Panther in the Soybeans?

My long-term followers know that when the field corn grows tall, my alter ego Panther pride hits his stride.

Summer in the Minnesota farming country finds Mom and I basically stationary. Mom parks The Ivy in a fistful of mighty Oaks surrounded by vast acres of planted corn. The rows upon rows of corn stretch toward the skies of blue while firmly rooted to the beige-colored earth. What I like best about the cobbed plant is the soft, easy-on-the-paw sand nestled between each uniformly planted row.

In August, the corned stalks morph from a strict alignment of structured soldiers into green sharp, angled jungle foliage and the separating path becomes my runway. The runway of the Panther.

I sink my head between raised shoulders as I dart in a semi-crouch along the darkened path. Mom can see my best interpretation of a panther when I run through the row of planted corn neighboring the road. My Mom can be wowed by my prowess, incredible skill, and speed as I skulk low to get the lay of the land. My agility evades the stiff stalk leaves aiming to blind my eyes. My speed? I’m fast like Super Dog; here, one minute then gone in an eye blink.  

I’m the best Field Panther that ever lived. I love playing Panther.

At least that was true until this year when the earth shocked Mom and me by sprouting soybeans instead of corn.

Whhhaaattt? Nooo! After regrouping, I realized one of my favorite virtuous is my adaptability.

 Sadly, I realized it doesn’t matter how adaptable I am; there is no way to play Panther with formidable grace in a bunch of lazy-assed soybeans.

First off, soybean plants are squat-impregnable bushes. Did I look scary when I gave Panther in the Soybeans a go? Did I look majestic? Did I look daring? No, no, and no. I looked stupid! I could hear the moles, voles, and mice snickering when they witnessed my Panther/ Soybean debacle. Those rascals were pointing and rolling in the dirt with merriment. Good thing I was off my game cuz on a typical day, all those little rodents would be scurrying for cover if the “Big O” was nearby. Ya, “Big O” is what the nasty field vermin call me. At least that’s what they call me until I chomp their little heads. Okay, Okay, I haven’t actually caught one of the tiny grey burrowers yet, but when I do, I promise there will be a chomp involved.

To be clear, this is what I look like in a bean field. I do not care how enhanced your imagination; all you’ll ever see is a big tan dog standing in a sea of green. If no one can see my rippling muscles while I run, shifting and dodging, what is the point?

My Mama is my biggest support, so we set out to find where farmer Joel hid his fields of corn. Remember, we are in Minnesota, so we walked ½ a mile and found exactly what was needed for my Panther in the Corn game.

I look my best when running full tilt through the corn. Usually, Mom rides her dirt bike alongside my running with only one long string of cobbed stalks between us. Today Mom was on her feet, not wheels, so I played Panther slowly; therefore, Mom didn’t get good action shots of me playing excellent Panther in the corn.

However, Mom got some adorable still shots of me in the corn.

At this point, all I can do Is hope that next year Farmer Joel will get his seeds straight and plant the right crop in the right field. I’m not sure if his decision-making or eyesight that’s gone astray. Maybe Mom and me need to return to our Minnesota nesting spot earlier in the season. That way, I could guide Mr. Farmer into making the choices that suit me best.

Luv Otis

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