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February should be re-named Feb-u-dreary
Jan 30, 2013 5:00 pm
“February” is an old Indian word that means “don’t look now but your wampum is frozen.”
At least that’s one interpretation. But even if something is lost in translation, there’s no denying that February is one cold, weary, dreary month.
The Indians called it the “Starvation Month.” By February the winter food supply would start to run low, with spring still many moons away. Things tended to get testy in the teepee along toward February.
The same could be said about the cabin down the road. When old-timers talked about suffering from “cabin fever,” they weren’t kidding. Being snowed in with Ol’ Jeremiah for months without anyone being able to take a bath could stretch tensions tighter than a dried beaver pelt.
During February it was a good idea to keep the axes and hatchets locked up.
The only thing good you can say about February is that at least it’s short.
The biggest event in February? Groundhog Day, when we roll a hibernating rodent out of bed to look for its shadow.
Once that excitement wears off, what’s left to look forward to?
February is particularly rough on outdoorsmen because we like to be, well, outdoors, even though the temperature is lower than a PETA model’s IQ.
Some small game is still fair game in February, including squirrels. But it doesn’t seem sporting to shoot one when it’s frozen to a limb.
Sauger fishermen brave the weather to fish in February. I went sauger fishing once, back in the 1990’s. I still can’t feel my toes.
The wife of a sauger fisherman gave birth to their first child one February while he was out on the lake. When he came home, in the spirit of the occasion he named the little girl Hypothermia.
It’s too bad we can’t swap February for a second October or November. But since we’re stuck with it, all we can do is make the best of a bad month while dreaming of robins and dandelions.
February is a good time to sort out the tackle box. Those mummified nightcrawlers that got mixed with the melted plastic Twister Tails remains cemented to the bottom of the box. You might as well leave it; it gives the tackle box character.
The same goes for the tube of secret catfish bait – Mr. Stinky Poo – that oozed out in your fishing vest. You attempted to air it out by hanging it on the back porch, but buzzards began circling the house and perching on the roof. When neighbors started complaining, your wife made you bring it inside.
Some of the stuff dribbled onto some plastic crappie bobbers and they dissolved into a blob of goo. Whatever it’s made of, it’s vicious. It not only ate my crappie bobbers, it dissolved part of the shelf they were sitting on. For goodness sakes don’t spill any on the bottom of the boat when you’re a long way from shore.
It just occurred to me: If you ever caught a catfish on Mr. Stinky Poo, would you really want to eat a fish that ate something like that?
February is a good month to sit by the fire and ponder such cosmic questions.
It helps take our mind off our frozen toes.