8

Love is a Fresh Fish

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(Photos – and anything that resembles actual bear behavior – come from Wayne at Welcome to Tofino Photography.

Mama Bear had decided that after three years it was time for her two sons, Ben and Eddie, to move out on their own.

Ben: Mama, why are you kicking us out?

Mama: It’s time for both to find girls and settle down. I want grand-cubs before I’m too old to play with them.

(Ben walks away)

Eddie: What’s going on?

Ben: Mama want us to go and have cubs.

(Eddie blushes under his fur.)

Eddie: How are we going to do that?

Ben: With girls, stupid

Eddie: I know that. But how do I find a girl?

Ben: What do you mean? I’ve seen the way you look at Mary Sue. Just talk to her.

Eddie: I can’t do that.

Ben: Why not?

Eddie: I wouldn’t know what to say.

Ben: You could try “Hello”.

(Just then Mary Sue walked by with her mother. She looked at Eddie and smiled.)

Ben: See? She likes you.

Eddie: Isn’t she beautiful? That velvety nose, thick fur, white teeth.

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(He pauses.)

Ben: Just go talk to her.

(Eddie finally gets up the nerve to run after her when he sees Joe, Casanova of beardom, start talking to her.)

Eddie: I can’t. Joe’s talking to her and all the girls love Joe.

(All of a sudden, they hear a loud “whap”.)

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Ben (snickering): Well, Mary Sue sure doesn’t love him. Quit being stupid; You won’t know anything unless you talk to her.

(They’re walking along the riverbank and decide they might as well have lunch. After enjoying a nice fresh salmon, they continue on their way. They see two cubs fighting over a dead salmon.)

Ben: I know! You could give her a present.

Eddie: I’m not going to give her a dead fish.

Eddie: I don’t know. What if she doesn’t like it?

Ben: It’s food Eddie. She’s a bear. Bears love food.

Eddie: That’s true. Let me think about it.

(Ben shakes his head. Eddie thinks about how much he likes Mary Sue.)

Eddie: OK. I’ll do it.

(Eddie walks over close to Mary Sue. The water is falling over the rocks and it looks like a good place for fish. He gets into the water, slipping a little on the mossy rock. He easily catches a big fish and takes it out of the water, walking to Mary Sue. He drops it at her feet.)

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Mary Sue: Eddie, is that for me?

Eddie (embarrassed): I hope you like fish.

Mary Sue: I love it!

(She gobbles it down and smiles at him.)

Mary Sue: That was very sweet of you Eddie.

Eddie: Thank you.

(He hesitates a little.)

Eddie: Would you like to go to the picnic with me tomorrow?

Mary Sue: I’d love too.

(The next morning, Eddie meets Mary Sue on the beach. They walk together to the clearing in the woods where some other bears have already gathered. They snack on berries and talk. Eddie seems very nervous. Finally, he speaks.)

Eddie: Mary Sue, I’d like to ask you a question.

Mary Sue: You look so serious Eddie. What’s the question?

Eddie: Would you dance with me? (Rough human translation: Will you marry me?)

Mary Sue: Ohhh. I’d love to.

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(They get up and do their mating dance. When they are done, they walk off into the woods. Eddie is taking her to the den he has spent all night preparing in case she said yes. Back at the picnic Mama Bear is thrilled. She goes looking for Ben who has slipped away into the woods.)

Be sure to check out Tofino Photography. It has a lot more than bears. But we like the bears.

5

Lions and Tigers and Bears (and Kittens)

Image result for lions and tigers and bears

 

The lionesses planned a big night out

That the male lions weren’t happy about.

The cubs whined and cried

Til Mom’s nerves were fried

And so she went out and let them all pout.

Image result for lionesses

 

Tony and Tom Tiger ran away

Into the forest so they could play.

Their mother called out,

And they had no doubt

They needed to get home without delay.

Image result for tiger cubs

 

Polar, Kodiak, Panda, Brown, Black

Which bear thinks I’d be a tasty snack?

“Ugh,” says Brown Bear.

What have you there?

Tuna? Now that will cause a snack attack!

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She was a small, adorable ball of fur,

Who had the sweetest, most endearing purr.

But at time for bed,

She laid on my head.

And until breakfast time, she wouldn’t stir.

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Why are kittens made so darn incredibly cute?

Soft fur, little meows, lots of cuddles to boot.

With energy to spare,

And the down time quite rare,

You forgive the disgusting dead mouse in your boot.

