This is a cautionary tale about the hazards of hammocks:

Delores Hayes says her son, Dr. Christopher Hayes, a veterinarian in Baton Rouge, lives in Clinton and is an avid deer hunter.

He sent her this text a couple of days ago:

“Just had the craziest thing happen. Around 5 this morning the dogs started barking like crazy, so I went out to see if I could see what it was.

“It was pouring down rain, and I opened the door and could see something in the driveway behind my truck. I could kind of make out that it was a deer, but it was dragging something. When I got my flashlight to see, I realized it was an 8-point buck that somehow got his antlers and mouth completely tangled in our hammock!

“By this point Buck and Ruger were going nuts and biting at him, and I couldn’t get them off … the deer was flipping out, flailing everywhere. He finally got so tired I was able to cut the ropes and free him. He’s got rope and chains still in his antlers, though!

“Then he ran down toward the creek with the dogs chasing him. He ended up getting in that slew full of water, and put his head underwater. He was drowning, so I grabbed him by his back legs and dragged him out of the water. He wasn’t breathing, so I did a quick burst of CPR and he started breathing!

“I finally caught Buck and Ruger and managed to get them away. The deer ran off with chain and rope dangling from his head!”

(Other than that, it was a pretty quiet morning …)

Retail tale

Our mention of five and dime stores and Sam Walton’s early success with the stores brought this comment from T. Med Hogg, of Baton Rouge:

“My wife, who was Mae Kennedy at the time, worked in a Sterling store in Little Rock (like Bing Crosby sang, ‘I found a million dollar baby in a five and ten cent store.’

“My cousin, Jack Hogg, managed a Ben Franklin store at that time. Sam Walton bought 10 Ben Franklin stores and named them Wal-Marts.

“He asked Jack to help him get managers for the stores, but Jack refused. He did not like Walton, who he said worked his employes too hard, like Ebenezer Scrooge.”

Baptists gone wild

Our Thursday story about a prank at a Louisiana College chapel lecture involving alarm clocks got the attention of Leila Pitchford-English, an Advocate colleague and Louisiana College grad.

She went to the Baptist college many, many years after Dudley Lehew, who confessed to having a role in the alarm clock gag, but says “The alarm clocks were legend when I was a student there. Second most recounted was the Volkswagen Beetle left in the lobby of the chapel building.”

Good Samaritans

Pat Tomancik, of Baton Rouge, thanks “the angels who came to my rescue when I stepped off a curb at the Surgical Specialty Center on Bluebonnet Boulevard and fell to the concrete.

“Immediately a lady came up to me, but behind her were three aides who help people in and out of cars and wheelchairs. They were so kind, and got me in a wheelchair so they could wheel me to my car. I was able to drive the 30 minutes home, so all was OK.”

John “Spooky” Johnson, of Kenner, says he’s 90 and wife Belva is 82:

“We had just purchased a Christmas tree, which they tied to the back of our trunk. On the way home the tree fell off and was partially on the street.

“Two young women saw us, left their place of work and ran across two lanes of traffic to help us put the tree back.

“After we drove two blocks, it fell again. This time, a young woman in an SUV jumped out of her car and ran across the median and two lanes of traffic to help us. A young man walking by reset the tree for us so it would not fall again, and we were able to get it home safely.

“We would like to thank those kind young people for caring. They have made our Christmas season even more special.”

Special People Dept.

— Rae Anderson Vallery celebrates her 100th birthday on Sunday, Dec. 6.

— Faune (Mrs. John) Futral, of Port Barre, celebrates her 99th birthday on Sunday, Dec. 6.

— Charles E. Peavy Sr. celebrates his 94th birthday on Friday, Dec. 4.

— Marie Antoinette Kapfer Gueho, of Livonia, celebrates her 94th birthday on Saturday, Dec. 5. She is a native of Dauendorf, France, who met her husband during World War II.

Agnes Cunningham Goudeau, of Denham Springs, celebrates her 91st birthday on Saturday, Dec. 5.

— Donald and Muriel Taylor Gomez celebrate their 71st anniversary on Saturday, Dec. 5.

— C. Hewitt and Ferne Miller Underwood, of Denham Springs, celebrate their 69th anniversary on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Well-shod child

“How times change,” says Loraine Bruner.

“Back in the fall of 1954, my daughter, who was in the fifth grade at Belfair Elementary, said she wanted a pair of tennis shoes to wear to school.

“Our answer was, ‘No, you don’t dress like that for school.’ So that was the end of that.”

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.