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by Gail Livesay

    My brother Neil lives up in the mountains so far away from civilization he says "sunshine has to be pumped in." It just suits him, though.

    He enjoys hunting and fishing, and his hobby is making knives, using deer antlers for the handle and old steel he shines up and makes into the blade. He makes holsters for the knives using dried skins he manages to soften, so that it looks and feels like fine leather. He sells the knives for a good price. Southern men like to hang things like this on their walls.

    Neil is quite a character; if his name is mentioned, someone will have a funny tale to tell about him.

    He and my brother Gary like to fish together. I'd say Gary is a character in his own right. They have told a few tales about their fishing expeditions.

    One day they were going fishing, and Gary drove up the mountain to get Neil. They were driving past a farm with a pond, probably telling big fish tales. The weather was hot and the old truck didn't have air conditioning, so they had both windows down. All of a sudden a big goose flew in Neil's window. The goose was flapping its wings, and Neil was flapping his arms.

    Gary said, "Neil was screaming like a woman!" Gary was so tickled he could hardly drive, but he saw the goose was doing major damage to Neil's ears. Neil was screaming, "Stop the truck!" Neil told his part of the tale too. He said Gary tried to stop the truck, and the goose flew into the windshield. Gary drove the truck in the ditch and said to Neil, "Looks like you could win a fight with a damn goose!"

    Another time they went fishing and Gary had bought a paddle boat. They put the boat in the lake and cast their lines. They paddled along and Neil got a bite. He couldn't pull it in. They both swear the fish was bending the pole. Neil started paddling backwards as he tried to reel in the fish. Their tale is the fish pulled the boat in the other direction.

    They didn't catch the fish but say they are going to get stronger reels and catch that fish to prove their tale. Of course, as any Southerner knows, Southern gentlemen love to tell big tales.


Gail is fifty-seven years old and lives in Berea, Kentucky, with her husband Wayne. They have two children, Lisa and Michael, and have been blessed with two granddaughters, Marina and Hannah. Gail writes poetry and plays and is currently revising her book about growing up with Bipolar Disorder which was not recognized and/or diagnosed. She attends a weekly writing group taught by Pulitzer Prize nominated poet and author Sidney Saylor Farr.

Read more of Gail's stories and poems at USADEEPSOUTH!
Our New Frein / Worn and Gray (two poems)
The Good Ol' Days
Laundry Day
A Kid Again

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