Blues Material From Iraq

A discussion of the blues for blues lovers and fans.

Blues Material From Iraq

Postby gimpy lassiter » Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:57 pm

I saw something interesting at Tal Afar, Northern Iraq. That area has dry land farming. One of their crops is winter wheat. Saddam's wife controlled the land and forced the farmers to pay her a portion of the harvest royalties. When the war started the Iraqi military abandoned the airfield at Tal Afar. Saddam's wife got nothing. The farmers moved in and plowed and planted every bit of land. They even planted wheat between the two landing strips. When the US Forces came, they secured the area and none of the wheat near the airfield was harvested.

Then the rats came. They came by the thousands. Insurgent rats were in every building and container. At night you could hear them scratching and gnawing on things. While we tried to sleep the rats would run right over our sleeping bags. These were very rude and arrogant rats. We didn't have enough traps. They would not eat poison bait because there was so much wheat everywhere.

Then the eagles came. About a hundred of them. When I first saw them I thought they were turkey buzzards. They are black and stand 3 1/2 feet tall. Their wings spread out over six feet. We cheered every time an eagle swooped down and carried off a rat. Some of the eagles would wade though the wheat and pounce on the rats.

Then the owls came. They hunted rats at night while the eagles slept.

Then the jackals came. They teamed up with the owls.

Then the cats came. They teamed up with the eagles while the owls and jackals slept. It was hard to tell how many of them there were. They seemed to be everywhere. They were the roughest, toughest, and mangiest ally cats I have ever seen. They chased rats all through the aircraft hangars.

Then the carpet vipers came. The carpet vipers preferred to work alone. It's a plain brown snake about three feet long. Very deadly. The carpet vipers followed the rats down their holes.

It seemed like nature had formed its own Coalition against the Insurgent rats. In three weeks all the rats were eaten and the Coalition members parted company and went their separate ways.

There might be some material here for a Blues song. What do you think?


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RE: Blues Material From Iraq

Postby allanlummox » Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:02 pm

Wow.


Strong images...

I think it might be your song to write.
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RE: Blues Material From Iraq

Postby david » Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:37 pm

Thanks for sharing that story. Of course, I always root for the farmers.

Definitely a song in there somewhere, something about hubris throwing us out of balance and nature always batting last.
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RE: Blues Material From Iraq

Postby ricochet » Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:52 pm

That's ecology in action.

I'd be glad the carpet vipers were going down the rat holes instead of in the sleeping bags.

2 of my 3 cats spend most of their time at the dairy barn up the hill behind my house. The dairy farmer wisely feeds cats and encourages them to stay around. He's got a lot of dry corn on hand and doesn't want the rodents. My kitties still come "home" when it's feeding time here, and they're fat as bears. Contrary to what you might expect, a well fed cat has more energy to spend on its "hobby" of serial killing. They bring us rats down here, feeling sorry for us because they know we can't catch our own.
:7

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RE: Blues Material From Iraq

Postby david » Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:05 pm

Contrary to what you might expect, a well fed cat has
>more energy to spend on its "hobby" of serial killing. They
>bring us rats down here, feeling sorry for us because they
>know we can't catch our own.


Sure sounds like cats. I'm basically a "dog person" but I have two cats in the house and five at the barn. I have hit periods with too few cats and was over run with mice and rats in short order.

When you slide open the barn door and the mice don't scatter, but stand there looking at you, it's time to get some cats.

I always take care to not harm my resident chicken snakes and rat snakes, but they don't eat enough to make much of a dent. A cat will kill for pure sport.

It still amazes me that as long as humans have been making these kinds of messes we still haven't caught the concept of balance. Or maybe its that we expect Nature to balance to our patterns.
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RE: Blues Material From Iraq

Postby ricochet » Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:53 pm

Oh yeah: I've got a fat lazy old mutt, too, who sleeps under the back deck. A while back I found a rat that Callie had brought down from the barn and tucked neatly behind Minnie the pooch's feeding dish. Thought that was mighty considerate of her.

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RE: Blues Material From Iraq

Postby jeffl » Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:56 pm

Great post Gimpy! You gotta write the tune- you had the experience.
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RE: Blues Material From Iraq

Postby bluejay » Mon Mar 28, 2005 3:59 pm

Great report Gimpy, and I agree, it's your song to write (though it will be an inspiration to some of the rest of us here, too). As they say, good writers borrow, great writers steal.

And good to hear from you. Best wishes to you and your mates for a safe and early return.
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RE: Blues Material From Iraq

Postby santo » Sat Apr 23, 2005 2:50 am

Very cool post. It's just the way things play out in nature.
Different things come together working to move their cause forward.
Take care out there at Camp Victory.
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RE: Blues Material From Iraq

Postby bluejay » Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:18 pm

BTW, Gimpy, I printed out your story and passed it on to our field biology instructor and he used it in his ecology class.
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