Just Passin Through
Acrylic painting on wood by Buford P. Fuddwhacker

Just Passin Through

My cat, Tabasco don't let nothin git by him. Ever little bug that moves is gonna git batted all over the floor if Tabasco's awake. Of course, most of the time he's sawin logs in la-la land, so they's no tellin what kinda creatures gits away with walkin right past him.

I love prayin mantises... they's real interstin creatures. I had a pet mantis named Morgan once. Ole Morgan was one of the biggest mantises I'd ever seen, and she was tame as she could be. I kep her in a fish tank that was converted all homey-like fer insects, but lotsa the time I'd let her owt to walk arownd in the howse. She'd do some explorin and then come back to the fish tank fer food and water.

Now I live in the south, and we got these big ole roaches we call Palmetto Bugs here. Ever now and then, Raylene lets out a shriek, and that's how I know one's a walkin arownd in the trailer. Well, I ketched me one a them palmetto bugs and put it in Morgan's fish tank and what a show them two put on.

I ain't got a cruel bone in my body, and I don't go to dogfights or cockfights or even WWF wrestlin matches... but I gotta admit I kinda enjoyed the mantis-palmetto bug show. Maybe its cause them palmettos is aways givin me the creeps crawlin arownd like they do.

Well ole Morgan set up and took notice right away when that palmetto tumbled into her tank. Her head craned arownd so's she could see him real good. Mr. Palmetto was jest kinda slinkin arownd, not lookin too worried, but Morgan was doin some purty intense prayin. Mantises always pray before a meal. She was a wringin her hands... or claws or whutever they are. Her head was ratchetin arownd and she was a swayin back and forth, gittin ready for the big palmetto grab.

Then wham... she moved so fast neither me or Mr. Palmetto saw whut happened, but then there she was holdin a bug that was half as big as she was in a death-grip that only allowed leg wigglin.

And then, to my amazement, she started eatin that feller startin with the head. Little by little, she munched her way down that palmetto till there was nothin left but a couple of spindly legs in the bottom of the tank!

Well I jest had to tell Raylene abowt this amazin event, her bein so fond of palmetto bugs. "Why didn't yew come and git me, Buford?!" she snapped. "Yew shoulda know'd I'd wanna see that roach git et." So I had to go find another palmetto to appease Raylene. It took me all of five minits rootin arownd the kitchen to find another one, and I was ready to ring the bell fer round two.

But Morgan's stomach was lookin like a snake that swallowed a goat. I wasn't too sure she could do it... but if Cool Hand Luke could eat that 50th boilt egg, I figgered Morgan orta be able to handle a second palmetto. So I threw it in the tank, and durned if she didn't go through the same enthusiastic bug ketchin and bug eatin routine a second time.

Raylene got the biggest kick ouwta that spectacle. She cheered fer Morgan down to the last bug bite! After that, Raylene's palmetto shrieks turned into "Buford, come git this thing... it's dinnertime fer Morgan!"

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Fuddwhacker Consulting, a Division of Roger Reece Seminars
Contact us at: buford@fuddwhacker.com 770-642-9298

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