Dear Smiley: All these squirrel stories bring to mind last week's sermon by Father Paul here in Donaldsonville.

In his sermon he referred to a story that happened many years ago in Vacherie.

There were some young men who went hunting squirrels, and each had returned with quite a few.

They cleaned them, and one of the young men gave them to his mother, who made a big pot of sauce piquante and white beans that night that they feasted on.

The next day at church the priest spoke about how the graveyard was a sacred final resting place and should be respected. No one should be shooting shotguns there.

At this point the mother looked over at her son and said, "We ate the church's squirrels!"

CHUCK FALCON

Donaldsonville

Exchanging bites

Dear Smiley: Years ago my husband, Jerry, was squirrel hunting in an area known as "The Swamp." He shot a squirrel from a tree and it fell into the water with its tail straight up.

Seeing another squirrel, he picked up the first one by the tail and put it into the pocket of his cargo pants. After shooting the second one, he realized the prickling sensation he was feeling on his leg was the first one biting him.

When he got back, he told me the story. I was worried about rabies and called a vet. When I got to his office, the receptionist, doing the paperwork, asked, "Was the animal provoked?" WELL, YES, I WOULD SAY SO!

She asked where the rest of the animal was (I brought the head only). I replied it was in a pot at my mother-in-law's house. She was cooking it for dinner.

The crowd in the waiting room couldn't contain themselves, and exploded in laughter.

Jerry got the last bite!

PAULA KING

Gretna

No hitting!

Dear Smiley: I felt compelled to write to you about the comments on Monday of the anonymous person who said nuns used rulers to discipline students.

I attended a Catholic school that had 26 nuns, from kindergarten through 12th grade. I was never hit with a ruler, nor did I see anyone in my class get hit with one.

I can only speak for myself, but I thought the nuns were extremely patient, especially having as many as 50 students to teach in one classroom. (Even though I was an A student, my conduct grade was sometimes a C.)

However, I was never even threatened with being hit with a ruler. As a retired teacher, with 30 years experience, I personally do not agree with a ruler being used. I do not think most nuns used this practice.

All nuns are human, and unless you have been a teacher yourself, you cannot imagine the challenges one faces daily.

CAROLE ACKMAN

Baton Rouge

Universal language

Dear Smiley: Joe Fairfield's Sept. 16 account of trying to find a bathroom in Paris (and being told he could not take a bath there) reminds me of a useful tip from famous travel guide Rick Steves.

Always use the more universal word "toilet." No matter where you are, even a simple "Toy-let?" will usually get you where you need to go.

On my first trip to Italy years ago I was unprepared for my first encounter with a Italian gas station attendant who spoke no English.

As my window went down I realized I didn't have any idea what to say to get gas. So I drew on another Steves' tip specific to Italy — say it in English with an Italian accent.

I looked at the attendant and confidently said, "Feel eet uppa!"

The ladies in the car had a great laugh when he smiled at me, thumbs up, responded with "Ho-kay!" and went to work.

PRESTON HOLTON

New Orleans

The big chill

Dear Smiley: My friend Ron Truxillo sent me this story:

A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store but she couldn't find one big enough for her family.

She asked a stock boy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?" The stock boy replied, "No ma'am, they're dead."

ALGIE PETRERE

Baton Rouge

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0371 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.