“I love the U.S. Postal Service,” says Annabelle Armstrong, and explains why:

“I brought a package of gifts for my latest relative, 2-year-old Grayson Owen in North Carolina, to the Audubon Post Office on Government Street.

“The gifts had been wrapped prettily by Learning Express.”

She says one of the gifts was a little steering wheel, complete with horn, turn signals and other features that beeped when touched — and while she was in line at the post office, the package started beeping:

“The clerk took scissors, carefully slit the postal tape, pulled out the pretty gift, then carefully cut its tape and pulled out the beeping toy. She inspected it, and finally found a little black on-off button underneath the toy.

“By this time, customers were arriving, and laughing at my gift.

“I did not want to wait, and the clerk did not want others to wait, so I paid and left the box there.

“The next day in the mail I got my receipt, with a note: ‘Package to grandson.’

“When I called the owner of Learning Express, we both laughed, and she said, ‘That’s a good thing to know.’”

Tunica park planned

David Norwood, of St. Francisville, says the problem of Tunica Hills hunters encountering hikers, and vice versa, may soon be resolved:

“There are 6,000 acres dedicated to Wildlife & Fisheries for hunting, but there is a 400-acre tract that encompasses a Tunica Indian burial ground that’s under the Office of State Parks.

“We’ve been working for 20 years, through three governors, to have a state park on that 400 acres. It’s not open to the public yet, but should be soon. It’s a beautiful, hilly, scenic area, with a view of the Mississippi River.”

David says the area will probably be opened first to hikers, but plans call for a park area for families to enjoy without encroaching on hunting land.

Like Mary’s lamb

Loretta Toussant says our story of the wandering dog returned to its owner after 16 months “reminds me of our childhood pet Duke.

“Growing up in the small town of Maringouin, we often walked to church.

“Duke would usually trot along with us, then lounge around outside until church was over.

“Well, this particular evening someone left the church door ajar, and in walks Duke, straight down the center aisle, at the revival meeting!”

Worthy causes

The “Krewe of Oeaux de St. Jude” holds its first Mardi Gras ball at 7 p.m. Saturday at Stage One to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

There will be a silent auction preview at 6:30 p.m. Music for the black-tie optional event is by the Side Effects Band.

Tickets ($60) are available at the UPS Store on Highland Road, Meghan’s Closet on Coursey, On the Bright Side & Cajun Tigers at Towne Center and Stage One.

Good Samaritans

Edith K. Kirkpatrick says she recently learned the identity of the mysterious jogger who has been hanging her Advocates and New York Times “on a reachable knob on my lamp post shortly after daylight.”

She says she “caught Eddie Reed in the act.

“Over a year ago he had heard me groaning as my 93-year-old body bent to pick up my papers.

“Smiley, since you are the promoter of ‘good deed’ people, please add Eddie Reed to the list.”

Special People Dept.

  • On Tuesday, Alexson “Sonny” Templet, of Lake, noted for his homemade cornmeal and wine, celebrates his 92nd birthday.
  • Doris Templet celebrated her 90th birthday Saturday with a party at The Haven.
  • Janie and Peter Constantino celebrated their 62nd anniversary Monday.
  • Harold and Marian Ballard, of Central, celebrate 60 years of marriage Tuesday.
  • Roland and Gayle Clement, of LaPlace, married 60 years Jan. 10, celebrated their anniversary with family and friends Jan. 13.

Thought for the Day

From Harry Clark, of Lafayette: “I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.”

Udderly ridiculous!

John Torbert says Joe Guilbeau’s “There will never be another ewe” story in the Monday column inspired him to write about “the cow who drank ink and mooed indigo.”

Dangerous service

Linda Dalferes says, “The other night my husband starting laughing at something he thought of out of the blue.

“Two years ago when we buried his dad, a World War II veteran, the 21-gun salute was about to happen when I whispered to my then-4-year-old grandson, ‘They are going to shoot those guns now.’

“He whipped his head around with those big eyes and said with alarm, ‘AT US?’”

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.