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 Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

Animal stories
and other true, but fowl tales

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew

Recently, my neighbor Burl Stubbs called offering me the deal of a lifetime. Seems he had a cat worth $500 that he would sell me for 25 cents. If that price was too high he was open to negotiation and would deliver the animal to my home, free.

In spite of the bargain, I turned down the offer as we live out in the boondocks with coyotes and bobcats visiting nightly awaiting the arrival of our next domestic pet.

Though ridiculous in content and certainly not the norm for judging horseflesh, my father and untold numbers of old timers used the following verse in buying or trading a horse: "One white foot - eye him, Two white feet - try him. Three white feet - buy him and four white feet and a white nose - feed him to the crows."

Unfortunately, during my lifetime of owning, riding and working many horses and observing many more, the old adage is true more times than not.

Grandma Trew once owned a "broody hen." In explanation to the unlearned, a broody hen is a fowl that exhibits a perpetual, super-motherly instinct, and is always wanting to sit on and hatch a setting of eggs. Once hatched, she raises, protects and nourishes her brood in high fashion, making her a valuable asset to the usual farm menagerie.

Of course, during the cold winter season, baby chicks are susceptible to the cold climate and not desired. However, the broody hen still desires to be a mother. To keep her satisfied, Grandma used "fooler-eggs" that were actually white glass door knobs. It seemed to make no difference to the motherly hen as she faithfully attended her instincts. I'm not sure, as it's been a long time since I watched, but I don't remember any of the door knobs hatching.

We have two huge wild turkey gobblers that arrive in our backyard each morning soon as daylight arrives to partake of the daily issue of grain. At times they bring as many as 20 assorted wild turkeys along. The two old gobblers arrive promptly at 6:30 each evening and peck on our picture window. Hey! It seems they like to watch Pat and Vanna on Wheel Of Fortune also!

Believe it or not, pigs are the smartest of all domestic animals. Check it out. I once had a large swine-feeding operation. One of my experiments included placing feeder pigs into a raised, slatted-floor, confinement pen with sheds on each end and a feeder and water trough in the middle.

After a few weeks, the animals became bored and began chewing on each others tails and ears. I tossed in old tires and inner-tubes. Again they tired of these toys. I removed the tires and tossed in plastic buckets. This worked for a time, but again they became bored.

My sons tossed in a bowling ball and the circus began. Within two days, and I swear this on the book, the pigs were setting up the plastic buckets like bowling pins and were conducting a daily bowling tournament. Don't tell me pigs are not smart!


Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew" September 29, 2009 Column
E-mail: trewblue@centramedia.net.

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