Sittin' Ducks

Buster's Grand Prize Turtle

Ya Know, they aint very many days go by people don't ask me if I know how Buster really lost them two fingers. Well,let me tell ya a thing or two. First, he aint lost'em. He still got'em in a fruit jar, in some rubbin' alcohol, down in the cellar. And second, no matter what you all heard, he didn't lose'em in no lawnmower axident tryin' to save the neighbor young'uns kitten! I was there, Buster lost them two fingers gettin' his Grand Prize Turtle! See, our local Volunteer Fire and Rescue was gonna have a big Turtle Supper to raise a little money. And they figured the best way to get the fixin's was to have a contest and pay out $50 to the woman or man that brought in the biggest turtle. Now, Buster bein the good citizen that he is (and one eye on a easy $50) penciled me and him in on this'un. Well, let me tell ya, I aint got nuthin' against a good mess of turtle meat, specially the part that taste like Pork! But I do have a little problem with runnin' my hand up under a creek bank. See I knowed several noddlers that aint got all their digits. And me, figgerin' that I want to leave this world with what the Good Lord gave me,(minus appendix in '61)told Buster, I just couldn't get out of my backed up Honey-do's. "Honey do the yard before the Garden Club gives us the award for the "Most Natural" yard. "Honey do the painting before we bring down the property values". "Honey do the..." you know that'un. ANYTHING! I aint feedin' my fingers to the turtles! Now, Buster bein' purty good at pursuadin'(lyin')to folks, convinced me he had done seen two shows on KENTUCKY AFIELD, and read three or four articles in KENTUCKY GAME AND FISH on the subject. See, Buster aint got no whole lot of friends,and me bein' his next door neighbor and Brother-In Law, I told him I'd go. But only to hold his burlap and to kinda corral the turtles if they tried to run. We set out early Saturday morning headed to Drowning Creek. Upon arrivin' at the creek, Buster had to "Snakeproof" his clothes by tyin' his trousers at the boot tops and tuckin' in his shirt and drawin' up his belt real tight. It wasn't a pretty site, kinda like one of them roasts drawed up tight in a string! We had been at the creek nearly an hour with not the first turtle seen. Although I am sure I seen one of them CopperheadedWaterRattlers go by my feet. Buster had been reachin', fishin', and fetchin' under the bank, plumb up to his chin the whole time, just comin' up long enough to spit out a minner now and then. Now, me being extremely allergic to seein' snakes, and gettin' a little bit cold decided I had seen enough,"Buster lets go.." "Hush Otis, I feel his tail!" What followed will be forever burnt into my memory. "YEEEOOOOWW" It sounded like Buster just went on the warpath, and then he was gone. I seen him go under, just his old Brogans stickin' up. I thought one of them CopperheadedWaterRattlers had done wrapped around him and was squeezin' the soup out of him. And just as quick, he was back. "Grab that turtle!,he's got my fingers!" I looked and seen what looked like a mossy green Volkswagon headed my way, with Busters fingers still clawin' at his snout. My worst nightmare had come true, this slimy green "Monster of Drowning Creek" had done eat half my Brother-in-law, and now wanted some of me! The last thing I remember seein' of that turtle(unbreaded I mean)was the dirt under Ol' Busters fingernails.I throwed my burlap at him and hit the bank, walkin' on water i'm sure. Buster had managed to get his turtle, fingers and all, in the bag and dragged the hissin' monster to the bank. Well, the same Fire and Rescue that we was out there for, had to come and take Buster to the hospital for some doctoring. I gotta tell ya', Buster won his Grand Prize, you aint never seen you a prouder man. Standin' up in front of all those folks with a $3000 hospital bill in his back pocket, and holdin' that $50 bill up high for all to see, in his unmangled hand. Well, that's what happened I was there. My name is Otis I'll see ya' later and tell your folks I said hi.

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