Coon Hunting Caper

Combine a coon hunting expedition with false teeth, homemade whiskey, and one wily critter and what do you get? A comic fiasco.


| July/August 1980



064 the last laugh - coon hunting

Coon hunting, homemade whiskey, and false teeth don't mix. 


ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

"Good neighbors make good fences."Jim Comstock 


Well sir, on most enny other occasion I'd begin my tale by tellin' you how th' past few days has been so hot thet Big Mud Lake's been evaporatin' ev'ry morning (and corndensin' back down agin each night), thet the few scanty clouds over Barren County is startin' to look burnt around the edges ... whilst cats has taken to jumpin' down wells to cool off, and folks' gardens are growin' dried tomatoes and dee-hydrated corn. Fact is, though, I ain't got time to waste on such foolishness today, 'cause I got me a coon hunting story I'm jist a-dyin' to tell.

As you may well know, the folks in Plumtree Crossin' (including those liars and rib-pokers down at the town's Gen'ral Store) never josh about Ott Bartlett's or Newt Blanchard's false teeth. To tell the truth, the mere topic of store-bought food mashers is so dang nigh unmentionable 'round these parts that I'd almost fergotten this yarn altogether. Howev'r, I jist paid a visit to Lick Skillet's in-famous tooth fixer (who drilled a darn sight bigger hole in my wallet than he did in my mouth, you kin bet), and thet feller's dental deliberations kinda "jawed" my memory.

A few years back, you see, thet aforementioned dentist offered a onetime special on dentures ... an' the offer were so uncharacteristically reasonable thet both Ott and Newt (whose choppers did need more reconstruction than th' South after Appymattox) took advantage of the opportunity to avail themselves of some artyficial food chewers. Well, for weeks after the overhauls was completed, those blowhards couldn't stop braggin' ... each of 'em claimin' as how his set of gleamin' choppers was so far superior to the other feller's thet the unfortunate old fool oughta sew his lips shut in embarrassment.

Now, thet gabbin' woulda 'mounted to less import than a discussion on the aromatic qualities of old footwear if Clarence Smithers hadn't suggested—it bein' the time of July when the moon's plumb full—thet they should all set out on a nighttime raccoon hunt. And seein' thet Purvis Jacobs allowed as how he might bring along some jugs of his homemade whiskey, the whole slew a' chair-warmers was more'n eager to join in the expydition. So—at the appointed hour—they all showed up, loaded down with firearms and lanterns, at the edge of Wishful Crick Wilderness. Actually, both Ott and Newt fergot to bring enny lights, but folks reckoned thet th' pair's new molars could do plenty of illuminatin' ... even iffen the moon all of a sudden turned her backside to the earth and made the night darker'n Satan's tonsils.

Well, once the boys had found theyselves a nice wooded hilltop to set at, they begun buildin' some ex- and internal fires (both types of conflagorations was set ablaze with the help of Purvis's potable lighter fluid) whilst Clarence let his ol' blue tick, Belle, loose so she could try to scare up a coon. And, as you might imagine, by the time of Belle sounded the choppy "Yo Yo Yo Yo!" bark thet meant she'd treed one of the sleekfooted rascals, ev'ry member of Plumtree Crossin's Finest Huntin' Assembly was about as tight as a school of catfish in a teakettle.





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