Summer has finally arrived, which means it’s no-school time, do-nothing time, and adventure time all rolled up in one, and there are places to go, things to do, so Jimmy-joe and Wrangle are heading for the "wild place" to investigate that tree knocked down by last week’s rainstorm.

The "wild place" isn’t very wild, but that tree still holds a big old bird’s nest, and a boy and his dog just don’t pass up that kind of opportunity.

A quick check tells them the nest wasn’t occupied and falling apart anyway, so they look for something else, and find that hollow where a colony of bees had settled in, but they’re gone now, so keep looking.

Wrangle spots a polecat, and just can’t resist tormenting him, but this guy didn’t show up unarmed, and Wrangle quickly comes out second best.

Though he managed to chase Ol’ Stinky back where it came from, Wrangle came away from the encounter with a definite ‘air’ about him which Jimmy-joe had to treat with a bath in four dollars’ worth of tomato juice when he finally managed to get Wrangle to hold still.

(It also cost the local Veterinarian’s assistant his career when he quit and left town after deciding that dog shampoos were not part of his job description).

Still in a "summer mood," Wrangle decided to renew his relationship with the neighbor’s tomcat.

This isn’t just any cat. His name is "Precious," and he’s anything but. Precious is eighteen pounds of feline possessiveness, and he’ll protect his territory, which happens to be anywhere he is at the moment.

Usually Precious lies in the sun behind the big picture window, watching and waiting, gathering his strength and just itching for a fight. He looks like he’s sleeping, but he’s basking in the sunshine with his eyes half-closed, aware of anyone or anything that trespasses on his kingdom, and if that trespasser happens to be Wrangle, it’s a situation up with which Precious will not put.

Instantly, he starts his stalk, stealthily creeping from the porch down to the flowerbed where he can hide behind the rosebushes, never taking his eyes off Wrangle, who doesn’t have the slightest idea that he’s a target.

Sneaking from plant to plant, Precious slowly improves his position until he’s ready for a quick surprise attack to teach this interloper a lesson he’ll never forget.

Wrangle hasn’t spotted Precious yet, and is concentrating on finding a nice warm place in the sun where he can soak up some rays before Jimmy-joe calls him, ready to head for the ‘wild place’ where the gophers and prairie dogs roam so Jimmy-joe can throw stones, hoping to ‘bean’ one, which never happens. Until then, Wrangle is content to get some rays and save his strength for today’s adventure.

Precious intends to be that adventure, and he’s gaining ground on Wrangle, prowling from bush to bush, getting closer and closer to a spot where he can spring a surprise charge at Wrangle and teach him just who is boss around here.

Just when Precious is ready to pounce on Wrangle and give him a lesson he won’t forget, Jimmy-joe finds Wrangle’s favorite tennis ball and gives it a toss, taking Wrangle out of the danger zone, so Precious gives up the stalk, trying to look like an innocent bystander, nonchalantly sauntering back to his sunny windowsill where he can do some serious catnapping.

Undaunted and smelling decidedly "fruity," Wrangle continues on his quest of chasing anything that moves until he remembers how things came out the last time he tormented Precious so he decides to stick around Jimmy-joe, as one “tomato bath” a day is enough, and it’s almost dinner time anyway.

They’ve managed to spend a whole day at the ‘wild place’ and there’s lots left for tomorrow but it’ll have to wait.

First things first

Jimmy-joe has caught a whiff that smells a whole lot like supper, so it’s time to head for home.

Wrangle’s ‘cat encounter’ and everything else will have to wait since Mom promised a surprise, and judging from the perfume wafting from the kitchen, there’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob that have to be taken care of.

A perfect end to a perfect day.

— Newton columnist Mike Morton writes weekly for the Kansan. He can be reached at m24r24fm8445@att.net

Summer has finally arrived, which means it’s no-school time,  do-nothing time, and adventure time all rolled up in one, and there are places to go, things to do, so Jimmy-joe and Wrangle are heading for the ‘wild place’ to investigate that tree knocked down by last week’s rainstorm.
 The ‘wild place’ isn’t very wild, but that tree still holds a big old bird’s nest, and a boy and his dog just don’t pass up that kind of opportunity.
 A quick check tells them the nest wasn’t occupied and falling apart anyway, so they look for something else, and find that hollow where a colony of bees had settled in, but they’re gone now, so keep looking.
 Wrangle spots a polecat, and just can’t resist tormenting him, but this guy didn’t show up unarmed, and Wrangle quickly comes out second best.
 Though he managed to chase Ol’ Stinky back where it came from, Wrangle came away from the encounter with a definite ‘air’ about him which Jimmy-joe had to treat with a bath in four dollars’ worth of tomato juice when he finally managed to get Wrangle to hold still.
(It also cost the local Veterinarian’s assistant his career when he quit and left town after deciding that dog shampoos were not part of his job description).
 Still in a ‘summer mood’, Wrangle decided to renew his relationship with the neighbor’s tomcat.
 This isn’t just any cat. His name is ‘Precious’, and he’s anything but. Precious is eighteen pounds of feline possessiveness, and he’ll protect his territory, which happens to be anywhere he is at the moment.
 Usually Precious lies in the sun behind the big picture window, watching and waiting, gathering his strength and just itching for a fight. He looks like he’s sleeping, but he’s basking in the sunshine with his eyes half-closed, aware of anyone or anything that trespasses on his kingdom, and if that trespasser happens to be Wrangle, it’s a situation up with which Precious will not put.
 Instantly, he starts his stalk, stealthily creeping from the porch down to the flowerbed where he can hide behind the rosebushes, never taking his eyes off Wrangle, who doesn’t have the slightest idea that he’s a target.
 Sneaking from plant to plant, Precious slowly improves his position until he’s ready for a quick surprise attack to teach this interloper a lesson he’ll never forget.
 Wrangle hasn’t spotted Precious yet, and is concentrating on finding a nice warm place in the sun where he can soak up some rays before Jimmy-joe calls him, ready to head for the ‘wild place’ where the gophers and prairie dogs roam so Jimmy-joe can throw stones, hoping to ‘bean’ one, which never happens. Until then, Wrangle is content to get some rays and save his strength for today’s adventure.
 Precious intends to be that adventure, and he’s gaining ground on Wrangle, prowling from bush to bush, getting closer and closer to a spot where he can spring a surprise charge at Wrangle and teach him just who is boss around here.
 Just when Precious is ready to pounce on Wrangle and give him a lesson he won’t forget, Jimmy-joe finds Wrangle’s favorite tennis ball and gives it a toss, taking Wrangle out of the danger zone, so Precious gives up the stalk, trying to look like an innocent bystander, nonchalantly sauntering back to his sunny windowsill where he can do some serious catnapping.
 Undaunted and smelling decidedly ‘fruity’, Wrangle continues on his quest of chasing anything that moves until he remembers how things came out the last time he tormented Precious so he decides to stick around Jimmy-joe, as one “tomato bath” a day is enough, and it’s almost dinner time anyway.
 They’ve managed to spend a whole day at the ‘wild place’ and there’s lots left for tomorrow but it’ll have to wait.
 First things first
Jimmy-joe has caught a whiff that smells a whole lot like supper, so it’s time to head for home.
 Wrangle’s ‘cat encounter’ and everything else will have to wait since Mom promised a surprise, and judging from the perfume wafting from the kitchen, there’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob that have to be taken care of.
A perfect end to a perfect day.
 
 
Freelance Columnist Mike Morton writes weekly for the Kansan.
He can be reached at m24r24fm8445@att.net