I needed to record the story of my pet Cholu. I decided to send it on to you all even though you might have heard the story before.

I must have inherited my love of animals from Dad. When I was a little boy I was sent out to Mrs. Ibarra's to take some ribbon to put on a dress that she was making. I lingered in the shoe repair shop where Mr. Ibarra was repairing shoes. While I was watching Mr Ibarra pound the shoe he was repairing a strange little animal began squeaking and trying to come to me. I had never seen an animal exactly like that so I asked what it was. Mr. Ibarra told me that it was a little baby Cholugo. (Coatimundi) I untied the string he was tied with and cuddled him in my arms. He nestled down in my arms and squeaked contentedly. I told Mr. Ibarra that I wanted that little animal. He said I could have him for 13.00 Pesos. I rushed home to plead with my mother to let me buy that cute little animal. I explained all about the little animal in detail. I told her that he had a nose like a pig and paws like a bear and his back feet were like a babies feet, soft and smooth on the bottom. His tail was long and covered with hair and he had little round ears and shiny eyes. I knew he loved me and wanted to come home with me.

My mother listened silently to all I had to say and looked into my pleading eyes. She went to the cupboard and counted out 13 Pesos and handed them to me. I rushed out to Mr. Ibarra's shop and brought home my little Cholu. I took of the little collar and string he had on and fed him some warm bread and milk. He ate hungrily. Lapping the milk with his tongue and using his little hand like paw to eat the bread out of the bowl. That night I took him to bed with me. He snuggled in my arms and put his little pig nose in the hollow of my throat and went to sleep. Very early the next morning I was awakened by Cholu. He was playfully nibbling on my toes under the covers of the bed. I threw back the covers and jumped out of bed and ran into the other room with Cholu following close behind. By the time Cholu could climb up on the bed I would jump off and run to the other bed. At breakfast he loved the mush that I fixed for him, with little pieces of toast in it. I fixed it with sugar and cream just like we always ate it.

On cold winter nights we would be sitting in the dinning room around the big wood heater that heated the whole house. Dad would be sitting in his chair by the radio reading his magazine. We had a big slate Grey Tom Cat that liked to sit in front of the heater. Little Cholu would run around trying to get attention. Dad would pick him up on his lap and scratch his ears for a while. Cholu wanting to play with the cat would run and jump on the cat's back and try to wrestle with him. The cat would sit unmoved and dignified.

Finally after tiring of these attacks the big cat would turn and give Cholu a slap with extended claws. Poor Cholu would retreat crying and squeaking pitifully. After a moment Cholu would resume his playful attacks with undaunted fury. After about three of these attacks on his dignity the cat would give Cholu another good slap. Each time Cholu would retreat crying and squeaking we would all laugh at his crazy antics. Dad especially enjoyed Cholu's persistence in spite of the painful slaps. Mother insisted that Cholu had to live outside so I made him a home out of a big box that I put in the big Mulberry tree. Each morning I would take him his mush and toast. During the day Cholu would come to the kitchen door and hook his strong claws in the screen and pull the door open and dash through the kitchen and up the stairs. Mother would go to the foot of the stairs and call sternly, "Cholu come down here". Cholu would come slowly, squeaking in protest, down to look around the corner of the stairs. If Mother did not have the broom in her hand, he would dash gleefully back up the stairs and Mother would have to go get the broom. When she had the broom he would come down sadly and obediently go outside again.

When we had visitors Dad liked to show off Cholu's eccentricities. He would take

Cholu into the bath room and put a little bit of water in the bottom of the tub and put in a bar of scented soap. Cholu loved to show off. When Dad would put him into the bath tub Cholu would get the soap and busily lather the full length of his long tail. Then he would proudly parade back and forth with his lathered tail straight in the air.

We had a rope tied from the tree of Cholu's house tree to the next tree. When dad would say, "Cholu come on, walk across". Cholu would obediently go up and try to walk the tight rope. He would manage to walk about 2 or 3ft lose his balance and swing under. He would squeak angrily and go back and try again with the same results. This would continue as long as anyone would stay and watch his efforts.

