As young boys, Ted and Clem Rademacher had all kinds of adventures in Snyder with animals, both domestic and wild. The boys took up hunting and especially trapping, and made money by selling pelts.
Once they caught a scary and snarling wild animal in their trap and didn’t know what it was! They were so scared they ran home barefoot through the cactus and rocks to fetch their dad. Joe went with them back to the trap and found that they had caught a badger. Another time, Clem was checking a trap on the way to school and found a skunk! Of course, the skunk wasn’t happy and let Clem know it. He ended up stinking so bad, the teacher made him sit outside the door of the school house all day long. When he got home, his mother laid down the decree: No More Skunks!
One time the boys caught some baby coyotes. One of the pups ran off, another one was a biter and had to be killed, but the third one seemed tame so they kept it as a pet. The boys hunted jackrabbits to feed to their pet coyote. Eventually, the coyote got into their mom’s chicken pen and she had to lay down the law again. The coyote had to be shot.
They rode to school on their horses, and their favorite horse was named Dot. From Clem’s grandson:
Clem and Ted had a pony named Dot. They rode the horses to school. They would race the other school kids. A girl names Ruby Ring was the only one with a horse who could beat him. One winter day Clem, his Dad and Ted were coming home and were caught in a snowstorm. The drift hid any stumps, trees, and ditches. Clem’s horse was smart and stopped rather than break a leg. But his Dad kept right on going. Clem said he would forever remember the sight of grandpa flying over the horse’s head with his fur coat flapping like wings. His Dad coming to rest head down in a snowdrift. Sometimes, the snow would drift so high you could walk over the fence on the frozen snow. Yep! Smart horse!
The kids also raised rabbits, or at least tried to. From MaryBeth:
My dad and Uncle Ted had lots of rabbits when they were little boys. They kept their rabbits in a wire pen. They had all different kinds, white and brown, black and spotted. One night some dogs got in the pen and killed all of the rabbits.
We have very few pictures from the family’s time in Snyder, but we are lucky to have this one of Ted and Clem standing in front of their little rabbit pen. How proud they seem to be! I can see how that pen was maybe a bit too inviting for the dogs, though.