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Feeling Froggy? Think Again!!Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2011, at 10:01 PM
Spring 1955...being 11-years old, thought I was "a man" as judged by others.
"A coming of age," is what I'm talking about.
Older cousin, Robert Terry Reed, thought so too,and agreed to take "Little Danny Whittle" frog hunting.
Family menfolks had always deemed me "too little."
"You're old enough," Robert Terry. "No need in waiting. Let's go get some frogs out of Little River."
We're talking "high adventure here!!" as Robert Terry, always the "mechanical-gifted cousin," fashioned me a "gig" out of an old discarded "pitch fork" from the family barn.
"We've got to adapt your St. Louis Cardinal baseball cap to fit an carbide light too, so we can eyeball those biggo frogs," cousin Terry instructed.
Overall galluses swelled with pride when cousin Terry was able to fit that stinking "carbide light" on my treasured Cardinal baseball cap.
Finally, we were out in the middle of Little River, in actuality, a pitiful little stream when compared to the Mighty Mississippi or even the Ste. Francios, but we'd already bagged seven or eight biggo bull frogs.
That's when "it" happened.
We'd gone about a half-mile up stream toward Morehouse when I felt something "tapping" on my knee-high boots. When I looked down, I froze.
Older cousin Terry instructed: "Don'move!!"
Not to worry, I was frozin in fright, for five little heads of water maccosin snakes were tapping their venomous little viperous heads against my boots.
"Don't move," echoed Terry again.
"Can't move," I replied petrified from motion.
Older cousin, being smarter and older, finally came on a solution.
"Shine your light on the water about five fee away, and I'll do the same," Robert Terry instructed. "See if thos ol' snakes wan't follow..."
Finally, after seemingly an eternity, the congregation of snakes followed the light and swam away from my boots.
After the serpents had swam away from my boots, cousin Robert Terry inquired what caused that "wet spot" on the front of my britches.
"It ain't river water," I confessed red-faced.
Thus, ended my first and last "frog hunting" adventure.
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Retired recently as world-traveled newspaperman, career made possible by late Superintendent of Schools Robert L. Rasche, about to have Bootheel life book published by SEMO State University. Loved farm life, but knew at five years old, didn't want to be a "cotton picker" when I grew up.
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