OPINION COLUMNS

The squirrel slayer strikes

By Gerre Joiner | Published Wednesday, May 24, 2017
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I visited with Rodney Lisby at the coffee shop recently, and he related the highlights of the following story.

A while ago, Dan Rhine had a problem with his pickup, wasn’t acting right. He couldn’t get the pretty-new truck to start. He looked under the hood and saw the wires were a mess. Something (or some “things”) had eaten the insulation from a lot of important wiring under the hood.

Gerre Joiner

I didn’t ask Rodney how Dan got the vehicle to the repair shop because I know there’s nothing worse for a manly man like Dan than to be unable to drive his truck when he wants to drive his truck. Anyway, he got the truck to the shop. They replaced the wires, got their money, and Dan drove back home.

If you know Dan, you know he lost his right arm/hand in a farming accident years ago. You probably also know that he can do anything he wants to do using a prosthesis “hook” device where his right arm/hand used to be. Several of his friends, including Rodney, have saddles that have been built from scratch by this can-do man. Almost anyone who can play 42 (dominoes) well can play well with one hand or two hands. Dan can play mighty well either way. Rodney says he cheats when he needs to.

Now back to the truck story:

There’s a huge squirrel family out by the Rhine estate – lots of squirrels. I mean the furry kind. Dan suspected the squirrels had eaten the insulation. He made it his personal business to eradicate the whole bunch of squirrels. He wasn’t sure which squirrel had caused him to dip into his savings, but he didn’t much care. He was going to kill them all, hoping to get the one that did the deed.

Now for a side story:

My Jo and I were driving through Olney one day several years ago, headed toward my little hometown, Lorenzo. There were banners across the downtown Olney streets welcoming hunters to the “One-Armed Dove Hunt.”

Almost immediately, Jo asked, “What’s this about one-armed doves?” I almost ran over the only fire hydrant in town. The event is real. The primary purpose is for upper-limb amputees/hunters to exchange stories, find friendship and support, and swap tips for living with missing upper-limbs.

Now back to the truck story:

Over a period of several days, Dan killed a dozen squirrels. With two keen eyes, a steady left hand, a shotgun and a prosthesis, he was taking care of business.

Then one morning, the truck wouldn’t start. Dan looked under the hood. The wires were chewed up … again.

He had it towed back to the garage … again, got it fixed … again, and paid up for the second time. On Dan’s way out, one of the guys in the garage said, “I think it’s mice that’s chewing your wires up.”

I’m just wondering: What if the mice really are the culprits and the squirrels got the blame (and the buckshot)? Don’t you know the squirrels are mad at the mice?

I talked to Dan briefly about this saga. He’ll be the first person to know I made up some of this.

Gerre Joiner is a semi-retired church musician and has lived in Decatur since 1999.

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