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(pictures from Google images)

7

Cheeseland News Classified Ads

 

Image result for help wanted sign clipart   Help Wanted

Dam Builders. We are looking for some strong beavers who don’t mind working hard for the community. We are building dens for beavers left homeless by the recent storms. Must have good dental hygiene. We provide temporary housing. Potential long-term position for the right candidate.

Guard for senior mouse village. Must be alert and flexible in ability to respond to a variety of dangers. Experience preferred. No carnivores please.

Locksmith. Looking for someone who can make our house child-proof. Particularly young, blonde females. Something easy to use with paws. Must not be afraid of the woods or large bears.

 

Image result for for sale sign clipart  For Sale

Cat door. We have finally trained the humans to let us in and out on demand. Some damage from dog trying to squeeze through. Newer model. Both entrance and exit functional.

Empty nest. Perfect for those couples who were surprised to find out that they need a permanent abode for the season. Secluded location, safe distance from the ground. Furnished with rabbit fur and dryer fluff. No leaks. Sheltered from the rain.

Running wheel. Husband wanted to run to keep in shape. Ran after girl next door instead. Barely used. You won’t find a better deal.

Sheep’s clothing. Full set, size XXL. Slight smell of wolf should disappear with airing.

 

Image result for heart clipart  Personals

Image result for calico tomcat  Handsome Calico Tom looking for beautiful young kitties seeking fun and adventure. Weight proportional to bone structure. Not looking for an exclusive relationship.

Image result for brown bear  Lonely Male Brown Bear looking for ongoing relationship with a kindred spirit. Someone who likes long walks in the woods and long naps together. Ideally you will also love fishing and tree climbing. Not interested in an aggressive partner. No taste for humans.

Image result for gray squirrel  Female Gray Squirrel looking for foraging partner. Someone to gather nuts with and play chase around the woods. Must have good memory. Potential winter nest for the right guy.

 

Image result for money clipart   Business Opportunities

Perfect opportunity for feline entrepreneurs. Get in on the ground floor of Catnip Unlimited. Develop your own field of specially developed, extra-potent catnip. Easy to grow, easy to sell. Franchise opportunities available in many locations. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Potential franchisees will be subject to a background check for history of addiction.

Always wanted your own humans but didn’t know what to look for? Try time-sharing with other animals. You can buy into this unique arrangement for a small down payment. See whether you like living alone with humans, with of other species, or fellow animals of your own species. Our humans have been carefully chosen for their ability to get along with a variety of animals.

Are you tired of your food and belongings smelling of human? Need some extra money for the holidays? Become a Human No sales agent. Practically sells itself. Comes in a variety of scents. Will remove even the most pungent smells. Makes your home smell like home again.

0

One Last Look at the Animal Olympics

(Words in italics are translated at the bottom.)

The sloth 10-meter race was amazingly quick this year, coming in at less than five days for the first time in Olympic history. The winner, Maria Perezoso of Costa Rico, said that she credited her intensive training regime with moving vines for her victory. She also said that the climate in Rio was similar to that at home which helped her breathing.

One of the best ideas this year was to separate the gorilla gymnastics from the rest of the competition due to the weight differences. After the tragic accident in London where John Gorilla misjudged his landing and fell on the monkey team practicing on the next apparatus, there was no question that something had to be done. This year’s competition was thankfully accident-free.

The biggest upset of the year was the victory of Lin-Lin Panda in the 20-meter tree climb, beating heavily favored A. M. Biri. Mr. Biri is challenging the results. The Olympic Committee is awaiting drug-testing results before making a decision.

Once again, Russian bears won all of the wrestling medals: Igor Obez’yana – gold; Sergei Obez’yana – silver; and Petya Obez’yana – bronze. The Canadian Alan Brown Bear ended in fourth place, the best result for a non-Russian bear in the last eight years. Russian cubs are taken into training when they are four months old, which probably accounts for their dominance. Unfortunately, there is some impact on social development and these bears rarely mate.

As expected, Samuel Duma dominated the short running events. His only real competition was I.A. Duma, his training partner. Hando Paa came in third, undoubted aided by the cheetah who was close behind. Mr. Paa said that instinct took over and propelled him to his bronze medal.

The long-distance running events took an unexpected turn when Dubai entered several camels in the races. On the hot track, Abraham Jamal easily outpaced his competition. Ishmael Jamal took the silver. Alexander Kudu from the African savannah was the third-place finisher. The camels will be definite contenders going forward. The other competitors found them rather rude and almost mean.

