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The fourth Grand-brat just arrived. Having Grand-brats is great. I did receive a call last week from one of my favorite people who said I had to quit calling the Grand-brats the Grand-brats. I usually listen to this person’s advice. She is sensible and pragmatic and besides, what she advises is usually what I already know I should do. So I did what most people do when they receive good advice they don’t want to take, that is keep asking other people until one of them tells you what you want to hear and then listen to them.
I have watched people survey dozens or hundreds of people before one of them gives the answer they want. Then they can say, “I asked 42 people and I was advised to …” Personally, I would never stoop to such a cheap tactic; I only ask one other person. I just make certain I choose a person who I already know will give me the answer I want. In this case, I asked the Grand-brat. “All right Bratlet, if you have any objections to being called Grand-brat just say so.” He blew a few spit bubbles, burped and smiled. Then his mother (my second brat) asked, “What else would you call him? He comes from at least three generations of brats.”
On my side of the family they also come from three or four generations of fat babies. For generations Jones babies have looked like the Pillsbury Doughboy or the Michelin Tire Guy. Their legs look like a stack of saggy balloons. My brats had so many rolls of fat on their legs I drew faces on their knees with markers using the fat rolls for features.
My Grand-brats are lean. There is nothing wrong; they are just on the low side of the weight curve. My babies were on the high side and it takes some adjustment in attitude. My babies were fat and happy; these are lean and happy. My first instinct is to try to fatten them up. Management and I have been pushing for some “meat and taters” but the daughter says silly things like, “The American Association of Pediatrics recommends no solid food for six months.”
The most important thing is not his size or weight. When you look in his eyes it is obvious he is plotting and scheming against someone or something. What is happening inside the head is always more important than everything else.
I am often asked if the stories in Rural Legends are true. I always respond, “Everything in it is true but all of the truth is not always included.” Some things are better left out. Sometimes I am just checking to see if you have been paying attention.
I have been having a difficult time finding assistance for several of my projects. My bride Management says that is because many of my projects result in disillusionment of assistants who avoid me forever. She even quoted me (I hate it when she does that) from a previous RL and asked me where the assistants on that project were.
A few years ago I wrote: I finally finished a project that has been nagging me for several months. (My wife Management never nags; my projects often do.) This smallish dead bear has been hanging out on a limb over a creek. He was probably 20 feet from the roots, which would usually mean 20 feet from the ground. In any case, I have plans for that bear. One item I do not have in my inventory is a complete bear skeleton. After watching him for several weeks, I took a couple of assistants with the intention of bringing him home with me. Finding help in dragging a bear from a tree has been difficult. Most people wanted no part of the project for various reasons. As I have mentioned before, thirty years ago I could have recruited a dozen willing assistants. Now that my potential assistants are older and wiser they avoid interesting projects. On the other hand, a properly stocked cooler is an advantage in recruiting help and I no longer carry one.
I finally recruited several young and inexperienced assistants. This is one of the cases where youthful enthusiasm and lack of experience with painful consequences is a plus. We arrived at the creek and the bear was still there. I was afraid someone would beat me to him. I carefully made my way to the bear and lassoed his right rear foot. It took three of us to pull him off of the limb. As luck would have it, he fell into the creek and was 20 feet downstream by the time we pulled him out. It was sort of like jugging for catfish. It took us an hour or so to get him out of the creek and to bundle him up and get him in the van. When we got him home I put him in the dog pen for safekeeping. In a few months I will know if this was worthwhile. My assistants have already decided it was not.