I have never seen anything like it, and I’ve seen a lot of things.
I was sitting in my buggy in my driveway one morning last week when I noticed a commotion ‘out of the corner of my eye.’
I had to shake my head and wipe my peepers to make sure I wasn’t imagining things.
Running across the driveway just a few feet away was a medium-sized rat being ‘dive bombed’ by mockingbirds.
Both of my regular readers will recall a fairly recent column in which I described a rat which lived in my patio landscaping bushes. I said it was a large rat and I meant it. I figger it was about the size of Shaquille O’Neal’s basketball shoe. It growled like a tiger, and it bit a hole in the rat trap which I used to try to put an end to his existence.
This ‘new’ rat wasn’t that big. Maybe it just didn’t look that big because it was hunched over trying to protect itself from those persistent mockingbirds. There were about three or four of the birds dive-bombing the rat as it scuttled along. It crossed the driveway and hurried along the landscape ties toward the front of my house. The birds stayed in pursuit as the rat disappeared around the corner of the landscaping.
Our John Balch is pretty knowledgeable about birds — he can tell a hummingbird from a buzzard (Let me explain to our new readers who have transferred to this newspaper from ‘The Nashville News’ — this is what we call humor).
Anyway, John says that the birds might have been trying to protect a fledgling that had fallen out of its nest. Or, maybe the rat had a hankering for an egg sandwich. For some reason that rat had riled the mockingbirds and they were on a tear.
Since that sighting I have put out a rat trap primed with a irresistable mixture of bran flakes and peanut butter but have not been able to snag the aforementioned medium-sized rat.
However, something has been able to remove the irresistable glob from the trap.
BIG STEPS. If you are a Nashville or Rural Nashville Water customer and you turn on a faucet in your house and clear, drinkable water comes out every time, you can thank a guy named Larry Stone.
Larry grew up north of town on Mt. Pleasant Drive, and he became a civil engineer.
Early in his career he was named Engineer of the Year in Texas. That was before he came across the state line and started working on municipal projects.
Larry died this past weekend, a victim of Alzheimer’s. And what a shame!
Jimmy Dale, now Nashville’s financial officer, served on the mayor’s water search committee back in those days. This week he recalled how, in order to impress city fathers in his old hometown, Larry sketched an idea for what is now Lake Louis Graves — the city’s second water reservoir — for free. It is such a blessing to have plenty of water, and it hasn’t always been that way. This town doesn’t have water worries anymore because of that lake and because of the improvements Larry made to the intake on the Little Missouri River.
After that, he then became the go-to guy for city projects. All done well and efficiently. Everything worked the way he said it would. His son, Jeremy, is also an engineer. He took over for Larry and continues to serve us well.
ON THE SUBJECT OF J-Turns. Saturday morning as I was leaving the Leader office, I narrowly avoided backing into a car as it made a J-Turn brazenly in front of our town’s would-be J-Turn Deputy.
I stopped my buggy directly behind the woman’s car and waited for her to exit. When she did, I said in my most polite and friendly way:
“It is against the law to make crossover turns like that in the Central Business District of this town.”
She retorted: “I know.”
So, she wasn’t worried because she knew that there were no police around and if there were, they wouldn’t write a J-Ticket anyway.
NICE VISIT. Just had a nice visit with the twins — Rise and Shine.
I KNOW I mentioned this before, but out of 113 million-plus Americans, are Hillary and Donald the best candidates the political parties can come up with?
THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: He who starts many things finishes nothing.
HE SAID: “I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one’s wife happy. First, let her think she’s having her own way. And second, let her have it.” Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th president of the United States
SHE SAID: “I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.” Mae West, actress
SWEET DREAMS, Baby