I am currently writing to you from some nondescript forest in the middle of nowhere, snugly nestled into my florescent blue, purple zebra-striped blind, waiting for some little feisty creatures to descend upon my thoughtfully placed mini-bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and artfully crafted, fresh zebra cakes. Time spent in this position has exceeded what one would call "normal" or "sane" so my keister is as raw as it could be but I know, in the deep recesses of my insane noggin, that all will be well once the little monsters get a whiff of the bountiful meal I have provided.
Jackalope season is in full swing here at HLYH headquarters, which of course means I haven't been spending an ample amount of time in front of my faithful computer. While many of my Twitter and Facebook friends have been filing their time doing their hunter duty (ie: putting up tree stands, setting out corn, doing goose dances to the hunting gods, preparing their wives or girlfriends for yet another lonely hunting season, filling in duck blinds, and watching hours upon hours of Monster Buck DVDs), I have been sitting in this field, waiting.
As you all are well aware, DU and I have taken up residence the middle of nowhere into a log cabin that was built some 35 years ago. In the process, without even realizing it, much to my overwhelming joy, we stumbled upon the habitat one of the largest Jackalope colonies in the world in our own backyard.
Weeks ago, I was happily walking Titus, guilty rescue dog wunderkind, when he picked up the manifest scent of a Jackalope. Ripping his leash from my death grip, he propelled himself across our land, up trees, through creeks, into grandmother's house (which is funnily enough in Orchard Park, but I digress) and finally rested some 900 yards from our front door. There, buried under years of debris, old bricks and NO TRESPASSING signs lay a hole the size of an oblong serving dish near a lean-to which looks old enough to have battled the civil war. Suddenly feeling like Alice in her Wonderland, Titus took a dive into the hole.
Moments later, he emerged, a fluffy Jackalope hatchling quivering in his jaw. Flailing his head back and forth best he could, the tyke's antlers already being the size of a fully mature Jackalope, he tried with the resilience of a boxer to free himself from the mandibles of my canine. Shocked at my good fortune, it took mere moments for reality to catch up with me. I reprimanded Titus for his poor choice in lunch meat, opened his mouth and grasped the feet of the antlered bunny. A beauty, I thought to myself as I examined his maroon and pearl coat, But I wonder where the rest of them are.
Everyone, I mean everyone, including you, your dog and your crazy uncle, know that finding a Jackalope is much like finding duck feathers lightly floating on a pond. For every one feather, you know there were at least 10 ducks happily sitting there, minding their own business, just moments prior to your intrusion on their delightful liquid resting place. Hence, when you see a Jackalope or find a whelp as I had, then you know there are at least 64 others within a 7.45 mile radius of where you stand. Recalling this, I quickly set the little guy back in his hole where he turned, gave me the sharp look only my mother can when I do something deplorable as she writes me out of her will for the umpteenth time, and bounded back into the loving paws of his extended family.
Titus tried to stick around, planting himself approximately an inch from the hole lest another one of the terrible creatures reared its gruesome, antler laden dome, but I dragged him back home in order to plan.
First order of business was to set up a trail cam in order to see exactly when the extended family arouse from their city-like tunnels in order to feast. The camera was set exactly where the hole was, near the woebegone lean-to on our land.
Days later, under the cumbersome blanket of night, decked out in every florescent piece of clothing I own, I extracted the pictures from the camera. At first, I did not see anything of real importance. The series of pictures that met my eyes were of gigantic bucks, hearty does, some extinct wild red deer, a slew of moose (which I found peculiar for this area), and a boisterous heard of gnus. Figuring my trail cam was a waste of hard-earned money, I was an iota of a second away from abandoning my search when these images flew across the screen:
Clearly, the Jackalopes are using our lean-to as some sort of shelter or stomping ground, without even paying rent might I add.
This image was a tad unnerving as several of them were taken without this particular specimen entering nor leaving the frame. He appears, sits for precisely 18 photos, then disappears in an instant.
My mouth, agape at the sight of such aberrant behavior, began instantly drooling at the thought of bagging such an interesting creature. Without the slightest backward glance at my loving dogs or minor thought concerning their welfare while DU pursues gainful employment with poultry, I threw my Jackalope hunting gear together then ran into the night.
I've been sitting here for weeks (unemployment, shockingly, does have its perks). Herds of extinct species have meandered past my net and tranquilizer pellets but no sight of our interesting friend. Fortunately, I have until the 31st of October in order to bag the monster and believe you me, I will. Until then, however, it seems that I will have to resume my duties as Dog Mom, Pie Maker, and Job Hunter as DU requested in a note delivered by a very ornery carrier pigeon. I have been given until the end of today to return to my cabin lest be shunned from my canines forever so until then, I'll sit, waiting, as I always have, for the unattainable wall-hanger.