I’ve always loved horses, but I’ve never owned one. And the few times I’ve had the opportunity to straddle one for a ride turned out to be not very enjoyable at all.
I was riding a gentle mare owned by Marcus Leadingham along a ridge trail up behind his house when a low hanging limb swarped be out of the saddle and over the horse’s rear. I landed on the ground on all fours. It scared the horse. She took off running and disappeared down the trail, leaving me with a long walk back to Marcus’s barn, where I found the mare.
Then there was the time I straddled Lynn Stephenson’s horse, without a saddle. He walked around in the pasture. Now this ride I was enjoying.
Then something spooked him. Was it a snake in the grass? The horse took off at full gallop. I clasped by arms around his neck and held on like a crab holding a chicken neck dangled in the water on a piece of string.
I was screaming “Whoa! Whoa!” The fool horse evidently thought I was yelling “Go! Go!” He opened it up.
Was he going to jump that three-string barbed wire fence?
He was going too fast for me to vacate my position.
Neigh, neigh he didn’t jump. He lowered his haunch, straightened his forelegs, and skidded to a dead halt just short of hitting the fence.
The horse stopped, but not me. I flew over his head and over the fence, thankfully flying high enough to escape entanglement in the barbed wire.
My audience on the porch came running to see if any bones were broken. I jumped up, brushing off dirt and my self-esteem. Their concern turned to laughter.
And I swear that horse was laughing, too.
NOT SO NUTTY
The next time someone strongly disagrees with an opinion of yours and tells you you’re nutty as a squirrel, maybe you should take it as a compliment.
You’ve probably discovered like me that it’s virtually impossible to stop a big red from figuring out a way to clean out your birdfeeder.
Studies of a red squirrel’s intelligence have shown that they can actually involve themselves in deceptive behavior, something extremely rare in animals.
The studies, by the Chicago Academy of Science and Peggy Wotebaret Nature Museum, Project Squirrel revealed the following:
If another squirrel, or even a human, is watching, they’ll pretend to be burying a nut, digging a hole and filling it in.
But all the time he’s hiding the nut under an armpit to be buried elsewhere.
The whiskered creatures live mostly alone, not in family groups, and they suckle their young only briefly.
The pioneers relied on squirrel meat as a big part of their protean needs.
But my Grandmother Rose Piatt would not allow a squirrel in her kitchen. She claimed they were noting but rodents and it would be the same as eating rats.
I’ve never tried fried rat, but I remember those delicious meals my mother would fix of fried squirrel, gravy and cathead biscuits.
THE MAGIC GLASSES
If you have a dream in which we are deceptive, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you will try to deceive people in real life.
I had this dream one time whereas a friend of mine, a chemist, spilled some of a concoction he was experimenting with onto a pair of sunglasses lying nearby. It materialized into a thin, clear hard coating that covered the righthand lens.
One day when I was visiting him, he told me I could have the glasses if I wanted them. “You might use them when you’re out fishing,” he said. “I put them on and I could see all around the room here.”
I put them in my tacklebox. One day I was fishing and had forgotten my sunglasses. I pulled them out and put them on.
The results were amazing, startling, astonishing. I looked down into the water and I could see through that chemically coated side 30 feet down below the murky surface. I could see all the underwater structure and every big bass lurking within.
When I guided my lure right under their noses, hungry or not, they struck and I boated them.
I entered myself and my glasses on the Pro Bass Master circuit. I won everything right on up to the Classic, which I won by six pounds over the second-place finisher.
I became rich and famous.
I was out fishing with Bill Dance when he lost his sunglasses in the lake. Could he possibly share mine?
Can you say no to Bill Dance?
And right about there was when I awoke.
Kentucky’s 2021 spring wild turkey season, which opened April 17 and runs through May 9, saw hunters kill 26,792 turkeys during the first 17 days, according to telecheck results compiled by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
Of this total, 25,599 were male birds and 193 females which became legal because they sported a beard.
In northeastern Kentucky, Lewis County led the way with 284 turkeys harvested.
Carter County was second with 221, followed by Greenup with 176, Lawrence with 151, Elliott 130, and Boyd 78.
During The first two days of Ohio’s 2021 season, Saturday and Sunday April 24, 25, hunters bagged 3,875 wild turkeys, down slightly from last year’s first two days of 3,566.
Ohio’s season runs shough May 23.
Legal hunting hours in the buckeye state from April 24 through May 2 were 30 minutes before sunrise until noon. But now, through the remainder of the season, legal hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.
Reach G. SAM PIATT at [email protected] or (606) 932-3619.