Bits and Pieces

Weasels Playing in the Snow

Feb 03, 2016

We usually butchered hogs on a Friday, they were hung in the cooler to chill over the weekend and we would cut up the carcasses on Monday. I would always help Sister Mary Arnold and her helper on that day. My job was to break the carcass half to smaller sizes so the two Sisters could handle them more easily. They would cut the pork chops to size and trim the bacons and hams and small pieces so it could be ground into sausage and render the lard.

One morning as we were cutting up the pork, Sister got a call and was told there was a four-legged creature in the window well next to the high school girl’s dining room and was asked if she could send someone over to get it out. So Sister sent me over. I disabled it and took it to the meat house. It was a weasel that had changed its fur color to white and I was sure of that, since I had read in the Game News that the weasel changed its fur to white just before winter. The article also noted that weasels also like to play in the snow. The only other weasels that I had ever seen were brown with a narrow streak of black. I asked Sister if I could freeze the corpse since it was the first one I had ever seen and I wanted to get it mounted. Sister said it would be ok if I very carefully wrapped it in plastic.

It was a few years later that I was taking a load of barnyard waste to spread on the field. I drove to the back 40, where I was going to spread the load of waste. All of a sudden the tractor stopped. I tried to start it several times but it would not start. So I got off and immediately saw the fuel bowl looked sort of a gray color, and I thought there must have been moisture in the tank and that is why it froze and stalled. So I decided to walk back to the garage and get some dry gas to thaw out and dissolve the ice and water.

I had just passed the south corner of the sheep barn when I noticed something in the snow.  I stopped and began to move forward very slowly. Again I saw a movement and stopped. It was there that I barely saw two small animals that were just about as white as the snow. Their ears were a little darker and their eyes and noses were browner, and that is how I noticed them. They slid down the snow bank head first, ran to the low end of the snow bank, ran to the top of the drift and slid down head first again. By that time they must have spotted me and both ran toward the sheep barn.  I turned and went to the south end of the barn and in the door but could not see the weasels. Then I had to complete my mission to get the dry gas and get the tractor running again.

~Frank Romeo