By Alkali Springs Correspondent
Does anybody have a use for a pet raccoon? Or better yet, won't anyone take a raccoon off of our hands. We have been told that they are exceedingly intelligent and make fine house pets. And we are tired of ours. Each time that we go out to the cabin, there is the robbing, thieving scoundrel at our bird feeder eating everything we put out as a week's supply of food for our birds.
We don't know how many suet cakes he has gone through. And sunflower seeds, and bird seed but that creature is getting fat as a Butterball turkey and at our expense. Please, someone, won't you take heed and at least share him with us? Let him stay at your house half of the time so our birds can at least have a meal every once in a while.
The other night our dog, Doogie, met the raccoon head on. We had gone out just after dark to bring our suet cake in for the night. (Yes, it has resorted to that.) The dog was with us and as we turned the corner to the nook where our bird feeder is, there was the raccoon. He arched his back just like a cat, batted the dog on the nose with his paw and ran around the corner of the house. The dog was so surprised and mortified that he did not even give chase but just stood there in a stunned silence. Afterward all night long though, Doogie paced the floor and looked out windows seeing if the enemy might return. And each time we go out there, he paces some more and looks. The atmosphere at our camp right now could be described as uneasy at best.
We have not had to write a paragraph or two about someone passing away in the beautiful Bear Paws for a long, long time. However, one of the mountains' oldest pioneers and a true child of the Bear Paws, Leonard Faber, died at the age of 91, the week before last.
Good rancher, good parent, good husband, good Hill County Commissioner. Much good can be said about Leonard. And he understood the history of the mountains in a way that few do. It was Leonard who told us of the important relationship that early homesteaders had with the French Canadian people who were living in Bear Paw valleys. And he understood the relationship of one valley to another, something few oldtimers could relate to. He saw the mountains through the eyes of the boy he once was, walking all the way to town and back more than once. Talk to Leonard and soon you were seeing the mountains just like he did.
Well, he left the beautiful Bear Paws in a terrible wind storm. A tough way to go. But now he is at home in heaven and like they did on earth, we would bet that he and Ed Molitor are still vying on who can get up the earliest and turn his outside light on first. To win that contest gave both immense daily pleasure and no doubt now that they are both together, the game has resumed immediately. Meanwhile Leonard will really be missed down here. The beautiful Bear Paws seem just a tad less beautiful with one of their children gone.
And last, roses heaped at the feet of Vicki Toth who first noticed the disappearance of Leonard Faber, and organized a search, sensing something was really wrong. The whole south community is fortunate to have Vicki Toth as a good neighbor!