Susquehanna

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail  Susquehanna     *as told by an inanimate object by   r.a.kukkee© 2012 When there are no cats around  she leans on me and walks about  in the  mud barefoot, feeling for clams in the warm  summer water with her toes.  She says the mud and pebbles and bubbles of gas that trickle up from the water-weeds  tickle her feet.   No wonder, it's slow, warm water  above the  Susquehanna  rapids, the one with the little falls.  The little falls is 2' high.   She calls it her two-foot toe-wash. That's how she described it, and that's where she took me, so she must have understood her father's instructions just fine, and that was good enough for me. She moved from the city, where  she could have a garden,  hundred-year old cabin or not. The old man's cabin, with silvered cedar shakes on the roof,  was close to where  he got himself killed off by a  Greyhound  in Woodstone.  I was in the truck . We were getting cats that day too. She keeps  rabbits and  hounds and an old bay horse named Buckley.  He's the only horse around that  knows how to round up her dogies .  The hounds are 'Here' and 'There' .  They want her to throw sticks out in the water, but they puff and pant and check the  cattle, and watch the turkeys to put in time .   Old Bones,  he's  always with us too,  he got a puppy leg chewed off  and she didn't want to call him Tripod.  I was with her fishing on the river. The water is lazy and you can smell the swamp grass along the edges.  The big  catfish  explore the warm water along muddy banks. They tease me.  Sitting on the river waiting for catfish to bite is always a pleasure,  even stuck in the mud, and that's what she did, came out  on  the bank and sat with me, in the early morning, rain,  fog or not, waiting for the cats. "Hey Bones, look who's here!" she said.  Buckley snorted.  That always makes her jump. She always puts me under her arm when her hands are cold. She shivered. "Time to go" she said after about an hour,  just to wind me up.  I said okay.  She doesn't hear me, but I tell her anyway. "Okay" I say.  The cats weren't biting anyway, they're  probably were down at the bend teasing  the dogs.  Those fish are more communicative than some people, says my buddy  Harvey.  He likes trout better than cats. He sits in the corner most of the time an catches more dust than fish. "Here, Mutts!" she called, and they came running.   We go in for coffee, and she makes hot biscuits, the good kind with cheese in them.  I  go with her to the coop and get eggs though, she says that's the rules she goes by. "That's the rules we live  by, we want'em,  we go  get'em" she says. "I don't go in the coop, without you, there's snakes. I help and I get bit.    She sends the big neighbour  boy in with a real  snake stick instead of me sometimes,  he gets 'em and takes them home to eat--the snakes, I mean.  I didn't need eggs. I don't eat eggs.  I don't eat much at all. I stand  in the corner with Harvey.   He asks me if I caught any cats. Sometimes I tell him no.  For him, that's a  real catharsis, he happily unwinds,  he likes trout fishing  better. "No fish,  so shall we have biscuits, boys?" she asks. "Just  biscuits will be fine, Ma'am"  we say, smiling. "That's what I thought " she said laughing.  "would you boys like peach jam too? " "that would be fine,  Ma'am"  I say. "That'll be fine for me too, I'll make coffee" she says, her eyes twinkling.

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