to weep
When again she said
“Grandma’s watching us.”

©2014 John I. Blair

Click on John I. Blair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

$$$ Everyone's Out For Money $$$

Everyone's out for money
And it really isn't funny
It can be a pain
This world's gone insane

 Soon nothing will be free
The cost is rising quickly
Online there's even a price
Truly the fee isn't very nice

Telemarketers call for cash
I tell them they can kiss my ash
It really isn't funny at all
When I answer their call

I have enough money just to make a living
I can't make ends meet if I am giving
So I keep what little I have for me
Because nothing in this world is free

They say you have to pay the Ferryman to get to the other side
But I offered him peanuts, well at least I tried
I tell you it really isn't funny
Because everyone's out for money
©Aug 29, 2014 Bud Lemire
Author's Notes:
The only thing that is free is love unconditionally when it is true love. The cost of living has gone up. No free things, as everything costs something. Companies keep calling you up to offer you a better deal. Looking for a better deal. It's all about working harder to have more money, or taking on two jobs. I have learned in the last few years that money isn't everything. I live daily on as little as I make on my job. I have learned to flow with life and enjoy the little things in life. I don't ask for much, but I give a lot. My idea of a rewarding day is not money, but helping people and being out with nature and sharing a message or lesson with those willing to learn from what I already know.
Money will always be needed for living, but helping others is a giving.
I am blessed to share and give, as I love and live.

Click on Bud Lemire for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

I Thought You Had Forgot Me

I thought you had forgot me

The pain your loss brought
Does not wane,
Has not grown;

I’ve found that I can bear it.

Days I pace this house
We made our own,
Our dream and then our fate;

It holds no sad spots.

Nights I fill a hollow
Formed by you
When our bed became your jail;

It fits me well.

This afternoon
I watched the girls
Our son begot

Splash around a pool.

There you were,
Alive in them;
And I was not alone.

©2014 John I. Blair

Click on John I. Blair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

My Heart Never Wore Spurs

My Heart never wore spurs,
It never needed to.
It galloped along effortlessly
Enjoying the view.

Cantering along the road,
Sharing with Hearts on the way,
Blue skies or showers
My Heart relished the day.

Other Hearts ran past me,
Racing toward their goal,
Beckoning mine to join them
But it bore my lump of coal.

My Heart was often joyful,
Sometimes drowned in tears,
But stayed in its own stable
Though months turned into years.

When my Heart yoked with another,
It wasn't all work or trouble,
Together our Hearts it seemed
Could trot over any rubble.

Our Hearts while prancing on our trails
Felt the sun would always shine,
But Hearts must finish their own path,
Though ours had seemed to entwine.

So now my Heart's out to Pasture,
Its gait slowed to a walk,
And these days only memories
Come by to share a talk.

©August 28, 2014 Mary E. Adair

Click on Mary E. Adair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Time To Run

Updates and rebates
Scrambling for the second gate
Pressure points and the guardian rose
Time to run I suppose

Challenges from way beyond
Sit within this exploding star
Meeting places and empty holes
Time to run I suppose

Time to run
Faster than I can
It’s time to run
Not knowing who I am
Not knowing the master plan

Instant phrases and memory lines
The edge of the border and the not well defined
Pressure points and the thumb up your nose
Time to run I suppose

Updates and rebates
Scrambling for the second race
Beveled mountains full of shapes and snow
Time to run I suppose

©8/1/14 Bruce Clifford

Click on  Bruce Clifford  for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Where to Begin

Haven’t you heard this world has gone mad
Haven’t you felt depressed and so sad
Haven't you screamed for a new way of life
Haven’t you swallowed all of your pride

I can’t fight with you
I can’t play nice with you
I don’t know where to begin

I challenge the first degree
I follow the make believe
I don’t know if we will win
Where to begin

Haven’t you heard the bottom fell out
Haven’t you screamed in a light hearted shout
Haven’t you wandered into sacred fields
Haven’t you borrowed as much as you steal

I can’t get this right with you
I can’t relate with you
I don’t know where to begin

I challenge the first degree
I follow the make believe
I don’t know if we will win
Where to begin

Haven’t you heard the world has gone mad

©8/29/14 Bruce Clifford

Click on Bruce Clifford  for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Lexi - Chapter 6

Mouse - The Other White Meat.

