With hunting season upon us, this note from Bill Bankhead about responsible hunters seems timely:

“I cannot let my old Catholic High friend, Ernie Gremillion, have the final say on armadillos.

“Several years ago my son told his children the reason hunters killed animals was for food, and you should never kill one unless you were going to eat it.

“One night, after the lecture, he and my grandson were returning home after dark. Seeing an armadillo cross the driveway, my son pursued in his truck, with the intention of running it down.

“When asked by my grandson what he was doing, he replied ‘To kill it.’

“The response was, ‘Are we going to eat it?’ End of chase.

“A few days later, when my grandson heard a neighbor had killed a skunk at his house, his question was, ‘Did he eat it?’

“My son later moved to a less rural neighborhood.”

A small miracle

That’s what A.B. Crochet calls this story:

“Back in the ’70s our friend Marlene Mock lived two houses down. One beautiful fall afternoon, I strolled into the kitchen at half-time of the football game I was watching and found her nearly in a panic mode, close to tears. She told me and my wife, Barbara, she had lost her diamond ring.

“I had observed her three boys raking and bagging leaves during the week, leaving the lawn clean. I went over to their house, and for some reason took off my wedding band and dropped it on the lawn. To my surprise I heard a distinct ‘ping,’ and there was Marlene’s ring, half buried in the mud of the lawn.”

He walked back to the house, presented her with the ring, received a grateful “bear-hug” from her and returned to the second half of his game.

Have a ball

As a cat person, I’m a bit reluctant to run “smart dog” stories. My theory is that cats are just as clever as dogs, but don’t like to flaunt their intelligence.

Anyhow, Sarah Stravinska, of Chestnut (for readers who continually ask, it’s a hamlet in Natchitoches Parish), has this dog tale:

“Richard Guidry wrote of his dog Chloe’s passion for ‘Fetch The Ball.’ My corgi, Frodo, is equally passionate about the game. I always wear a garden glove to throw the ball, as the slobber is icky.

“One day I was trying to enjoy my coffee on the breezeway while Frodo kept bringing me his ball, nudging me, putting it in my lap, grinning at me and wagging the little stump of a tail. I ignored him.

“Finally he got the glove and brought it to me!

“Well, darn! Now I HAD to throw the ball!”

Bible lesson

Algie Petrere says our seminar on combating burglars reminded her of this story:

A woman had just returned to her home from an evening of church services when she was startled by an intruder robbing her home.

She yelled, “Stop! Acts 2:38!” (“Repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven.”)

The burglar stopped in his tracks. The woman calmly called the police and explained what she had done.

As the officer cuffed the man to take him in, he asked the burglar: “Why did you just stand there? All the old lady did was yell a scripture at you.”

“Scripture?” replied the burglar. “She said she had an ax and two .38s!”

Special People Dept.

New Orleans native Jack Fox celebrates his 92nd birthday on Thursday, Oct. 8. He is a World War II veteran, retired lawyer and former nationally ranked tennis player.

Kidspeak revisited

A few more examples of youngsters’ creative use of words:

— Betty Swearingen Marks says, “On the first day of school several years ago, I asked a junior high class who could tell me the name of the National Anthem.

“One of boys jumped up and said, ‘I know. It’s the U.S. Star Wars Bangle!’”

— Retired teacher Ron Wiese, of Denham Springs, says, “When I asked a student about his weekend, he said, ‘I helped my dad change the Cadillac converter.’ My response: ‘You should patent that.’

“This one is my favorite. A student unwittingly revealed he had not read the assignment as we reviewed for a test. When I inquired as to why so many Irish had migrated to the U.S. in the 1840s, he uttered, ‘Because of the potato phantom.’”

— Susan Koehler, of Metairie, says “Our daughter Emily, at a very young age, was coming in from school one day and ran quickly to tell me, ‘Mommy, there’s an igloo on the neighbor’s front lawn!’ I couldn’t imagine how that could be, in our neighborhood, even in the middle of the winter. I followed her out to find an egret on the neighbor’s lawn.

“Now, every time we see an egret, I take a picture and send her a text, ‘Igloo Alert!,’ to let her know I am fondly thinking of her childhood.”

— My favorite so far, from Bob Wilson, of Baton Rouge:

“In 1981 my 12 year-old son (now a physician) returned from baseball practice and told his mother he had hurt his ‘tentacles.’ Obviously he needed that anatomy course.”

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.