Unfortunately most of the swimming events had to be cancelled. When the water was tested prior to the first race, the officials found a significant amount of chlorine. Suspicion immediately focused on the Russians whose Siberian tigers had been disqualified due to failed drug testing. The tigers had been heavy favorites to win several events. The other theory is that the maintenance crew had been given the human requirements by mistake.

The other animals laughed at the idea of the hippos entering a team in the water polo competition. No one is doubting now that they have won the silver medal. Their style is definitely unorthodox, using their snouts to propel the ball. Their coach, Jonas Kiboko, credited the team’s desire to prove the critics wrong for the strong showing. Unfortunately, the elephant team ended the hippos’ run. Their long trunks provided superior accuracy, and the team went on to win their fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal.

Overall, the games were a huge success. Now the animals can relax until their human counterparts are finished and provide them with a ride home. Unfortunately, the animals lost their petition to attend the human games. Apparently the cheetah eating the capybara early in the games has led some humans to fear for their own lives. For their part, the animals are hoping that there are no hunters on the human side.

 

Spanish – sloth, Hausa – gorilla, Hausa – monkey, Russian (transliterated) – bear, Swahili – cheetah, gazelle, Arabic (transliterated) – camel, Swahili – kudu, Swahili – hippo (Translations provided by Google. The African translations are limited by the number of languages available.)

 

3

Annual Cheeseland Staff Meeting

Once a year all, the reporters for Adventures in Cheeseland get together to describe major projects they are working on for the next year. George and Lenny are responsible for herding the cats (so to speak).

Image result for two miceGoogle Images

George: Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for taking the time to come to Michigan for this meeting. Cat has a few things that she would like us to mention at the beginning of this meeting.

Lenny: First, we have to commit to having something to publish once a week.

(Under his breath: that’s her fault not ours. General snickers. George takes over.)

George: And our readership seems to be trending a little intellectual. She want us to get a little more mainstream.

mehitabel: Not gonna happen.

Ahab: Not with me. I didn’t sign on to be dumbed down.

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(Agreement around the table.)

George: Cat thought that might be your response. So she hired a freelancer for our first attempt. I’d like you to meet Les Sloth. He is going to the convention with Cat’s daughter to get a first-hand view of modeling competitions. (Groans all around.) He’s posing as her bodyguard and PR rep. If it works out, he’ll be a regular contributor.

Image result for sloths  Google Images

(Les looks around and gently smiles at everyone.)

Ahab: No disrespect Les, but how are you going to guard B? Aren’t sloths rather (searches for correct word)

Les: Yes we are slow. But we are also very cute and that tends to disarm people. While they are looking at me, I have a buzzer to B’s traveling companion who works as B’s wing person. She will be able to talk to people and explain that B is there for work, not socialization.

Ahab: That actually might work. Welcome to Cheeseland.

(The others welcome him as well.)

Ricky T. Tavi: So what are you calling your piece?

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Les: Cat and I agreed on “Slothly Ruminations on Human Behavior.”

archy (snickering): That title should draw in the Twitter crowd.

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George: If that’s what Cat wants, that’s the title.

archy: It wasn’t a reflection on you, Les. You seem like a nice guy.

(Les smiles at him.)

George: So what else is happening this year?

mehitabel: We’re looking into adulteration at a cheese-puff factory. They may actually be putting cheese into some of their products.

“Ace” Sopp: I am looking into a secret group of sub-Saharan animals who are putting together a peace-keeping group to try to help their northern human neighbors.

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Ricky T. Tavi: Unfortunately it appears that there may be some doping on the Bengal Tiger surf team. Since Ahab is the head of the commission for the summer games, we are working together to try to prevent a scandal.

Ahab: Unfortunately, we are finding evidence that the problem may be more wide-spread than we first thought. The human surfing social habits are spreading to the animals.

H. Chris Andersen: I am looking into the beginnings of socialized medicine for animals, particularly in Scandinavia. We are hoping to avoid some of the start-up glitches the humans have experienced. For example, most animals can’t wait several months for tests and surgery.

George: I assume we will be sending someone to the human Olympics this summer?

Ace: Ricky and I drew the short straws because we live in hot climates. I hate dealing with humans. They always act so condescending.

Ricky: Like they’re better than we are. Les, you’re welcome to join us. It’s in your neighborhood and you’re studying humans right now.

Les: I would like that.

George: Great! It looks like we have a good start to the year. Remember to keep us updated on what you’re doing. Don’t forget about the time the Tasmanian devil almost bankrupt us trying to recreate a typhoon.

(They all laugh and adjourn to the dining room.)

6

Is WordPress Specie-ist?

As I was wandering through some blogs a few days ago, I made a discovery. There are a lot of blogs about/by cats. Which makes sense, since everyone knows cats are the original Internet stars. There are probably an equal number about dogs, although I really didn’t do a full recon on that. In fairness, for me size matters when it comes to dogs. Generally speaking, I prefer those of 40 pounds or more.

Of course, I found some posts about hedgehogs. Lord Nelson (my hedgehog) seemed to be the predominant recurring character. I guess grumpy and spiny is not for everyone. In fairness to Horatio, though, he has stopped huffing at me.

The only thing I found for bears were some very nice photos, but nothing with any personality. Likewise for most creatures who live in the wild. Raccoons and bats made the cut for the cuteness or nuisance factor. Not exactly material for an ongoing storyline. I disqualified blogs like Cute Overload who have a variety of animals, but only pictures/videos intended to make you say “awwwww”.

Then I tried to figure out how one would put backyard critters in a blog. When I looked out the window this morning, I would have sworn it was November: cool, gray and rainy. Eureka! A story about how the little guys decide where to winter. Hint: most of them can’t afford the fare to Florida or Padre Island. If we’re quiet, we can listen in:

The fall meeting of the semi-rural/suburban animals was about to get started. Squirrel, the most energetic of the group, was getting ready to moderate. He looked around to make sure everyone was represented.

Then he frowned and pointed. “You predators, you know you’re not allowed at these meetings.” The coyote slunk off, but the rest stayed.

Fox: You never let us stay. What are going to say that’s so top-secret?

Squirrel: You know very well that the main topics of these meetings are food and safety. The last time we let you guys stay, you and raccoon spent the meeting whispering about which of us looked tastiest and which was the easiest to catch. We’re talking about winter survival today. Now scram!

Raccoon: We have to survive too, you know.

Squirrel: Maybe, but not by eating us.

Fox and Raccoon walked away. The deer made a circle around the little group to keep them out.

Squirrel: OK, does everyone have a den ready?

Woodchuck: We found a great place under an old tree trunk. My cousin Woody already claimed the primo spot under the deck.

Rabbit: Just remember, Woodchuck, we live in that complex too. Keep the noise down.

Woodchuck: What are you talking about? We hibernate all winter. You guys are the ones practicing to repopulate the world in the spring.

Mouse: We’re taking our usual spot in the walls of those two old houses over there (points to a couple of Victorian holdovers).

Mole: Well, be careful. There’s a couple of domestics over there that roam around a lot outside.

Mouse: Not to worry. The pointy-eared one spends the winter in front of the fire and the floppy-eared one only comes out to mess up the landscape. The human won’t stay out and play with him.

Squirrel: Are all of you going to fit in those two houses?

Mouse: Not a chance! But the older kids want to try toughing it out in the woodpile. I tried to tell them that the humans use those woodpiles in the winter. They think they won’t get caught. You know what it’s like trying to talk to kids.

The animals all laugh and nod.

Frog: It’s almost time for us to burrow into the mud for the season, so we’re set.

Snake: Same here. What about you, squirrel?

Squirrel: We’re splitting up this year. Some of us are going the usual route and sleeping in trees. But my brother Earl heard that attics are nice and toasty in the winter.

Mole: There’s bats up there!

Squirrel: Earl says they were all driven out over the summer.

Mole: But the humans will hear you.

Squirrel: That’s part of the plan. The mice will be in the walls and the squirrels will be in the attic. It’ll drive the humans nuts, but it will be too cold for them to do anything about it. We just have to get out quick in the spring.

Mole: I think the rest of us will just hang out at the club underground. It’s pretty cozy if we cuddle up. We mostly sleep anyway.

Squirrel: Well, it looks like everyone’s set. The community center has extra nesting material if you still need any. Otherwise, on to the potluck! Remember, you can take as much as you want, but eat everything you take. It’s the season for bulking up, we don’t want any food to get wasted. Anything you brought that’s not eaten, you can either take home or donate to the emergency pantry.

The animals disperse to eat and talk.

