This column is about a girl who has been my friend since I first met her. She is a “Pap’s” girl, as her grandfather Raymond “Pap” Brown of Dry Fork is my best friend.
Her name is Carla “Cocoa Puff” Sturgill and she is the youngest daughter of Pap’s daughter, Connie Sturgill, and the sister of Destiny Sturgill.
Although Cocoa Puff is not yet grown, she is a leader in her own right who has been taught by Pap to enjoy what God has given us — the beautiful earth and the wild animals He put here to put food on our tables.
In my mind, Cocoa Puff is still helping Pap and myself set up the wildlife display at one of the Kids’ Day events in Whitesburg. Cocoa Puff got her name, years ago, from me when Destiny killed a nice deer — her first and one if I remember correctly was a five-point.
I went down to look at buck as I was hunting behind my house at Dry Fork and heard the shot, knew it was one of the girls, and went to get the story for Struttin’ Time. When I arrived, young Carla was standing there eating a bowl of Cocoa Puffs cereal. She had missed the morning hunt and was just having breakfast. I named her Cocoa Puff and it has stuck ever since.
Carla usually shares her story with me when she kills a deer or turkey, and this time is no different. Pap has been very sick and has been in the hospital, but he got out early enough to take Cocoa Puff hunting last Saturday on his farm.
She told me she had to make a good shot, because Pap wasn’t healthy enough to track it if she didn’t put it down. Her fears were for naught. At the crack of her rifle the deer hit the ground. It was a nice eight-point to add to her growing collection.
When it comes to children like Destiny and Carla (Cocoa Puff ), I have never nor will I ever worry about them, because they have been taught to love and be loved, have respect and be respected, and to be all they can be.
I know that Pap, their parents, their other family members, and myself will watch as they grow into adults of whom we can all be proud.