Two, Four, Six, Eight…Go Ermine! By L. Stream
Well, you can’t weasel out this time, I’ve caught you! Fear shoots through my whole being as I recognize my sin has been exposed and I’m going to have to suffer the consequences and I’m scared. What will be my punishment and how severe can it be are notions running through my brain. How many times did I have to learn the lessons the hard way growing up, before I learned there’s a right way to do things and a wrong way that brings consequences in many forms? A lifetime! I’m still learning. “Weaseling out” is a term that even most teenagers can tell you the definition. But where did that connotation come from? I like to go back to the source on this one, the weasel. It’s a small, long, cylinder like mammal that can manipulate its body into small crevices and holes, which seem incredulous for us to imagine. The phrase means we are using words to get around our actions just like a weasel gets out of tight places. Most of us have tried “weaseling out of circumstances”-- some with great success and others not so good at least once in our lives. I see a lot of this in our society now, don’t you? Weasels are from the Mustelidae family, which also include Fisher, mink, skunks, wolverines and badgers. They emit a foul odor like a skunk, but not as odiferous, to ward off enemies to detract a predator while it escapes. There are three sub-species in the USA, the Long-tailed, Short-tailed and Least Weasel. The Long-tailed Weasel is the most often one found in Yakima with the Short-tailed present, but not as common. Weasels are aggressive predators preying on small mammals such as mice, gophers, shrews, voles and chipmunks, but are often known for their ability to raid eggs from nests, even though it’s not a main staple in their diet, because eggs aren’t always available. Their ability to crawl into in to burrows and cracks where rodents live makes it highly likely their prey cannot escape, so unless you have chickens, they are good to have around. Most of us won’t see them unless you are in the right habitat, which includes meadows, along waterways or in the forests where small mammals are in abundance. When running, they are distinguishable by their humped appearance as the back legs catch up to the front legs, and then stretch out for the next stride. They are brown with white undersides, but in the winter, the fur turns white to camouflage with the snow. In this state they are often called “Ermine” but are still weasels. Somehow it just doesn’t roll off the lips the same way. Beautiful ermine coats were once popular, but expensive to make, because of the rarity of obtaining enough pelts to make a coat. Fur coats are not the fashion they once were, but fur has been used since creation worldwide for protection against the weather, especially in colder climates. I think they are cute and cuddly critters but if I were able to pick one up, I would be met with excruciating pain as it sunk its teeth into my flesh repeatedly, until I let it go. Well, it may not let me go, so begins the weasel dance, him and me together, but not much in harmony. They are ferocious and fearless in defending their prey and territory, which makes me wonder why we don’t have sports teams named after them. Just think, the Ferocious Weasels tromp the Mighty Cougars, Bears, Buffaloes, and that would be a lot of tromping with its little feet or more likely its sharp teeth! Just imagine…Go Weasels! Sort of makes you want to start cheering, doesn’t it? When I was in High School, our mascot was the Wolverine, and at the time, I didn’t appreciate the name as much as I do today. It has a reputation of being extremely ferocious, but somehow I didn’t learn that until much later in life. We learn such things as we grow older and things change. I don’t try to weasel out of circumstances today because I’ve learned it doesn’t help but makes things worse. Now when I do something wrong, I admit it and try to correct my actions. Jesus tells us to confess our sins and ask forgiveness and He forgives us. Confessing our sins takes a huge burden off our shoulders. Depending on the issue, we still may have consequences that follow, but that’s part of life. We can still live victorious lives even while going through the consequences of our actions. Today people don’t use this so-called derogatory term as often as before, because it’s not politically correct. It’s very unfair to the crafty weasel you see! Unfortunately the weasel will have to live with their name until perhaps an NFL winning team adopts them and turns things around for them. I could think of a few teams that this could work for, for one reason or another... God bless America!