Hamlet Kicking Stones At The Ranch Pen


Gramps chasing the neighbor’s cows away from the highway on the way home from church. Pardon the cow at the far right–she had to go real bad.

Not much news from the Ranch Pen this week and certainly nothing of brilliance in a world in dire need of brilliance.

This morning when I went out to feed my critters–at present horses, dog, cat, and chickens, although the grandkids are petitioning for pigs and goats, too–I walked past the feed truck Gramps had been using. A smear of blood and gore on the flatbed arrested my attention. Sure enough, Gramps had hauled away the carcass of a newborn calf. The little fellow looked perfect, but apparently hadn’t been able to draw a breath through the super-tough membrane covering its head. What a pity. And we might as well have thrown a $500 dollar bill in the fire, for that is what newborn calves are worth–or more–at the livestock auction at present.

I also missed my five ducks which used to greet me with an unbelievable racket each morning when I showed up to feed them, quacking away and waddling around on their little orange feet. Along with six hens, the ducks were senselessly murdered by a raccoon a few weeks ago. I’m still real put out about it even though our dog, Nellie, treed the ‘coon a few days later and Gramps grabbed his 12 gauge. That particular raccoon won’t be murdering any other helpless fowl. Have I mentioned I hate raccoons? If they ate their victims from need I might lighten up, but they just enjoy mass killing and leaving the dead in inglorious piles of bloody feathers.

Oh, yeah, and then there was the bomb threat at the Head Start in a little bitty town not far from us. A couple of brave criminals threatened to blow up the little kids then when the cops traced the number and showed up to find out what was going on, one of the criminals shot the cop in the chest several times. Thank God he was wearing a bullet proof vest. The law enforcement around here doesn’t get paid enough.

Hamlet and the Gravediggers, by Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret image via wikipedia

Hamlet and the Gravediggers, by Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret image via wikipedia

Last week, I read an audio book (read by Richard Armitage, ladies) called Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, which is a novelization of Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. Written in modern english, the story was missing most of the classic lines ingrained into our language today like: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”, “Brevity is the soul of wit”, “There is something rotten in Denmark”, and a bunch of others. In spite of that–and a weird  twist where Yorick, the dead court jester accompanies melancholy Hamlet around smart-mouthing–I enjoyed the book more than the play. The novel also retained Shakespeare’s theme of revenge gone badly awry.

This week, I read another audio book, Elie Wiesel’s, Night, the sad account of his experience as a teenage boy during the Holocaust. Perhaps that is why I’ve gone around in a funk “like Hamlet, kicking stones” (as P.G. Wodehouse says in one of his books). Elie Wiesel’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech is online and worth reading, as well, because even though it was written in 1986 about events that happened in the 1940’s it is still frighteningly relevant when we look at today’s headlines.

Until next time, be happy and God bless all y’all. To make up for me going around like Hamlet kicking stones, here’s Matt Maher having way much fun with his friends doing All The People Said Amen.

*This artist doesn’t necessarily endorse my blot, I just like his music

7 thoughts on “Hamlet Kicking Stones At The Ranch Pen

  1. Pingback: Deep Thoughts And So Forth At The Ranch Pen | From the Ranch Pen–A Danni McGriffith Blog

  2. I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read Hamlet… Loser that I am, the closest I’ve gotten is Aunt Dehlia shouting a version/perversion of his lines in Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit. Being the person I am I think I might like Aunt Dehlia’s way better. ;0) I think I know how you feel about raccoons ~ because I feel the same way about snapping turtles. Nasty things. Gramps looks very dapper chasing cows in his Sunday best. And… I can’t believe I hadn’t heard the bomb story! Very brave fellows indeed.:0/

  3. Like Drema, I’m a bit leery about a version of Hamlet without those familiar and favorite lines, like “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.” However, if Richard Armitage is reading, I feel compelled to at least have a listen. And I’m sorry and horrified at the news of the bomb threat and the police officer being shot. Thank God he lived. You’re right. They just aren’t paid enough. I hope you have a fabulous, raccoon-free day, Danni. And that the stone-kickin’ is soon at an end (although Weisel’s Night is definitely worth a few days of funk.)

    • Hamlet is so full of awesome one-liners it’s a shame to by-pass them. Still, the novel had space for more characterization. I’m not sure Shakespeare would’ve liked the direction some of it took, such as making Polonius exceedingly creepy, but Richard Armitage reads all the characters so well I kinda forgot about how it was supposed to go. 😀 Give it a listen if you get a chance and let me know what you think.

  4. Hi Danni. So sorry to hear about your ducks and hands. I had no idea raccoon could wreak so much havoc! That’s terrible.

    I’m a big Hamlet fan, but I don’t know if I would like a version that doesn’t have some of my favorite lines in it. Still, maybe I should give it a try.

    • Thanks for dropping by, Drema. I was leery of the novelization, too, but it fleshed in a lot of character and setting. I kinda doubt Mr. Shakespeare would like it, but who knows? He might be rolling around in his grave thinking, “Augh! I wish I had thought of all that stuff.” Give it a try if you get a chance, see what you think.

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