If you don’t know who I am my name is “she who must be obeyed” or if you are human I am called rather laughingly “Lexi May” or just “Lexi”. But if you are human and reading this just call me by my real name which is “she who must be obeyed”.

      My human asked me the other day why I am so picky and finicky about my food. The answer is very simple. But I will get to that in a while.

      The food that my human gets me I like. It's dry food that crunches nicely and makes my teeth nice and clean and I don’t get bad breath.

      Ok so I get morning cat breath when I wake up from a nice long nap. But it’s not as bad as human morning breath.

      For me food is to be eaten so that my tummy is full and I am healthy. It should help my bones to be strong and my fur to shine. It should also help my energy and enable me to bounce and jump high.

      Now I understand that there is other food out there that will fill the tummy but from what I have been told it’s not that tasty. I like the taste of my food that my human gets for me.

      I’ve also been told and from what I have read the food that you humans make for us has things like beef, lamb, fish, white fish and chicken.

      While these taste nice and give off plenty of energy it's not what we would normally eat if we were free and wild.

      As the topic at the start of this monologue states “Mouse -the other white meat” I would like to point out a few things that you humans seem to fail to grasp in your kindness to feed us what you think we want.

      While beef, lamb fish, white fish and chicken is all very nice and I do appreciate the kindness you show me and the other chosen ones. I do have an issue with your choice of meats.

      Let’s go back to what we would eat in the wild.

      Free and wild chosen ones eat a wide variety of food. Not just human food that they find but what we would normally eat if there where no humans around.

      You call the wild and free chosen ones feral which is not a term I like. The only difference between the chosen ones that live with humans and the chosen ones that live free and wild is that they follow the old ways and therefore suffer from all that we chosen ones would normally suffer from without human assistance.

      I honestly don’t know if they are happier free and wild or not. They seem to speak an older language than we chosen ones that live with you humans. True we can still understand each other but it is like humans of the same country but different parts.

      There are other differences between us chosen ones that might seem small and unimportant to you humans but they do show how different wild and free chosen ones are from us chosen ones that live with humans.

      Wild and free chosen ones will eat almost anything they can catch and kill. I don’t know if I could eat a cricket or any other the other bugs that they catch and eat.

      Another difference is that they don’t live as long as we chosen ones that live with humans. But they seem to live more full lives than we chosen ones that live with humans.

      Their lives are filled with excitement and adventure and wild things that I have only dreamed off.

      They have huge hunting areas that cover all kinds of things. Such things as place with wide open ground that is home to all kinds of things such as different kinds of birds, wild rabbits and lots of bugs that I hear are good to eat.

      I’ve also heard that there are bugs that are bad to eat that will make you sick or even kill you.

      Some of those bugs will make you sick or kill you is one that I come across once in awhile when the air gets cold outside and my human turns on the warm air.

      It’s an 8 legged bug.

      Now some of those 8 legged bugs are ok to eat but they don’t taste very good. Or so I have been told. Others are just plain nasty as they have fangs that bite and hurt and make you sick while others will kill you.

      One thing that my human and I agree on is that the 8 legged bugs are just bad news and should be killed on sight.

      I learnt the hard way to leave them alone and now I leave it up to my human to kill them. The one time I did try to kill one of the 8 legged bugs it bit my paw and it hurt. I could not put weight on my paw for like a week and my human was so kind and gentle with me. The only thing he did while I was sick that I did not like was he took me to a man in a white coat that stuck a long thin needle in my shoulder and gave my human white little things that my human forced me to take two times a day for fourteen days. I hated those things and my human was not gentle giving them to me.

      But since then I leave the 8 legged bugs alone or I get my human and he kills them for me and then throws them outside so that the birds can eat them.

      Getting back to the wild and free chosen ones and how they live in the wild.

      I guess they lean quickly that 8 legged bugs are bad news. But they don’t have humans to come along and kill those nasty horrible 8 legged bugs.

