I enjoy watching wildlife while I walk along Wildcat Boulevard each morning. The other day I saw a cottontail rabbit flinch and duck. A bird flew very low and the cottontail ducked down to avoid the bird hitting it in the ears. I do not know if the rabbit had done anything to the bird beforehand, but the bird was obviously after the him.

I enjoy watching wildlife while I walk along Wildcat Boulevard each morning. The other day I saw a cottontail rabbit flinch and duck. A bird flew very low and the cottontail ducked down to avoid the bird hitting it in the ears. I do not know if the rabbit had done anything to the bird beforehand, but the bird was obviously after the him.
Every once in a while, there is something on Yahoo about an animal taking special care of a small child. The dog might bite almost anyone, but will let a small child maul it all day long.
For some reason, I remembered an incident which happened when I was in upper grade school. I had a horse named Babe that was trained to pull a buggy. My dad found and bought an old buggy, and I drove it around the farm and neighborhood. It was my major mode of transportation.
Riding in a horse and buggy seemed to be treat for all my younger cousins. Some of the families were large, and it was not unusual to have five or six kids piled in the one-seater buggy with me. These were fun times with lots of giggles, smiles, and laughter.
One particular three year-old cousin seemed to enjoy his rides in the buggy more than the rest. He laughed and smiled the whole time we rode around. He never wanted to quit riding. He cried when his folks made him get out of the buggy so we could have dinner.
After dinner, the families sat around the table and enjoyed visiting. After while, we noticed the three-year-old was gone. We suspected he’d gone outside to play. When we looked out the window, we discovered he was out in the pasture hugging the back legs of my old horse.
Of course, his parents panicked, but my dad reminded them that the horse was very gentle and that animals are many times more kind to kids than they are to anyone or anything else. Babe stood there patiently while the youngster hugged her back legs.  
After giving the horse (and the parents) a rest, we harnessed her up again and drove around some more. It was a fun and an interesting day.
My mother’s hometown is celebrating its 125th anniversary this summer. They are doing all kinds of things little towns do to celebrate. They are having people dress up like some of the more known residents who once lived there in the past. One thing I found very interesting was that they are trying to get all the townspeople to put a sign in their front yard which lists all the owners of that particular house.
Small towns seem to be places where people don’t move very often and each home, even those 100 years old, has had about three or four owners. These signs are especially good for old people to help them remember their past neighbors and for visiting kids and grandkids who come back to their hometown for the celebration.
For example, our home here in Neosho has only had two owners—the Weston family and us.
Take a walk, observe the creatures around you, enjoy little things like buggy rides with giggling kids, use those signal lights, watch for pedestrians, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.  


Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.