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The pirates and Captain Hook. April 18, 2008

Posted by ourfriendben in critters, pets, wit and wisdom.
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Here at Hawk’s Haven, spring is not just the time of daffodils and forsythia. The pirates are back again. Strutting across the deck, a bold gleam in their eye and their glossy black attire enlivened with gaudy flashes of bronze, blue, and purple, they are brazen in every sense of the word. They don’t say much, but our friend Ben remains convinced that when they do speak, it’s to shout things like “Aaaaarrrr!”, “Yar!”, and “You savvy?”

They’re grackles, of course, and their shameless depredations are mostly focused on the big bowl of cat food just outside the deck door. They stroll up bold as any raccoon, help themselves, and follow their meal with a slow swig of water from the cats’ bowl. Then it’s back to the food dish for another helping. Fortunately, our friend Ben gets a kick out of grackles (and all things piratical; check out the great blog, Future House Farm, at http://futurehousefarm.blogspot.com/, for a fun pirate hit). And there’s more cat food where that came from.

What about Captain Hook? He’s also hanging around in the form of our ratty old tom, Danticat. It must be said that, visually at least, Danticat is not one of nature’s finer efforts. His enormous round head sits on a very modest body like a pumpkin stuck on a pole. Adding to his disreputable appearance, his ears are almost devoid of fur. But the worst is his tail—a ludicrously pathetic rat’s tail that hooks up at the end. All he needs is some Johnny Depp-style headgear and a silver hoop earring and he’d look like the worst kind of pirate.

Danticat’s behavior reinforces the piratical impression. Maybe it’s just because he’s old, but his every movement is deliberate, seemingly filled with malevolent intent. The huge head swivels slowly back and forth, green eyes seemingly sizing up the situation before giving the command to attack and take no prisoners. If you greet him with an eye blink, he fixes you with a long, slow stare before deigning to blink back.

Fortunately, Danticat’s laissez-faire temperament belies his vicious looks. Rather than eating them, he’d much rather command his pirate crew from the comfort of the captain’s quarters—curled up as living mulch on the warm soil of a large planter or insinuated into the pachysandra behind the deck. The crew for their part seems unlikely to mutiny; instead, they’d probably just walk over the old tom en route to their treasure, perhaps pausing just long enough for a muttered “You savvy?”

Our friend Ben can only say, “Yaaarrrrrrr!!!!!!”       



1. Frances - April 18, 2008

HA, to that one. You paint a lively picture of the pirate ship that is your back deck. Tanks, matey.

And “Yar!!!” back at you, Frances! Never a dull moment at Hawk’s Haven.

2. CeeCee - April 18, 2008

What a great post!! Such wonderful descriptive language. “Living mulch” LOL!!! Grackles are wicked-smart deckhands. May I add a couple squirrels to your ship. I believe they are married, or shacking up, but none the less would make a fine addition to your stealing crew. They are quite able to ‘get in and get out’ with the goods (sunflower seeds) and not above harassing those in law enforcement (my poor dogs).

Thanks, CeeCee! And oh, dear! We have squirrels, here, as well, but they’re mostly playing in the trees, not attacking our feeders or plants. Must be those outdoor cats keeping them in line!

3. Thomas Clump - April 18, 2008

Some of the feline population would like to make those infernal grackles walk the plank. For some, the only thing worse than a grackle is two grackles, unless, of course, they’re part of one’s diet.

Actually, everybody ignores them. Maybe they just don’t taste good!

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