I am trying to think spring! When I arrived in Nebraska on Friday the 28th of January it was 40 degrees. Just heavenly, for someone who spends half of their life stuck living in the coldest zone in the entire continental United States! How quickly it can change and when we left Nebraska it was 10 degrees with wind chills in the negative -20’s on Sunday. I didn’t think it could get that cold there! Loading up the trailer to come home from Pheasant Fest was just short of someone shoving tooth picks under my fingernails. Then again, it was so cold I would not of even noticed because my fingers were frozen.
The warm weather is not cooperating but I am thinking spring anyway. The first thing that comes to mind is baby chicks. I usually have them ordered by now and they will be shipped by the end of this month or the first part of March. This year I am going to take a break from chicks and let the coop double as a chipmunk farm. Last year we had chipmunks in the green house, coop and the garage. They are destructive little buggers and dig holes under the floors and multiply like rabbits.
I have a rule for my boys (who love to hunt and fish). OK, that’s not true, I have lots of rules. But, this one is a very specific rule. It’s a very simple rule: If you kill it, you eat it. I hate to see waste of any kind and if this animal is going to give up its life for you- you better eat it. I came up with this rule to prevent my boys from finding a way to hunt or fish every legal living creature within a 10 mile radius of our home. Our youngest, who loves to fish, will be out there filling his big old plastic bucket with sunnies and crappies fishing off the dock. When the bucket is full, back into the lake they go. If there is a casualty (from too much handling), he will eat fish for lunch, breakfast and dinner. That is fish. Now, I wish the boys could do the same with some of the wild game they shoot but, that is not how it works. Thank goodness there are seasonal hunting laws and we get a variety wild game to eat at a consumable pace. But what about chipmunks?
In Elinore Pruitt Stewart’s book of letters she sent to a friend back in 1909. She ate things such as squirrels and rabbits, (so how bad could chipmunk taste?) as she traveled the Colorado landscape. She would shoot two rabbits in the morning, skin them, then she roasted one over an open camp fire with the other one, she greased it up, stuffed it in an old coffee can and would save it for lunch later that day. Yum? Not! But, if I had to, I would! So, when my son asked me what does chipmunk taste like? I was panic-stricken remembering my rule. First of all, how do you skin it…it’s so cute! Then, your left with this tiny carcass the size of a hamster with about an ounce of meat. I lifted my rule and let him reduce our chipmunk population and he buried them deep in the woods where the dogs can’t find them. He did skin one of them for practice and if we ever would find a need to eat these tiny, cute creatures that are the main feature in some of Walt Disney’s cartoons, we will know just what to do. But for now, I have no idea what chipmunk tastes like and if I ever do, trust me, I will let you all know.
- Mika Blissfully Terrorizes a Furry Critter (dougsharp.wordpress.com)