Teach Your Children Well

Every day I fill a small black pan with water for the birds. It sits in my front flowerbed, and I see cardinals and finches that often come and take a drink, but have never been able to get a picture. Either I don’t have my phone with me, or by the time I open the camera, the birds fly off. Even though I’m inside, shooting through my office window, the birds can sense the slightest movement and flitter off.

The other day, I saw this squirrel come to the fountain. He, or she, wasn’t quite as skittish as the birds are, so I got a decent picture. This is the same squirrel who buries pecan nuts in my flowerpots, which can be quite annoying when he pushes the flowers aside to hide his provisions for the winter.

Do you feed birds and other critters? Put water out for them? What kids of critters do you see?


Now I’ll turn the blog space over to my friend and fellow-author, Slim Randles. Doc, one of the guys from the Mule Barn Truck Stop can be quite the prankster. Read on to find out more and enjoy…

Before Herb Collins retired, he owned a pawn shop up in the city. A successful pawn shop. And one of the ways he likes to repay society for his good fortune is to speak to the fifth graders at our local elementary school during Career Week.

And that’s why he was here again this year, attempting to springboard any number of ten-year-olds into the glories of buying low and selling high.

But this year there was a difference. Some of the kids were looking over at Jimmy Thomas and Elise Jamison and couldn’t control their giggles. Jimmy and Elise, however, tried to look very sober and businesslike.

When Herb got close to the end of his time in front of the class, he asked, as he does each year, if there were any questions.

Jimmy and Elise raised their hands. Herb pointed to Elise.

“Mr. Collins,” she said, “in these days of insecurity in the market place, how would the use of debentures stack up as an alternative to trade?”

Herb stammered. “Well, I’m not real sure about that, young lady. I’ll have to get back to you on that.”

He saw Jimmy’s hand in the air. “Yes,” he said, pointing at him.

“Mr. Collins,” Jimmy said, “wouldn’t the use of unsecured bonds be counterintuitive to the agreement we currently share with other members of the World Bank?”

“Uh …”

Herb looked at his watch and excused himself to keep an appointment he didn’t realize he had until he needed it.

The kids cracked up. So did the teacher. “Okay,” she said, “good job you two. How did you guys come up with those questions?”

“Doc wrote ‘em down for us,” Jimmy said.


Brought to you by Home Country (the book), published by Rio Grande Press.


Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program.

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