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Tuesday, June 28, 2016
The Kudzu CaperPosted Thursday, September 20, 2007, at 7:24 AM
Ace Ventura has nothing on the feared Kudzu Hunter!
The time: 10 a.m.
The place: Behind A-Z Muffler, Dexter. Mo., pop. 7,500
The task: Identify and bring back samples of kudzu.
The force: Minnie's Bodacious Bloggers - Madeline, Goat Lady, Minnie O'Pausal, Ducky, Cake Lady, and one white Nubian-Boer cross goat named Petunia.
The equipment: Yellow 30-inch loppers, a yellow plastic Dollar General bag, leather gloves, knee-high camoflage snake boots, hunting vests with pockets, sunglasses, Aussie bush hats and jaunty grins.
Armed with a photograph of the kudzu vine (much feared for its habit of swallowing whole villages), the six fearless kudzu fighters moved cautiously along the riverbed, searching for the telltale signs of kudzu infestation.
Suddenly, Ducky spied a suspicious pile of vegetation. The intrepid explorers quickly surrounded the unidentified flora. Madeline seized an unwieldy vine and held it up for inspection.
"Oh, my mackerel!" exclaimed Goat Lady. "Do you think this is it?"
Minnie whipped out the photograph and held it up for comparison.
Twelve eyes (two of which were goat) inspected the questionable greenery.
"Let's review the checklist!" said Cake Lady, whipping out her magnifying glass. "It's green! (check) It's climbing! (check) It has three leaves! (check) Is it covering everything?"
"Wellllll, not really," said Ducky.
"Whatta ya mean - not really?!" shouted Madeline, as she disappeared in a mass of swirling vines. "Get me loose!" It appeared that several snake-like tendrils had fastened themselves tightly about her arms and legs. She fought bravely with the yellow loppers, but the vegetation was definitely getting the upper hand...er, leaf....
"Attack, Petunia!" shouted Goat Lady, grabbing a lopper and leaping into the fray. Cake Lady, Minnie, and Ducky rushed to the aid of their fellow bloggers and their goatly companion, who was chomping down on the vines in a frenzy of frantic footwork.
Cake Lady attacked from the left. Minnie attacked from the right. Ducky attempted to outflank the (alleged) kudzu with a flying leap from above, drop-kicking it into the creek.
Petunia became so enraged that she lost her balance and leaped over the creek in pursuit of the giant clump of tangled vines; however, she was very nearly hit by a passing motorist returning home from the Stoddard County Fair. Fortunately for the bedraggled bloggers, a kindly policeman stopped his patrol car and helped them retrieve the confused goat.
Returning to the creek bed, the bloggers discovered that the giant clump of vines was GONE!
"Great Jumping Kudzu!" shouted Minnie. "Don't tell me that we have inadvertently unleashed the green menace upon the unsuspecting citizens of this noble town?"
It was only too true: By cutting the vines and allowing them to congregate into a multitudinous conglomeration, the bloggers had unwittingly created a mobile mass of evil kudzu, which could roam the city at will, attacking innocent citizens.
Our five weary bloggers packed up their kudzu-fighting paraphenalia and made their way home, knowing full well that they would return one day to continue the battle against this alien plant, which threatens the very existence of life as we know it.
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at email@example.com.