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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Irritated (11/08/12)

TITLE: Being Prepared
By Robert [Bob] Schaetzle Sr.


Four legged creatures along with other cold blooded types always had a significant place in our home. Raising five children, pets were part of the package. Some barked, some purred, some arrived with long floppy ears, some without a sound at all. A few nestled in a shell, while others sported fins, or scales that slithered. Our daughter Heidi had a bent for running a care home for snakes.

“Sylvester is on the loose,” Heidi announced one day, and the search was on for her four foot tenant who escaped from the terrarium. After peeking in every conceivable hideout, we discovered her snake behind the record cabinet in the living room, thankfully before some evening guests arrived for an after dinner dessert.

Raising five children a father’s memory can tell of tales into what some might think unreal fantasy. For sure, events that occurred in our home were indeed for real. Always, there was delight to see what could be the next coming attraction.
With our Lord’s ‘hedge of protection’ we experienced His amazing grace often to keep our home with calm over situations of what might become battleground zero, and blood pressure below the level of provocation, before passing out.. Anger, irritation?...just experiencing life with all the love a parent can demonstrate through much more than what we’ll ever say.

Protecting Her Turf

Our cat Marigold once put our neighbor’s Doberman Pincher on a run for her life. I’d been cutting the lawn in the back yard with the side gate open. Marigold had her second litter of kittens stored away safely, under a wood pile so she thought, stacked against the backyard fence. The dog came wandering in as happened occasionally. I thought nothing of it until Temple, the Doberman, got a bit too nosey sniffing by our wood pile.

Out from her bunker in hiding like a wild cougar, came Marigold with her normal motherly instincts to defend her precious children. We’ve all seen Tom and Jerry cartoon’s of the cat erect on all fours with fur standing on end. This is a scene I will never forget as long as I live. Marigold, defender of uninvited intruders, latched unto the back of this large Doberman, jaws gripped tight around the dog’s neck. Marigold’s fur stood straight up as though she put her paw in a light socket, as she rode piggy back out the yard and down the street on our neighbor’s dog. Marigold was awarded the ‘Feline medal of Honor’ that day as defender for bravery and courage of her kittens above beyond the normal call of motherhood. Excited or a bit irritated?...or just doing what a mother’s got to do.

Yes, there was a bit of excitement in her blood that day, or was it being upset to think our neighbor’s dog could just wander onto her turf? Marigold had a little bobcat in her bloodline, and that autumn day of years past brought out her heritage as a predator not to be reckoned with when motherly instincts provoked her warm cuddly temperament to that of a fighting marine.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/15/12
This is an interesting story. You had me smiling as I pictured the sweet innocent name--Marigold launching out to defend her territory.

The jump from the snake to the cat felt a bit sudden for me. I wonder if perhaps you told the story from the cat's POV if it wouldn't pull the reader more into the story by allowing you to broaden the story.

I like how even though an escaping snake can be irksome, children were still allowed to love and nurture their friends. I remember when we agreed to babysit a snake once so the owners could have the in-laws over sine the relative wouldn't step foot in a house that had a snake in it. Soon my sister became quite attached to Corina and snake-feeding night at the Hall's became a routine party. You did a nice job of bringing your pets into the story.
Noel Mitaxa 11/19/12
A great example of showing as well as telling.