A good friend of ours discovered a big, ugly surprise recently in her flower bed near the family home’s deck.
She came home from an outing and happened to look down into her flower bed and got the disturbing sight of a large prairie rattlesnake sunning itself on a rock.
A frantic call to her hubby got him to hurrying his way home, while the Mrs. kept an eagle eye on the snake.
It didn’t take hubby long to dispatch the reptile nuisance which posed a danger to the couple’s grandkids who visit regularly. The critter sported six full rattles and one button-rattle still forming.
It’s been quite a few years since I spied a rattlesnake at Damphewmore Acres. In fact, it’s been 10 years. I discovered a good-sized rattler in our garage a few days after we moved into our new Flint Hills home.
Although not as numerous as in former days, rattlers still show up occasionally. My good friend Mocephus’s dog got bitten by a poisonous snake just last summer, and that’s just a half-mile away from our home. It’s strange that I haven’t encountered a rattlesnake on any of my fishing ventures into the Flint Hills, but I still keep a wary eye on the ground around me and I always warn friends and family to be aware that the Hills are still rattlesnake country.
A kindly reader sent me an e-mail with all sorts of cute and clever signs found in America. Here are a few of them:
■ “We’ll always be best friends because you know too much.”
■ “You either like bacon or you’re wrong!”
■ “This property is a farm. Farms have animals. Animals make funny sounds, smell badly, and have sex outdoors. Unless you can tolerate noise, odors and outdoor sex, don’t buy a property next to a farm.”
■ “The secret to being happy is having a good sense of humor and a dirty mind.”
■ “We’ll be friends ’til we’re old and senile — then we’ll be new friends.”
■ Door sign: “Push! If that doesn’t work, pull! If that doesn’t work, we must be closed.”
■ “Today’s soup is beer.”
■ “No senior citizen discounts. You have had twice as long to get the money.”
■ “This business is guarded by shotgun three nights a week. You guess.”
■ Public bathroom sign: “Men to the left because women are always right.”
■ “Teach your kids about taxes. Eat 30 percent of their ice cream cone.”
■ “Alcohol may not solve your problems, but neither will water or milk.”
Meaningful quotes from the distant and recent past: James Madison, Founding Father and former president, “It will be of little avail to the people if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”
Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives: “We have to pass the bill, so we can find out what is in it.”
A rural teenager and his grandpa were fishing and the action wuz slow so grandpa got to reminiscing about the old days. Eventually, the conversation turned to various problems and diseases in the modern world.
Finally, the topic reached the uncomfortable topic of safe sex.
“Grandpa, what did your generation use for safe sex?” inquired the teenager.
Without hesitation, grandpa answered, “A wedding ring.”
The annual Flint Hllls rodeo in Strong City is now in the book as a success. All three performances dodged the rain, but the rain muddied up the parking lot and the arena for two days and nights.
I got to visit with my new/old friend, Tex Jay, who again came to the rodeo from Colorado. Tex is of an age that he hob-nobbed some of the old time rodeo greats — and he told me a story for the truth about one of those cowboys, I think it was Casey Tibbs, during a rodeo in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
Killing time in his hotel, the cowboy passed the time by trapping pigeons on the roof outside his room. He kept a few for a later plan.
During the rodeo performance, none other than Roy Rogers and Trigger entered the arena to entertain the fans. During the act, Roy reared Trigger and fired his pistols into the airs with blanks.
Well, the cowboy (who wuz friends with Roy), had station himself high on a catwalk about the arena and when Roy fired into the air, the cowboy dropped a few dead pigeons from the rafters and they fell into the arena. I understand that Roy thought it wuz a great practical joke. Thankfully, it wuz in the days before PETA or Roy would have probably been arrested for animal cruelty.
It would be cruel not to end this column with at least one worthy quote about rodeo. Rodeo great and country music artist, the late, great Chris LeDoux, once said about his early rodeo days: “I can remember sittin’ in a cafe and waitin’ until somebody got done eatin’, so I could finish what they left on their plate.” That speaks worlds about rodeo life.
Have a good ’un. ❖