Home Country

“You see that sunset last night?” Steve said. “Now that was a honey.”

“I’ll say,” said Doc. “You know, with Thanksgiving on us, I have to tell you I’m very thankful for sunsets like that one.”

Those of us who don’t live in the big cities tend to be thankful for different things than those who may live in stucco cliff dwellings. We tend to look at the natural blessings more than the manmade ones. Our gratitude extends past not having our teenager go to jail, or for the raise we just got at the factory. Our favorite ball team can win or lose on its own without our having to look for Divine Intervention, usually. We tend to be grateful for other things, like calves in the spring, and how clean they look before they discover mud.

We are deeply grateful that tasty rabbits arrive in large litters, and bears don’t. When we think about it, we are thankful that we get eggs from hens and not from rattlesnakes, as checking the rattler house each morning could get ‘way too exciting.

When you consider that porcupines have quills, and not deer, it gives us pause for praise, and we’re happy that it’s skunks who carry scent glands and not squirrels.

We are thankful, too, that hurricanes and tornadoes only happen in warm weather. It’s bad enough to lose the barn without being chill-factored to death while it’s happening.

“Turkeys,” Dud said, sipping his coffee.


“I’m thankful turkeys are stupid. Ever looked in a turkey’s eyes? Not only is no one home, but there was a mass evacuation sometime during the Eisenhower Administration. A turkey has just enough brains to operate his heart and lungs.”

“You’re thankful for that?” Doc said.

“Sure,” said Dud. “If turkeys had been given the rudimentary intelligence of a garden snail, we might be forced to eat sheep on Thanksgiving.”

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Home Country is a weekly syndicated newspaper column written by outdoors journalist and humorist Slim Randles.

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Contact Slim Randles at homecountry8@gmail.com.