Is it really spring?

After a few fits and starts, maybe spring is here—or at least we are on the cusp of it . . . I hope.
“Elliott, why and earth are you back from the south? Don’t you read the weather reports?” is the question someone puts to me at least once a day.
I ask myself the same question even more frequently. But I must say signs of pending spring at the debating table at the Bakery in Rainy River are becoming more frequent.
“The river is out at Emo,” chirped Pickle the other day, considerably cheerier than the three drunken robins out in the blizzard pecking away at the last of the fermented berries.
If we don’t get some mud and worms pretty soon, we are going to have a whole swarm of hung-over, alcoholic twitterers.
With that, the conversation swung from snowmobiles to lures.
“Look at these super shiny jigs. Great for blind walleye. Ouch!” snorted Marquis, pulling a bag of his latest issue from his pocket and then proceeded to extract three loose ones from his right thumb.
He didn’t bleed for long and spent the rest of his break sucking on his thumb.
Moose had pulled up to the table 10 minutes earlier and so far had contributed nothing to the conversation. A hearty “Hello” in his direction solicited no response.
“He’s stopped thinking and must have forgotten to start again,” observed Larry, whose own lapses in memory recently have resulted in a hefty repair requirement to his snowmobile.
Stumps forgotten for most of the winter emerged and whacked him (we all expect he’ll be out to the spring sales making a deal on a new sled).
I’m happy to report Scrounger is back in town from a recent trip down to Trawna for a valve job. He looks fit and happy in contrast to just prior to his departure.
For the trip to the procedure, he stated he only had bought a one-way ticket in case things did not work out (economy and careful spending ever the watch words).
On the home front, my wife, the Pearl of the Orient, and I once again are packing our bags—this time for a trip to China, where we’ll celebrate our 45th anniversary (no easy feat considering the number of times I have featured her antics in this column).
But no more. Either I retire my written attentions to her or the Pearl may retire me.
Why China, you say? It’s simple. People who don’t like cats probably have never had one that’s been properly prepared. So with southeast China’s culinary reputation for feline dishes, I thought now would be the time to undertake a fact-finding mission.
Perhaps when I get back, I could tackle the district’s feral cat problems.
See you in a few weeks. Meeeooowww! Pssst! Pssst!