We’ve had so many animal stories lately that this column is becoming a written version of “Wild Kingdom.”

Vallan Corbett tells how a possum served a useful purpose (other than becoming barbecue, discussed in an earlier column):

“At 6 a.m. every morning the dog and I used to walk the Sherwood Forest Country Club golf course. One Tuesday, I came home from work to see many trees being cut down.

“Curious, the dog and I took off around the course, only to encounter a baby possum on the path with his mouth open and screaming at me. Listening, it sounded like our Katy the Cat’s scream. Which reminded me that I had not seen Katy since Sunday, when I was working in the yard and stored my tools in the shed.

“When I got home and opened the shed, out ran Katy.

“The point of this story: the Rally Possum is not the first time God has used a possum to rescue his creatures.”

Special order

Algie Petrere says her friend Ron Truxillo had this thought about the LSU baseball team’s Rally Possum:

Somewhere in China, a toy factory superintendent is no doubt wondering, “What? Another order for stuffed possums? What’s going on with those crazy Americans in Louisiana?”

Rise and shine

Tim Palmer, of Lafayette, adds to our “funny funerals” collection:

“I was in Galvez for the graveside funeral service of the father of one of my best friends. The bugle call taps, to be used at the service, was on a recording with other calls. When it was time for the military person to play the recording of taps, out came reveille. The priest said it was still appropriate.”

Sweating it out

Mary Ann Aucoin, of New Orleans, says her husband has this final suggestion for the New Orleans Zephyrs’ new name, pointing out sports teams named for weather:

“There is the Miami Heat, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Tampa Bay Lightning: why not the New Orleans 100 Percent Humidity?”

No Possums, please

Randy Patton answers the reader who suggested the name “Possums” for the Zephyrs: “Beware of being known as the Possums. From what I hear, they play dead at home and get killed on the road.”

Danderoo days

After Danny Church sent in an item, Mike Montagnino asked if that was the same Danny Church who was “Danderoo” on Baton Rouge’s WYNK radio in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

“Yeah, I am one and the same,” says Danny, who retired from radio in 2002 after a 32-year career.

Danny’s show was called “The DC RC Sippers Association and Radio Program, coming to you live and dee-rect from the Big Boomin’ Voice of the Great Great South, WYNK, playing the best country music in Baton Rouge.”

Danny says he’s busy “recreating the old Southern Association baseball league from 1946-1959, using the Out of the Park computer baseball game. So the wonderful New Orleans Pelicans will live again.”

Nice People Dept.

Alma Mims, of Mandeville, says she and husband Barry, after breakfast at the local Waffle House, “asked for our check and the waitress said it had been paid. A fellow veteran, whom we didn’t see, had paid and wanted to remain anonymous.

“We guessed this generosity had something to do with the patriotic scarf I was wearing and the veteran’s sticker on our car.

“We were surprised but very grateful. So whoever you are, thank you for such an act of kindness, and thank you for your service!”

Special People Dept.

Effie McGhee Cambre celebrates her 99th birthday on Wednesday, June 1.

Betty and Bob Roland, of Baton Rouge, celebrate their 68th anniversary on Wednesday, June 1.

Rare letter

Gene Duke tells this story about a fellow Istrouma High football player’s college days.

He thoughtfully wants the subject of his tale to remain anonymous — he told me, “Please withhold Earl Phillip’s name.”

Gene says the guy “was given the college task of writing a paper explaining what grade he deserved for the class and why.

“His answer was, ‘I deserve an A, because I never had one.’

“Apparently he passed.”

Quoting Mommy

Joan Waguespack Barre, of Metairie, says “Years ago, when my eldest granddaughter was about 3 years old, she was riding in the car with her dad. A car suddenly pulled into his lane of traffic, causing him to hit his brakes and jolting the car.

“He was shocked to hear this little voice from the back of the car yell out (an expletive of an anatomical nature).

“He asked his daughter, ‘Who says that?’ She answered, ‘Mommy.’

“Seems this was her mother’s favorite word when she encountered frustrating driving conditions.”

Contacting Smiley

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.