Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Remember When: Critters

My sister had a way with critters. She always preferred their company over most people. Over the years she had horses, dogs, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, and, well, I'm sure I'm forgetting some of them. (She hated cats and only allowed them in the barn but she did have them.)


 I remember her in this position. Her forehead on that of an animal, talking softly, and making peace with the world. They always listened as if they understood every word and wanted her to know it.

She was like Ellie Mae from the "Beverly Hillbillies" except she reminded me more of Granny with all the spitfire and gumption. Betty wouldn't let anybody get away with anything. 

At times it was embarrassing. Like in a store when she grabbed a salesclerk's tie and pulled him over to where she wanted to be to ask questions. She never got in trouble for that. I often feared for her but people seemed to take her in stride.

There was the time she went to the high school band room with her grandson and saw one of those kids with his pants down around his hips. I was told she went right up to him, pulled his tee-shirt up and told him to get a belt. 

I think she shocked them so much they just went along. But, nobody ever came back and filed a complaint or anything. 

Yeah, my Sissy was a handful. I often wish I had her gumption and strength to do the things she loved. Besides all her critters she was an amazing artist. In high school she was selling oil paintings. She could etch on glass and ostrich eggs, she did ceramics, and amazing pen and ink drawings her entire life. 

Most of all she loved her critters. Especially the goats and dogs. She had to give up the horses and eventually the goats because of health problems but there was always a dog at her feet. 

Is there somebody in your family or friend list who had a way with critters? 

Write a story about them.