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Home Country – Fishing over hunting

Slim Randles
Slim Randles

It doesn’t really take much prompting to get ol’ Windy Wilson to start holding court on all things strange … not at the Mule Barn truck stop. All it takes is someone slowing down enough to listen to our aging camp cook. Someone accidentally said the word “quail” and that was enough.

Now ol’ Horton lived ‘way up Lewis Crick from here, Windy said. Had this old mule named Putner. Ol’ Putner got his name ‘cuz when he was foaled, he putner died. But Horton trained Putner to do things Horton liked to do. In fact, that’s the reason them two bird hunters from the city drove over to Horton’s place that day. Opening day of quail season, doncha see. 

They was told ol’ Horton he had him a mule who could point quail, and Horton says he sure as sugar does. He said he’d rent ol’ Putner out to ‘em for ten dollars a day. Guaran-dog-teed him steady to wing and shot, don’t you know.

So they gave him the ten bucks and Horton turned Putner loose and he galloped around through the puckerbrush and then slammed into the prettiest long-eared point you ever seen. Sure enough, he found them a covey of quail, and when they shot the birds, ol’ Putner retrieved them back to the hunters. Picked ‘em right up in his mouth just as gentle as a marshmeller. 

Well, those ol’ boys had their limits by lunch time and they couldn’t believe it. They took Putner back to ol’ Horton and said they had to have him, and they didn’t care how much it cost them. 

Horton shook his head and said he couldn’t do ‘er. Nossir. Not for any money. 

Why not? Those hunters asked him. 

Why boys, said Horton, it’s almost time for the salmon run, and Putner would rather fish than hunt, any day. 

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