Whitesburg KY
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy

Fishing can be dangerous

I had a friend, one I grew up with and attended grade school with. He was natural born comedian who would go to great lengths to get a laugh out of someone.

I never heard him say an ill word about another human being. If he couldn’t get a laugh out of you, he would simply leave you to your own misery. He could even get a laugh out of a teacher sometimes with his antics.

He left a daughter behind and I sincerely hope she has inherited his sense of humor and zest for life. I don’t know what his wife thought of his behavior, never did ask her. But if she was annoyed by his antics, she bore the burden well.

This fellow loved to fish and was pretty doggoned good at catching them, too. One day he got a hankering to go catch himself a mess of suckers. They are might near the tastiest fish in the river, and by far the boniest. In my opinion, the only safe way to eat suckers is to run them through a meat grinder and then make sucker patties, which you can fry to a golden brown.

Anyway, here he is, sitting on the riverbank not too far from where he lived. He has already caught a couple suckers, and is intently watching for that telltale nibble to signal that the action is about to start. Suckers are not the easiest fish to catch.

All is quiet as he sits there concentrating on the task at hand. Suddenly, out of nowhere and without a sound to warn him of impending doom, he thought the devil himself had dropped out of a tree and landed astride his neck. It was screaming and clawing. First it tried to yank his ears off, then it made absolutely certain his hair, which was probably standing straight up about then, was firmly attached. Evidently he screamed louder than it did, because lucky for him it left as suddenly as it had appeared.

Now most folks are used to the devil, slewfoot, Satan, boogie man, or whatever you want to call him, being depicted as a red critter which stands upright like a person, with horns, a trident in his hands, and a long barbed tail. But my friend would describe him as a hairy, foul smelling, and ugly critter because he caught a glimpse of it as it left, swinging from tree to tree. It had a long tail, too.

Seems a fellow a few hoe handles on up the creek had a pet monkey. He enjoyed getting it drunk just to watch its actions. But on this day, it got away from him and went to have some fun on its own. I would not have wanted to be in that poor fellow’s shoes on the creek bank.

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