      But they do have other things to hunt such as the long eared hopping animal that I hear is really good eating. Then there are mice that really good eating and let's not forget birds.

      I’ve been told that some of the birds get really big and can carry off us chosen ones. I don’t know if I like that.

      There are other dangers to the wild and free chosen ones that I don’t have to deal with and that’s not just the 8 legged bugs.

      There are wild huge dogs that hunt in packs that will chase catch, kill and eat chosen ones. Or as I mentioned huge birds that can hunt kill and eat wild chosen ones.

      Then there is the human transport that wild chosen ones have to watch out for.

      So maybe I should stop dreaming about being wild and free chosen one and look at the facts.

      Wild and free chosen ones have a wider more healthy diet than we chosen ones that live with humans. But on the other hand their lives are shorter because they don’t have humans to help them plus there are things out there that will poison kill and eat the wild and free chosen ones.

      True they do live more in their short lives than we chosen ones that live with humans but we are warm and dry all the time. We don’t go days without food and water and what’s more we have humans to pamper us and brush us and make a fuss of us.

      The whole point of being a chosen one is to be cared for and treated as we should be. After all are we not chosen ones? Are we not the most important and most intelligent life form on this planet?

      So living free and wild is not as good as I think it is. After all if I was wild and free I would not be treated as is my right as one of the chosen ones. And that I would not enjoy at all.

      But the variety of food that the free and wild chosen ones have is something that does bother me.

      Don’t get me wrong I do know how to get by without my human. I do know how to hunt and track smaller animal and I do know how to kill them. And if something did happen to my human I would be able to get by and survive.

      And that’s the issue. I mean surviving. I don’t mean living as living is having someone to be with and to take care of me and in return I give company and friendship and love. No surviving is just getting by and by “just getting by” I mean finding food and water and a safe place to sleep.

      And that’s not living that’s just surviving and who wants to live like that?

      But if push comes to shove or the worse happens I can survive.

      I have talked about in the past my hunting skills and that my human helps me with them by playing games with the red dot thing and the rabbit skin. Hey wait a second that is what those long eared hopper things are called? They are rabbits?

      Now where was I?

      Oh yes just getting by or surviving.

      I do have the skills to survive but seeing as I have a human that I chose I can live the life that we chosen ones are accustom to.

      After all I have a warm place to live and sleep. I have fresh food and water and so many different comfortable places to nap and sun myself that I am blessed.

      The free and wild chosen ones may think they have the better life but I know that I have everything I want. Well almost.

      I would like to spend more time outside. But I understand why my human won’t let me out unless he is with me or if I have on a leash and harness.

      Yes the leash and harness. I will go into that in a few as it is a point on contention that I have with my human.

      Getting back to food for a moment and the free and wild chosen ones and what some kind hearted and good humans do.

      My human told me once that where he use to work there was a family of free and wild chosen ones who were being helped to survive by kind hearted humans.

      While helping free and wild chosen ones is a good thing it can also be bad. The reason is that the free and wild chosen ones live in the now. And if they have plenty of food than means they can have young and having lots of young is a bad thing as they don’t move off when there is plenty of food at hand. And this starts a whole lot of issues.

      One issue is that the more you feed the free and wild chosen ones the more they stay put and have more free and wild chosen ones. Which makes the area overpopulated and that becomes unhealthy as it starts inbreeding and then it’s a downhill spiral of unhealthy young free and wild chosen ones.

      I’m not saying don’t help. What I am saying is only give enough food and water to stop them from starving. That way the free and wild chosen ones won’t starve and over populate the area they are in. As over population is a bad thing.

      Normally free and wild chosen ones will pick an area that has a ready food supply so that they won’t go hungry. But it’s a two way path.

      If there is plenty of food they breed and have young ones. But then as the young ones grow they have to either move away or starve. Now add in kindness of you humans and the young no longer have to move away and they then have young of their own and suddenly you have a problem.

      But when the free and wild first move into an area they have lots of different kinds of food to eat.

      Bugs, rats, long eared hopping rabbits, mice and all kinds and manners of birds and other things to eat which as I have said is very healthy.

