Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cow Killer and the Yankee

In the South, if an insect is called a Cow Killer, we just leave it alone. Those words of wisdom were pronounced by one of our daughters, which is proof that she is one of our children. That proof is better than DNA
On the other hand, we know a transplanted Yankee from Maryland who once spotted an insect with which he was unfamiliar. The bug was orange with black stripes on his carcass. He hurried along his way in an uneven path. Immediately, I recognized it as being a cow killer. This Yankee equivalent to a southern redneck, if there is an equivalent, looked at the colorful insect and said the northern version of the southern redneck’s famous quote, “Hey y’all! Watch’is!” The northern statement is something akin to, “Hey man! Look at dat!”
“That’s a cow killer,” I said. “You don’t want to mess with him.”
In one quick motion, he bent down on one knee, and touched the killer of cows with his forefinger. Immediately, he pulled his finger back and said, “Oww! That sucker stung me!”
My mouth was open. I fully expected the Yankee to drop dead in his tracks. For one reason, he was smaller than a cow, and after all they must be named cow killer for some reason.
I’ve heard it said many times that the Good Lord looks after fools and idiots. That list must have grown to include stupid Yankees too. Remember what my daughter said, “If an insect is called a cow killer, we just leave it alone.”
Somehow, he survived! I still treat the lethal insect the same way I treat snakes. As has been chronicled in past Cotton Patch stories, I kill snakes whenever I see them, and hopefully before they see me. Why? Because they are out to kill me! The same can be said about cow killers. I kill them before they get to me. I also kill mosquitoes, gnats and flies!
Speaking of snakes! This same Yankee spotted a rattlesnake, very small; nevertheless, it was a deadly killer. Who amongst us can say that a baby snake can’t kill you with a bite? Not me! Anyhow, this Yankee saw a small rattlesnake, and was about to pick him up. “Whoa!” I yelled. “Don’t pick up that rattlesnake! He’s poisonous!”
“Ahh, he’s just a baby.” Fortunately for the Yankee, the predator had slithered away into the grass before he could pick him up.
Should my many friends from up North think I am being unfair to them, I should point out that this Yankee—at that time—was a son-in-law. There were a lot of things strange about him, and quite frankly, the day he was pronounced as my former son-in-law was a great day. We all went to the golden arches to get a Big Mac, fries and a big orange to celebrate.
Although the cow killer and the baby rattlesnake didn’t get him, the judge did. In the immortal words of the Roy Clark hit, “Thank God and Greyhound He’s Gone!”


Anonymous said...

I know about cow killers, and I respect them same as you. I remember you can hardly kill them they are so tough and hard. Baby rattlers, they can kill you same as their daddies can. The only good ones are dead ones.

Dar said...

Ha ha ha! Daddy I know you're not talking about this Yankee inlaw, your daughter inlaw! Thank God and my parents I'm not that stupid! Plus being the girlie girl I am, bugs and snakes don't really sit too well with me.