Hunting Lists

#creeklife #wildlifelovers #wildlifeseekers

My childhood was spent in a small-town setting in the country. Our home was situated 15 feet from a year-round creek on a narrow logging road running through a canyon. The creek led to the best pond around.

On my walk home from the bus stop every day, I’d search for animals. Unwanted cats and dogs were often dropped off in our area, left to fend for themselves. 

Mama admonished me that I couldn’t bring home one more cat or dog. So, I brought home tadpoles, salamanders, and snakes. She screamed at the baby snakes wrapped around my fingers. She ordered me to put the salamanders back in the creek.

It surprised me, when Mama conceded on the tadpoles. She gave me a chipped and cracked ceramic bowl. I poured creek water into it every day for the wiggly things to swim and grow in, and for me to feed them—until they all lost their tails, grew legs, and then arms, and disappeared. I cried my heart out, and Mama made the rule—no more tadpoles. 

Determining cats were the only animals Mama allowed me to sometimes keep, I added them back onto my hunting list. I thought she’d feel lucky, really. 

My cousin hunted scorpions. Even I didn’t like those.

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