The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings ta ever one in western Illinois and all readers of "The Quill."
Men Must Not Turn Into Bees, and Kill Themselves Stinging Others
We are nearing the end of August, named for Augustus Caesar and once labeled "wesdmonath," or "weed month" by the Anglo-Saxon. Everything is flourishing now.
But wait, as we near the end of the month, summer seems to be running out of steam.
These subtle changes-a few cool nights, a shift in the quality of the light, the screech of crickets instead of the trill of songbirds-all remind us not to take these summer days for granted.
Did you know the tree crickets that live in trees and weedy fields can be useful in determining temperature in degrees Fahrenheit? Male tree crickets are the musical stars of the insect world.
I think I mentioned this a few years back, but it something the boys brought up again and bares repeat'n.
If'n you add 40 to the number of chirps a tree cricket makes in 14 seconds, the total will tell you the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. Try it and see for yourself.
Honey Bees & Grudges
Another insect lesson is that of the honey bee.
Holding onto grudges for great lengths of time is much like the sting of the honey bee. There are those that don't remember grudges but "distinctly remember forgetting grudges".
When a honey bee stings, it's barbed stinger becomes anchored in the flesh of it's victim. The only way the bee can escape is to literally tear itself away, leaving part of it's abdomen behind. The bee dies a short time later.
Bitterness, resentment, and the desire for revenge may wound our enemies, but in the end revenge will hurt us even more.
"Whoever is out of patience is out of possession of his soul. Men must not turn into bees, and kill themselves in stinging others."
(Sir Francis Bacon)
Jasper Jenks was tell'n me and the boys that he had driven over ta the Kentucky State Fair and there was a young guy named Nick McCaslin who won first place for the largest pumpkin and he said it weighed a whoop'n 1,045.5 pounds!
He said it wasn't a Kentucky state fair record as an older man by the name of Dwight Slone set it in 2017 for a pumpkin weigh'n 2,023 but came in second this year with one at 928 lbs.. Both men said it took a lot of work but liked see'n them grow and grow and grow.
The boys were wonder'n how he had transported that huge pumpkin ta the fairgrounds and if'n he was go'in ta make it in ta pies and pumpkin bread, and just how many pies a pumpkin that size would make. Cornelius Farkwad said he was hope'n he at least took the pumpkin out of it and made a huge jack-o-lantern.
Jasper said, he didn't hear anything about that, but he did hear the young whipper snapper had only been grow'n them fer two years. He said he had chosen a special seed to assure it would be big and orange and of good quality, and planted it indoors and then moved it outside after get'n the soil just right. He starts prepare'n the ground in the fall, fertilize'n it and then tends ta the soil year 'round.
The boys said, "Charlie Brown would be envious!"
He was careful ta watch it and the weather throughout the 165 days it took ta grow this year's, Jasper said.
Ya hear of kids want'n ta be a firemen or policeman, but never a pumpkin grower, but Jasper said Nick explained once ya start grow'n them, it gets in yer blood and ya love watch'n them grow and ya get hungry fer more. This was nice but I want to grow a bigger one next year.
"Shucks," Jasper said, "he even talks ta them. Nick told everone, "Everybody likes ta be talked nice to. If'n ya ain't nice ta them, they won't do what ya want. My garden gets take'n care of better than I do!"
The boys figured it sounds like a lot of farmers and their crops. The farm comes first!
Jasper said, he heard the biggest pumpkin grown in Illinois was in Streator by Gene McMullen weighin' in at 2,145.5 lbs in 2015.
The current world record fer giant pumpkins remains in Germany by grower Mathia Willemijn at 2,624.6 pounds in October 2016.
Cornelius said the problems in grow'n a giant pumpkin is not only the time and work involved, but ya have ta buy or rent a forklift to lift the thing up and it tears up yer yard and if ya break it or drop it, the pumpkin won't qualify. Jasper said, yah, but it would be nice if the world record could be broken here in America. The boys agreed.
Here's a story I was given. It might light'n yer day and give you belief in mankind.
Officer James Givens has served with the Cincinnati Police Department for over 26 years, but has never quite experienced anything like this before.
He was sitting in his patrol car in a parking lot when he got an unexpected visitor.
A goose came up to his car and started pecking on the side of it. He threw food out for her, think'n that's what she wanted, but she didn't take it.
She continued to peck and quack, then walked away, stopped, and looked back at Officer Givens. Then she came back ta his car and pecked at it again.
She made it very obvious that she wanted Officer Givens ta follow her, so he finally got out of his car and did just that.
The goose led him 100 yards away ta a grassy area near a creek.
Sitting there was one of her babies, tangled up in a balloon string. The baby was kick'n its feet, desperate for help. Being wary of helping the baby on his own, and worried that the goose might attack him, Givens called for help from the SPCA, but no wildlife rescuers were available at the moment.
Luckily, Given's colleague, Officer Cecilia Charron, came ta help. She began to untangle the baby, and the mother goose just stood there and watched, quack'n.
She didn't become aggressive, and just let Officer Charron do what she had ta do ta set the baby free.
It was like the mother goose knew they were help'n.
Once Charron untangled the baby, she put it down and it ran right ta her ma, and they went right to swim'n in the creek.
Charron teared up and said it was the highlight of her 24 years on the force.
"It seems like something made up. It was just incredible," Givens said.
"I honestly don't know why I decided to follow her, but I did. It makes me wonder - do they know to turn to humans when they need help?"
We may never know the answer ta this question, but what we do know is that Officer Givens was in the right place at the right time ta help these geese!
The boys and I agreed it's a great story with a positive end'n!
Well, that's it fer this week. Hope'n it cheered up yer day.
And Mrs. Bruke & I are hope'n ta see ya in church this weekend.
Remember, where ever ya is, what ever ya be a do'n, BE A GOOD ONE!
Keep on smile'n,
Catch ya later,