Thrown in the River: The Last Laugh

Two cold dips in the river quenched one hothead's competitive fire.

| March/April 1981

  • in the river - the last laugh - mustard and red
    The game warden didn't expect to end up in the river with the fish. 

  • in the river - the last laugh - mustard and red

"Last year we said things couldn't go on like this. Well, they didn't ... they got worse. "  — Will Rogers   

Well sir, spring has finally arrived in Plumtree Crossin'. The wild onions are cowlickin' up outa most ev'ry front lawn on Main Street, an' overeager youngsters is runnin' around decked out in short pants an' goose bumps. As you kin well imagine, the warmin' weather's also lured the reg'lars down at the Gen'ral Store away from their winter's perches 'round the pot-bellied stove an'—on legs thet's one more spring less spry than they usta was—out to see jist how the world's shapin' itself up.

Now them ol' coots do require a little settlin'-in time afore they actually warm up to most any kind of change, an' the switchin' o' the seasons ain't no exception. Ol' Ott Bartlett, in partic'lar, greeted the spring with all the grace an' poise of an underfed sow bear with an oversized litter of toothy cubs.

In point of fact, 'twern't but a week ago when the ol' loafers were over near Lick Skillet throwing lines in the river on one of them early-season fishin' junkets—which usually do more damage to a jug 'er two of Purvis Jacobs' liquid life preserver than to the area's trout population—thet Ott let on how orn'ry he could be.

Seems thet the ol' boy had jist missed bringin' in a fair-to-middlin' speckled trout, havin' broke his line on a snag in the process, when Lester Hogshead—the local game warden—come a-strollin' up. Let me say here an' now thet most of the fish 'n' game cops I've met have been fine folks. Ol' Les, howev'r, is known to be snake-mean an' turkey-stupid. An' no sooner had he walked up to Ott than he started in to ribbin' the ol' gentleman.

"I see you lost yerself a fish. I s'pose it ain't surprisin', though ... yer reflexes sure cain't amount to much ennymore. In fact, ain't fishin' a pretty strenuous activity fer a man of yer years?"

Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019


Next: April, 27-28 2019
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters