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FROM READERS: Skipping church brings on snapping turtle's wrath

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Joe Dillard, a longtime Columbia resident, has published a book, "A Full Cup of Joe," an autobiography of his funny life experiences thus far.

Anyone who knows me very well knows that I seldom miss church on Sunday morning. Well, I did miss on May 4, 2014, and I did pay the consequences.

We were doing pretty well and had had a most successful, productive and uneventful day puttering around the farm. We decided to cap it off by sitting on the east deck to enjoy what the Good Lord has provided us in the way of green trees, beautiful flowers, blue skies, blue birds, etc.

Then, all of a sudden, we caught movement of some huge living object coming over the bank of our east pond. At first, I thought it might be a groundhog, but Betty with her better distance vision says, “That is a snapping turtle!”

Well, as you might imagine, I swung into action. I hurriedly got out the golf cart, grabbed a big garbage can and a big shovel and took off to the scene.

At this time the aforementioned giant turtle was heading back up the pond bank toward the pond. I precariously placed the garbage can on the slope, scooped up Mr. Turtle in the shovel and heaved him into it which immediately tipped over.

The next thing I knew I was lying flat on my back looking between my feet at a giant snapping turtle lunging toward me with neck extended and jaws clacking wildly!

(As the garbage can tipped over, I realized that Mr. Turtle would soon be free and was a bit upset about his predicament. So, I began to move backwards downhill at an unsustainable rate. Long story short, I fell down going downhill backwards. My hip pockets caught the first blow followed by my shoulders and finally culminating in my head hitting the ground with a fairly loud thump.)

Not to be daunted, I leaped up, repositioned the garbage can, scooped up Mr. Turtle and plopped him back into the can. This time successfully.

So, Mr. Turtle hitched a ride in the golf cart (in the garbage can) to a small pond that no one swims in but has an abundance of turtle chow.

In summary, you will see me in church next Sunday and a bunch of them thereafter!

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.


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