by Hilma (Volcano)
"Are there jackalope around
The dude from Chicago asked.
"Well up here there's too much elevation;
They're down on sagebrush flats."
"Course the females don't have antlers.
Males shed theirs in early spring.
They'll bed down during the day
And come out in the late evening.
"They're masters of camouflage,
When scared they'll lay out flat.
Them antlers blend in like a bush,
An' they're silent as a cat.
"They're pretty cunning creatures, too,
Like if a coyote's giving chase,
A different one will whistle
An' throw him off his pace.
"They say they're mostly loners
But I've seen them in a pack
An' make a circle, antlers out,
To fend off a dog attack."
The Chicago man looked quite confused.
He said, "You're a pretty good liar.
'Cause we both know they're a myth
Dreamed up 'round some campfire."
"Not so," I said,
"they're real enough.
Every word I said was true.
Why, Friday night at the Longhorn
They'll serve up Jack'lope stew.
"And Max Green, the taxidermist,
Has a whole bunch he has trapped.
An' there's photos a the gallery
That you can get gift wrapped."
He said, "I want to see one alive."
"You'll need binocs and a good spot light.
Best time and place to see 'em
Is Rattler Flats at night."
He asked if I'd be his guide.
I drawled, "For a hundred buck
I'll guarantee you'll see least one.
If not, I'm out of luck."
Next night our light reflected eyes.
I said, "Look, there's a doe."
"Malarkey, that's a rabbit!"
"Nope, there's differences, ya know.
"Like see that faint stripe on the back
Or that light spot on the chest.
Them are jackalope for sure.
But a buck will be our quest.
"Them males are awful wary
'Cause they're hunted all the time.
Ain't no season on them,
An' right now them horns is prime.
"Look there!" I shined the scope,
"That there rack's a pretty sight."
"I don't see a thing," he said.
"Scan that bush that's on the right."
"I see it, yes I see it!
But wait, it doesn't budge."
"You wouldn't either if you was hunted,
You big fat tub of fudge."
We went on and spied three more.
"Them ain't fiction," I rebuffed.
Still them jack'lope didn't move.
He declared, "I think they,re stuffed."
He sneered, "Let's go out there.
If they're real, they swill scoot."
Said I, "No one goes out on Rattler Flats
Lest they're wearing snake proof boot."
He stayed in the truck a grumblin'
Till I shone another critter
Whose head was slowly turning
An' his right ear gave a twitter.
The man left town that next day.
I handed Max Green fifty.
In my pocket's a big bonus tip.
Yep, mechanical things are nifty.
A FOOL AND HIS MONEY
ARE GREAT FOR BUSINESS