Dear Smiley: The item on a pet buzzard in the Monday column reminded me of the fact that of all the offices and conference rooms around the world in which I have taken depositions, there is one law firm in Lafayette that is the most noble and apropos of all.

Hanging large on one wall is an Audubon, entitled “Black Vulture or Carrion Crow,” which depicts two vultures feasting on a mule’s carcass whilst another is perched on the limb of a dead tree in this desert scene, awaiting his turn to partake of the leftovers.

This is a very respectable firm of which I speak — and no, it’s not Boozarde & Boozarde.

RONNIE HOTZ

Lafayette

War of the sexes

Dear Smiley: Thoughts about getting lazy tigers moving, in the Sept. 11 column, reminded me of a real domestic scene I witnessed at a zoo.

The male tiger was trying to take a nap. His female mate kept pestering him. He growled and swatted at her. She came back to bug him again. This time he roared and swatted her across the cage. The bars rattled from the impact. As he settled down for his nap she came back and started in again.

Now he got up and actually tussled with her, roaring and snapping and biting. I could swear that the concrete floor of the cage was shaking!

The male was just settling down again when we left. I looked back at the tigers to see the female starting to pester him again.

We ladies are persistent.

SARAH STRAVINSKA

Chestnut

Lost art

Dear Smiley: In today’s technological society, script writing is no longer being taught in many schools in Louisiana. I vividly remember that my classmates at St. Michael Catholic School, in Convent, and I anticipated with much excitement learning how to write script in third grade.

We practiced making ovals, straight lines up and down, and beginning and ending curves. On the last Friday of each month, our pastor walked down each row of desks and chose the student with the best handwriting. Often, I was the person chosen.

During my career as a teacher, principals asked me to write students’ names on special award certificates and high school graduation diplomas. I spent hours using the skill learned in third grade.

How unfortunate that scripting is becoming a lost art in Louisiana’s schools. The reason given is lack of time. As I recall, our daily scripting lesson lasted 10 minutes, and developed eye-hand coordination, attention to detail, patience, discipline, pride in accomplishment and a lifetime skill.

KAREN POIRRIER

Lutcher

Serial defender

Dear Smiley: I’m enjoying the stuff about the old Saturday matinee Westerns in your column. In Baton Rouge, they played at the Louisiana Theater, on Third Street, and the Tivoli, a tiny theater on Main Street.

But what really kept us coming every week was the serials. The Crimson Ghost, Haunted Harbor, Captain America, The Desert Hawk, The Masked Marvel, Manhunt on Mystery Island, The Monster and the Ape... I could go on and on.

In a book I read recently about the old serials, the author wrote, ‘The Purple Monster Strikes had a plot that was an insult to the intelligence even of a small child.’

Huh! That was one of my favorite serials. I’d enjoy seeing it again today.

JOHN LaCARNA

Baton Rouge

Mule rider

Dear Smiley: Speaking of cowboy stars and their horses, let’s not forget the famous Marshal Matt Dillon’s horse. I watched the “Gunsmoke” marathon recently, and discovered that this horse was named “Buck.”

Festus Hagen, Marshal Dillon’s sidekick, took pride in chasing the bad guys on his mule that could match the derring-do of any horse!

Now, what was the name of that mule?

BARBARA SPENCER

Lafayette

Dear Barbara: Even though his mule was a male (a jack, not a jenny), Festus called him “Ruth,” the name of his favorite mule, a jenny, when he was a Confederate mule skinner from Tennessee. Festus told how Ruth was shot and killed while hauling soldiers’ bodies from a battlefield as the fight was still going on.

Short flight

Dear Smiley: Recently I received a couple of large envelopes from UPS. They were from a company near Chicago requesting some paperwork. One contained instructions and forms to be filled out.

The other was a prepaid, next-day air envelope to use to send the completed forms to a second destination.

I thought about taking it to the local UPS store for them to send it by airplane, but since UPS is about seven miles from my home, I decided to just take the folder to the addressee, which is only six miles away.

I’m still wondering how UPS was going to send it by air from Range Avenue in Denham Springs to Greenwell Springs Road in Central.

DOUG JOHNSON

Watson

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.