Everyone knows the legend of Punxutawney Phil the weather forecaster. Tomorrow (Feb 2nd) this fat cuddly groundhog will come out of his burrow looking for his shadow just like he has been doing for the last 118 years.
The real question is ... do you know the legend of Rocky the Neutria Rat? Well ... not exactly a legend but every February when I see new photos of Phil I am reminded of my dear friend Rocky! Notice the resemblance?
I don't know if I've ever mentioned that my X husband was Cajun. Yep ... a Coonass. Don't worry, that was not meant as a derogatory remark, Brad like most Cajuns considers being called a Coonass a badge of honor or something.
Living in a Cajun family for 17 years you can bet that I've got lot's of Bayou Country Stories to tell but for now back to Rocky. When Brad and I first met, I worked in a bar in the neighborhood where he and I both lived (New Iberia Louisiana). He had a pet raccoon named Hope, she was a beauty and I loved to stop by and visit with her. Brad promised to try and catch me a baby raccoon of my own in the spring time, I was so excited.
Imagine my surprise when he walks in that spring not with a baby raccoon but instead with a baby Neutria Rat! Ewwww ... you say? Nah ... he looked like a beaver had giant orange teeth, feet like a duck and a tail like a rat ... not exactly the raccoon I had hoped for but what the heck, it was love at first sight.
My roommate Joe, built Rocky huge cage, he was so small that I had to feed him with a bottle. Later he ate tons and tons of veggies. Did that Coonass know the way to this Florida Girls heart or what? Giving me the Neutria was like an open invitation for him to stop by and see me any time he wanted to.
I didn't really mind ... I was always an adventurous soul and he did exposed me to all things outdoors. We went hunting and fishing and trolling for shrimp ... we went frogging and camping, we went crabbing and canoeing and most of all we would go water-skiing. We were some water-skiing fools.
Rocky went everywhere with us and was always a conversation starter, especially when we were water-skiing. It was one thing when he was little but even when he was full grown I would put him on my shoulder when I would ski and he would find his way up to the top of my head ... once I would fall in Rocky would circle around and around until I was ready to get back up and he'd swim right back on my shoulder. Those web feet were made for swimming, everybody loved Rocky!
I could not put my hands on any photos of Rocky tonight, the ones above were borrowed from The Heartland Farms Website I hope they don't mind.
For all of my friends in New England ... heres hoping old Punxsutawney does not see his shadow tomorrow, you've had more than your fare share of winter this year. I'll be staying tuned to your journals to find out what happens when all of that snow starts melting. Eeeek!!!!
BTW ... sunny and near 80 degrees here in beautiful South Florida today!
*** Coy ***