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SMART WHISKERS

(Jim Horan 1999) Copyright ©   All Rights Reserved.


If you need to go fishing for a Channel Cat,

You must remember where you're at.

It is his lair; it's his own abode.

Don't go there thinking like some bump in the road.


He didn't get old for lack of smarts.

He's made it thus far, breaking some hearts.

Dumb, he's not, for this I will tell,

He'll send your mind right off to hell.


If he didn't stick you in his youth,

He can defeat your spirit, just like Babe Ruth.

One mighty run from his brute strength,

Can cause your line to loose lots of length.


His time's not spent behind a razor to shave,

Since the foliage adorning his face is a rave.

The length of his whiskers belies his true age,

Although proves he didn't spend time rubbing a cage.


But first things first. You'll have to partake

Of a challenge that brings him to your bait.

Flakes may be fine for fish in a tank,

Yet this large critter likes it rank.


We'd sooner tell you what not to serve,

Since truth may cause your loss of nerve.

Don't use wood, and don't offer him steel.

This big beast came for a tasty ol' meal.


High on the list of his major delights,

Are items selected despite their plight.

Crawfish, Night Crawlers, Leeches, or Shad,

These should be considered as "Must-Be-Had's".


However, if we reveal his biggest mistake,

Is when he goes after a giant Shrimp steak.

These are to him something really so nice,

It's like a block of cheese appearing before mice.


Speaking of cheese and that's certainly not a bad deal,

Especially if he's looking for a truly hearty meal.

The smell's the real trigger to get him to open his mouth.

Just be at-the-ready, for when he heads out South.


He'll roll and he'll boil, his might to show forth.

Your biggest obstacle is to get him headed back North.

Once that's accomplished and you've earned your rest,

Do one more thing that proves you're impressed.


Lift him carefully, and with both hands held so high,

Thank him for letting you and he to come neigh.

This opportunity you really should not miss.

Just purse your lips and give him a big kiss.


Then carefully and with love, let him slip down

Into the water, his home, off to be found.

He's wily, cunning, crafty you'll hear,

Just wait 'till he bests you sometime next year.


Should you meet again, be forewarned as he tries

To teach you new learning's that makes him more wise.

He may recall your loving care and embrace.

He'll also know this is another horse race.


It's come time to close this tale of shared trust.

So hear my words that translate to a "must".

He's not ugly, he's beautiful, and this you must know,

Please show respect and let all the big ones go.