To show Cholu's ingenuity Dad would take him in on the Kitchen table and place an egg, Cholu's favorite food, in front of him. Cholu would hold the egg with his paws and try to bite it but could not get a purchase on it for the egg was too big for his mouth. After a few tries he would push the egg over to the edge of the table and drop it to the floor. He then would jump down and enjoy a good meal licking it all up.

There was a special bond between Dad and Cholu. Cholu seemed to know the exact time when Dad would come home to dinner from the mill. He would run to meet him and jump up and clamp on Dad's leg and cling there while Dad scratched his ears all the way home.

Mrs. Saenz was our neighbor living across the street. She was a lady of Spanish decent and took pride in her person. She had a big beautiful Bureau in her bedroom with a big mirror on top. On this Bureau she had all of her powders, colognes and lotions. One day Mrs Saenz came frantically screaming to tell me that Cholu was in her house. When I hurriedly entered her bedroom, there was Cholu upon her beautiful polished Bureau. His tail was covered thickly with a mixture of powder, lotion and cologne and he was parading back and forth in front of that big mirror proudly admiring his made up tail.

I scolded him and grabbed him by that messy tail and took him home in disgrace.

I promised Mrs. Saenz that I would not let him come to her house again.

Another time Eloise Coon came running to tell me that Cholu was down to her house and to please come and get him. We rushed down to the Coon home and entered their back screened in porch. There my eyes beheld an envious sight. Sister Coon had baked an assortment of delicious pies: Banana Cream with whipped cream topping, delicious Pumpkin pie with a thick topping of whipped cream, and yummy apple pie. She placed them all on her cooling board in the cool screen porch. There was Cholu walking along tasting each pie with a dainty paw and leaving his footprints as he went along.

Cholu could climb anything that he could get his arms around. There was a vent pipe that extended from the back porch up passed the roof of the house. Cholu in play would tease our little Wire Haired Terrier that we called Penney. Penny would be lying asleep on the back lawn near the porch. Cholu would stealthily go and bite poor Penny then with a grunting huff, huff, huff he would run and go up that pipe clear to the Eaves of the house; There he would look around warily until Penny would go back and lie down to sleep again. Cholu would then slide slowly down the pipe and creep stealthily up and grab Penny and scamper up the pipe again. Penny would soon leave and go away to some safer place. Cholu had big, sharp Eyeteeth and really wounded poor little Penney eventually causing his death from infection.

Over on the Northwest side of the mill a thick layer of dust and wheat hulls would collect from the blower of the mill. The June bugs, that plagued our grapes and other fruits, would lay their eggs down under that dust layer. The eggs would hatch and develop into big Grub Worms. Cholu would go over and root around under the dust layer with his little pig nose and finding a big worm would pull it out of it's hole. Using a sharp claw he would tear open the big worm and shake out the inside dirt and devour the tasty morsel. This was a great help in reducing the June Bug population.

Cholu grew into a big male Cholugo That the people in th mountains call "Solitarios" because they live and hunt alone. He started going to the mill with Dad and went all through the mill hunting rats and mice. Apparently he got caught in a belt at the mill and broke his right forearm. From then on he hobbled around on three legs and wasn't the same loving pet.

The young girls of the neighbors would come over to the hedge and call, "Cholu, Cholu". Then when Cholu would come to the hedge they would laugh and squeal and run away. One Sunday three girls that didn't know about Cholu were passing our house laughing and talking noisily. Cholu slipped through the hedge and bit one of the girls on the calf of her leg causing a deep wound. Dad took the girl up to Doctor Martin Del Campo for treatment. Later that evening Dad told me of the incident and told me that Doctor Del Campo wanted Cholu and for me to take him up to his hospital. I knew that we had to do something with Cholu and this was a good solution. I took him up and asked the Doctor where he wanted me to put Cholu. He said to just turn him loose out by the swimming pool. I warned him that Cholu would get out but he insisted that it was walled in with a high wall. I took Cholu out into the enclosure and turned him loose and sadly told him goodby. The next morning I went up to see about Cholu but he was gone and we never saw him again.