Dear Smiley: All of your animal stories reminded me of an incident with my dog, Eagan, an Irish terrier.
I used him to hunt rabbits in the marsh near my camp, and on one hunt he scratched the cornea of his eye and I had to bring him to the vet.
In order for me to continue hunting him, I had to purchase a pair of cheap goggles to protect his eyes. They bothered him at first; however, once a rabbit was jumped he forgot all about them.
Upon seeing the goggles on my dog, the local veteran trapper said, "You know that’s something — yeah, some people can’t afford eyeglasses, and you buy them for your dog!”
Dinner is served
Dear Smiley: If you can stand one more squirrel story:
We had a pet rat terrier puppy my husband was hoping would double as a good squirrel hunting dog. So someone told him to train her with a squirrel hide.
Since it wasn't hunting season, he was on the lookout for squirrel roadkill.
After doing yard chores one evening, we ran a quick errand in our soiled work clothes in our beat-up pickup. Up ahead my husband spotted a somewhat freshly killed squirrel in the road.
It happened that two teen boys were walking along the sidewalk just as my husband stopped and picked up the squirrel by the tail.
The boys were staring when my husband held his prize up and said, "Look, Ma. We're gonna eat good tonight."
I'm sure the boys had a good tale to tell their friends.
Daily air show
Dear Smiley: About Beverly Gullett's Harding Field memories in the Wednesday column:
I remember walking from my house on Hooper Road for an RC Cola and a Stage Plank cookie at Mr. Carrol Carmena's Six-Mile Store, and going across Plank Road to Howell School. We would perch in the big willow tree near Harding Field's southeast corner for hours, watching everything happening on the base.
I remember well the incidents she mentioned — the two B-26 bombers that collided and crashed just south of Zion City, and the B-17 that had its tail clipped off by a fighter plane. The pilot ordered the crew to bail out, then brought the bomber in and landed it.
I have two books about Harding Field and recommend them to anyone interested in its history. One, by Randy G. Holden, is "Harding Field: Baton Rouge's Army Airbase During WWII." The other is "Heroes of Harding Field," by William Anthony Spedale.
Santa Maria, California
Dear Smiley: I have been seeing on TV about "happy chickens."
How happy do you think those chickens are when the truck pulls up. Do they ever tell them that the next stop is the barbecue pit or fryer?
How happy would they be if they knew that?
A moving tale
Dear Smiley: Another wedding story:
My sister-in-law had a playhouse at their family home. An uncle built it for her mother when she was young. It was well built and fancy, serving her, my sister-in-law and siblings, and the next generation.
My niece told her boyfriend of the fun they had playing in it while growing up.
My brother-in-law decided it was time to bring it to his place, so he asked me to come with my wrecker to move it a short distance to his adjacent property.
Meanwhile, the boyfriend had decided the playhouse would be a romantic place to get engaged.
I can still see the look on his face as he walked with my niece hand in hand across the yard towards the playhouse, ring in his pocket — only to see the playhouse leaving the yard on the back of my wrecker.
Our John Wayne?
Dear Smiley: As a student at Nicholls and LSU, my favorite elective courses were linguistics.
If I could choose a voice to study, I would choose LSU's Coach O. He has a very unique masculine voice, similar to John Wayne's. Both voices have "true grit."