At the moment, my alleged Jack Russell Terrier is snoozing on Alan’s lap. Alan is also snoozing. And I’m reading a story paddy’o sent over today, thinking about animals and how they do what they do. The story is about a Jack Russell named Chuck. From Slate:
Then came a late winter day in February. I was restacking a heap of awkwardly cut logs that had been sitting behind the barn for a season or two, and Chuck sat to watch. I flinched when a rat suddenly leapt out, but Chuck moved decisively; applying her small teeth to the nape of its neck, severing its spinal cord with surgical precision. She sat over the dead rat and looked me in the eye, perfectly still except for the wagging stub of her tail.
I kept working and the rats streamed out, Chuck killing them one by one, all her muscles tensed with the passion that had been bred into her by a slightly mad clergyman—a man named John Russell—over a century ago. When three slipped out at once, Chuck anticipated their hopeless angles of escape, killing the third just as it made it to the high grass, its two companions still twitching with their broken necks, their tiny mouths open in shock.
By the time I pried the last log from the frozen dirt, she had killed 14 rats, and the corpses littered the field. She turned her back and went to find my mother.
Wendy is getting better at stalking squirrels. The other day she tumbled with one in the back yard, but isn’t as efficient at killing them as Chuck. Maybe that’s because she’s showing a very non-terrier behavior — pointing. She lowers her head, raises her tail and will. Not. Be. Moved. For long moments on end, she will stand, frozen, waiting for one of her quarry to make a wrong move.
One of these days she’ll get one. Just not yet.
I wonder what sort of mix is in Wendy’s blood. She looks like a JRT, but she doesn’t really act like one — she’s not as aloof as a good terrier generally is, and Spriggy certainly never pointed anything other than his nose into one of Kate’s friend’s North Face jacket. (And not into the pocket, either. He ate his way through the fleece in pursuit of a Reese’s Cup she had zipped in there.)
You all know how much I love watching specially bred animals doing the things they were specially bred for. It’s just one of those things.
And now I have the depleted-Monday catching-up-on-Sunday’s-teevee blues. One more piece of bloggage and I’m off to the rack, but it’s a good one: Libertarians have taken over Keene, N.H., being jerks with extreme prejudice:
The activists selected this New England-cute city of 24,000 for liberation mostly because it lies within that flinty bastion of Yankee individualism known as New Hampshire, where “Live Free or Die” is carved into the collective granite.
Back in 2003, a libertarian-leaning group called the Free State Project decided that this small state could be a liberty lover’s paradise if enough like-minded people settled here. (The movement, by the way, tends to attract white males, according to Carla Gericke, the group’s president, a white South African who has lived for many years in this country. “I’m the token African-American,” she joked.)
A dozen years in, the Free State Project is about three-quarters of the way toward achieving its goal of having 20,000 people commit to relocating to the state, after which it will “trigger the move.” The project has already influenced the statewide conversation at times — partly because of “early movers” like Ian Freeman, a Floridian who bought an old white duplex on Leverett Street several years ago and quickly set out to push local buttons.
Y’all chew on that while I slink off to slumber. See you in the ayem.