Published 3:51 pm Friday, August 20, 2010

In trying times, it is always good to keep a little humor with us, so bear with me and I hope youll enjoy as my next tale enfolds.

In a kingdom called Hysteria that is located off a tiny hamlet called Tryon, there was a tiny community that was ruled by serpents. These serpents were aptly named King Snake and his wife Queenie, who of course was also a King Snake. Now King and Queenie were named rulers because of their benevolence. They would hunt rabbits and mice and voles just like any other snake but their main prey are rattlers, copperheads and such. We humans like the fact that there is another snake that can keep these dangerous rascals in check, thus weve named him King.

Now my cousin Ted, who is from a large farming family and is sort of a farmer himself, has a deep respect for King Snakes. Ted is currently living in this tiny kingdom of Hysteria. Before I go on I wish to state that Ive known Ted for a very long time and I love him dearly, but he is a cousin through marriage and I dont take any responsibility for blood lines. Ted first came upon Queenie about a year ago and was very excited and pleased she was in the area. On his first encounter she was nesting with a bunch of baby snakes so he knew right away that she wasnt Kingie. Ted is somewhat of a renaissance man, hes great with horses, can fix anything, can make anything grow, plus being an avid fisherman, bow hunter and woodsman. Ted has sort of been keeping track of Queenie all this time. Now there is an old farmers trick where a wooden egg is placed in a hens nest to entice them to lay eggs more frequently. Ted called me a few weeks ago and told me he had Queenie in a basket, Shes in trouble Lennie. What happened Ted? I asked. Well she got into the hens nest and ate the wooden egg and now she hasnt eaten for a few weeks, Im afraid shell starve. Well she certainly cant digest it Ted, and she certainly isnt going to pass it, take her down to Landrum vet and tell them youre my cousin. Theyll help. Would they do that Len? Oh yes Ted, Im fairly certain theyll be glad to help.

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Ted rusher her to Landrum where they removed the egg, stitched her up and gave her some antibiotics, they too recognize royalty when they see it. Ted was ready to pay whatever it costs for her procedure for he had become quite attached to her highness, but they would have none of it.

I later asked Dr. Raines how things went with Queenie. She was a bit saucy, Donna said, but things went well. Your cousin Ted is a very nice man, she smiled. He thinks the world of all of you too, he cant stop talking of how wonderfully you all treated him and Queenie. Where is she now? Donna asked. He released her by a stream where he first met her.

Now I cant help but wonder what Queenie taught all her babies. You folks in Hysteria may have a problem. The rattlers and copperheads may be quite safe but all your wooden eggs, fake snakes and duck decoys might be in great danger!

Thanks for listening.