The humans have been inside commenting on how cute they all are. They don’t realize they are about to be invaded.

 

0

Lord Nelson Doesn’t Like the Savanna

Actually I don’t know whether that is true. He has never been to the savanna. Horatio, Lord Nelson, is the full name of my hedgehog. He is an African pygmy hedgehog. Which means that his ancestors came from Africa and his breed is smaller than the ones found back home by the British explorers who first saw them. I think that he is extremely cute and was pretty excited to see a relative on the front cover of the most recent issue of National Geographic. Until I discovered he was the poster boy for the questionable practice of trying to make pets of wild animals.

I don’t think Horatio knows he’s supposed to be wild. When we let him out of his cage, he likes to roam around sniffing everything. But he has never made a break for the door or shown any signs of wanting to leap for our throats and have a meal. Although that may be more of function of him weighing about a pound and a half. Besides, he is an insectivore and last time I checked, we are not insects. Do not call him a rodent. He is extremely sensitive to the reputation rodents have, and he does not wish to be confused with one.

We have a paper giving his parents’ names. Given that hedgehogs only live 2 – 4 years, his family’s been in the country for generations. More generations than mine has.

He has never seemed particularly interested in the occasional bug we have flying around. Apparently he is content with his kitty kibble. (Although he did seem somewhat interested in a chocolate chip I dropped by him. He’s definitely my hog.)

Which brings me to the animals that are actually discussed in the article. One of them is a capybara. For those of you not into rodentia, a capybara is the largest member of the rodent family (at least I hope so). They are larger than housecats and look like a large guinea pig with slicked back hair. They are actually rather cute. But I can see having nightmares about the cute little critter in the habitrail (do they still make those?) taking steroids and coming after me.

I can’t imagine having one of those big cats they show either. This morning, one of our cats was rubbing against the bathroom door while I was getting ready for my shower. I thought she wanted to go downstairs, so I opened the door to let her go. Instead, she came into the bathroom and laid down wanting me to rub her tummy. (By the way, the experts say cats hate having their tummies rubbed – I haven’t had the heart to tell our cats.)

Anyway, if a tiger wanted to be petted, I’m guessing he would have come through the door and made his wishes known. It’s cute when a 10-lb. cat wraps her paws around your hand. I would feel like lunch if a 400-lb cat did it. I’m thinking that play time would probably involve more than waving a feather on a stick. Unless the feather was attached to a chicken.

Bears are another exotic option. I think baby bears are adorable. And the parents are beautiful with their 4″ teeth and 10″ nails. When I was little, my parents got me a teddy bear every Christmas. They always came with a music box that quit working before the year was out. I ended up with a family of silent bears.  The best kind when you sleep with them.

Sleeping with a baby grizzly sounds kind of attractive on some of the cold nights we’ve been getting. They’re probably nice and warm. And they look so cuddly. They seem like the type of animal that might snore. And eat me if I took up too much of the bed.

There were some exotic birds in the article. I really dislike birds. They are beautiful. And some of them are pretty amazing in the way they migrate thousands of miles. Others have cool ways of building nests or feeding their young. But they all have beaks. I do not want a pet that can peck at me. Or whatever the equivalent is for a toucan. Thinking about it, I’m not sure how a toucan would bite.

Which brings me to snakes. I’m not a huge fan of reptiles. I’m OK with the ones with legs. We had a mountain lizard for several years, and Rex was definitely part of the family. I put him in the same classification with the hedgehog. Not particularly cuddly, but a definite personality.

On the other hand, I don’t have any rapport with snakes at all. I’m not afraid of them, I’m just not interested in having one running (slithering?) around the house. I don’t like having things watching me, and they seem to spend a lot of time curled up not doing much of anything else. I refuse to go to the pet store to get live things for it to eat. And the only ones that cuddle are the ones that squeeze too tight if you don’t give them enough other things to play with.

It all reminded me of an article I read several years ago about PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). The person being interviewed said that it was cruel to keep dogs and cats as pets. They were intended to roam free.

We had two (different) cats at the time, Rascal and Critter. Beauty and brains. Rascal probably wouldn’t have lasted more than a couple of days before being eaten by who knows what out there (we have raccoons, coyotes, skunks, hawks, etc.). She was a very sweet cat, but a total princess. Critter would have sat at the door crying to be let back in. She knew she had a good thing.

I think I’ll keep things the way they are. Our cats have us trained, but at least I’m not worried about them eating me if they want a midnight snack.