      I have often thought about being free and wild but as you have just read I have come to the conclusion that I am happy with my human and I don’t want to be a free and wild chosen one.

      But if it happened that I become one what would I look for as a place to live?

      Well I would look for someplace near humans. I would look for someplace that is warm and dry. I would look for some place that was safe and away from other dangers or somewhere that I could get to quickly to be safe. I would look for someplace where there was plenty of food and water. But I would be sad as I would miss my human.

      I would be so sad that I did not have my human. I think I would cry and howl in my sadness. But I do have my human and I do have a place that meets all my needs.

      Well almost all my needs.

      Now the leash and harness issue.

      As I have said in the past my human lets me out but only on a leash and harness. And to be honest and frank I don’t like it.

      But he has his reasons and lately I have given them a lot of thought.

      It seems to me that my human puts me on a leash and harness for my own safety. Not that I would run off or that I would get into trouble. It’s more that he does that to protect me.

      The leash is very long and I can go far from the door. I can go as far as the bushes and the grass area. But I can’t get to the high wooden thing that surrounds my humans place nor can I get to the tree. But I am ok with as far as I can go.

      Now why is my human protecting me?

      I think it’s because he knows what I could get up to and nothing to do with me running off. And I would never run off.

      But I do like to hunt and chase birds and I can see that if I was on the hunt I might go too far away and get lost. Or I would give chase to a bird or a mouse and who knows where I would end up. I could end up stuck up the tree or under the living place or even next door where other chosen ones live that I am not on good terms with.

      I once snuck out and went around to the place where my human puts his transport and it was scary there. Then I could not get back and I got really scared.

      Then the human that lives with the chosen ones I don’t get on with walked by and he saw me shaking and scared by the opening my human goes in and out through. So he walked up to the opening. And pressed the thing that makes the loud dinging sound and then he walked off.

      I might not like the chosen ones who live in the human habitation next to us but their human is very nice and kind and the few times he has been over to talk with my human he is always very nice to me.

      Anyway as I said he pushed the thing that makes the dinging sound and walked away. A few moments later my human opened up the opening thing and looked around.

      I walked in with my tail held high and said “About time too” and walked by.

      My human looked at me and then at the opening and then at the thing that makes the dinging sound and shook his head in surprise.

      I think my human thinks I pressed the dinging thing and I plan to keep letting him think that.

      Now let’s get back to the very start of this monologue and let’s look at the topic I picked.

      I do like my dry food that crunches when I eat it and it does fill my stomach and once in a while my human will give me what he calls wet food and I like the kind that he now gets for me. But I don’t like it every day. Once in a while is fine by me as well it tastes ok but after a while I can taste the thing it comes in and I don’t like that taste.

      When he got me wet food for the first time it was like a paste and I did not like that at all. Ok so the juices were good but the paste itself was nasty and I did not eat it.

       Next he got me a wet food that was like lumps and again the juices were good but I did not like the lumps.

      Then he got me wet food that was in thin strips with lots of juices and I liked that. But as I said it gets the taste of the thing it comes in after a while and I don’t like that.

      Lastly my human got me wet food that comes in a thing that does not taste too bad. But well, the food is good but it’s missing the taste I want.

      All the wet food I have mentioned comes in flavors that either I don’t like or just don’t taste right.

      As I have said there is Lamb, chicken, beef, fish and white fish and parts of those animals such as liver, heart and giblets. I am still not sure what giblets are or what animal they come from.

      Chicken tastes like something but it also taste like nothing. I don’t understand that. I mean what is this chicken anyway. What kind of animal is it? I should ask my human what this chicken is.

      Now speaking as one of the chosen ones I have a proposal to put to you.

      I have mentioned the flavors that you make for us in wet food and dry food. But it’s not what we really want.

      The free and wild chosen ones have it right you know and they eat the right things in the wild.

      So what I want to start seeing and be able to eat is the other white meat. “Mouse”. And not just mouse. I want rabbit, vole, squirrel, bugs, pigeon, finch, chipmunk, lizard and ground squirrel.
©Mark Crocker

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