Friday, May 23, 2014

TALES FROM THE BAYOU...The Beastly Menagerie

There was a time in my youth when I thought I would grow up to become a veterinarian. Animals were my friends...the ones I could tell my secrets to because I knew I wouldn't be judged or laughed at. Now that I think about it, my mother displayed a lot of patience with her youngest child. She never knew what I might bring home next but I don't remember her ever telling me I COULDN'T have a certain animal around the house. Maybe it was because she grew up on a farm and remembered the connection between child and beast. Or maybe she thought she was helping to encourage my dreams of being a vet by allowing me to learn more about the animals I brought home....I don't know, but I had A LOT of different critters hanging out at my house...

Dogs...there was Jenny, Penny, and Chi Chi. I don't remember what type of dog Jenny was but she was the first four legged friend I remember. Chi Chi was a Chihuahua who loved to eat the acorns she would find around the neighborhood and Penny was part of my childhood for about 12 years until she decided to leave one day when she knew the end was in sight.

Pigeons...I told you all about Christy before but if you haven't heard her story you can read it here. When she returned with her extended family, I ended up with about 30 pigeons instead of one to take care of.

Bobwhite quail...For awhile I was raising a few quail. I think my father brought them home one day and soon I added them to my menagerie.

Rabbits..I have memories of my mother raising rabbits for food when I was very young but thankfully when I got older and started raising some of my own for pets, they never ended up in the stock pot! I used to bring one of the white rabbits and Christy in the house just to see them try to walk on the linoleum.

Box near the swamps like I did growing up, there were all kinds of critters in the area to turn into pets. We would go for a Sunday drive...not necessarily to commune with nature but to check fishing lines and other traps we set along the canals as a way to supplement the food we put on the table. Sometimes we would find a small turtle and I would bring it home.

Crawfish...crawfish? Yep. My father would bring home 300 pound sacks of live crawfish for a crawfish boil. Janet and I would select our favorites and have races or see how long they would hang with their claws from bits of string.

There was certainly no shortage of beasties to hang out with when I was growing up. I would shower them with love and attention and they shared with me a connection with Nature. These days I only have one critter around me...hearing all my secrets, sharing recliner space,  and keeping me company as I pay tribute to the beastly menagerie of my childhood.


  1. You sound like me as a child. I too rescued any animal I came across and I got so well known for it that people started to leave animals outside my house at night for us to find in the morning. Dogs, cats, rats, mice, gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs all sorts of animals shared our home as well as some wildlife too. I still have a fair few animals myself although no where near as many as I did as a child. Animals are wonderful and just like you they were my best friends and the only living things I truly felt I could trust. I really loved your post thank you for sharing. :)

    1. Hi Joss! If I had the time and the means I would live on a farm surrounded by animals but it wasn't in the cards...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Erik! I know there were more animals than the ones I listed but you get the picture...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  3. There was a Penny--chihuahua--then there was a black chihuahua named Jenny. Next came a beagle named Jackie. Then another Penny and Chi-Chi. Before you and I were born, there was a yellow lab named Penny.
    I had seahorses when I was 9. No one at school believed I had them. But seahorses aren't the kind of pets you can bring to show and tell. Donna, your cat Tommy looks disturbed in that picture. I know he loves me--he thumps me in the head repeatedly. That's love, right???

  4. Hi Janet! I didn't realize we had so many dogs names Penny...couldn't someone have been a bit more original? ;~)

    Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!