Note: When I first met my husband Bill, I thought he was one
of a kind. I was wrong! He was one of a bunch -- a bunch of DeLoaches, that is. His sense of fun, his quirky enjoyment of
a good practical joke, his slightly off-kilter perception of the rest of the world, his open, friendly, "I never meet a stranger"
attitude --- well, let's just say he came by it honest. As you read True Tales of a Southern Family, picture yourself
sitting in a front porch swing on a warm summer day, surrounded by the laughter of friendly folk. Set a spell, hear the tales,
Here is one of the tales. . .
From True Tales of a Southern Family
Bit By A Rattlesnake
A favorite story told
time and again to several generations of DeLoaches was about Bill's great-uncle, Clayton DeLoach. He was from the Nevils-Denmark
area outside of Statesboro, Georgia. At the time of our story, he was a teenager.
One hot afternoon, Clayton was in
the country cleaning fencerows with a sling blade. He stumbled onto a big rattlesnake. Shaken, he quickly got out of harm's
way and continued chopping down the overgrown brush.
A couple of hundred yards down the fencerow, Clayton felt a sharp
pain. Something bit his leg! Alarmed, he thought, "The rattler!"
He was way out in the country without a horse or
mule, far from home or any other farmhouse. He knew there was no chance to find help.
Resigned to his fate, he walked
to the middle of the dirt road. He knelt down and smoothed out a place in the dirt with his big, calloused hand. Grabbing
a twig, he wrote:
Killed by a rattlesnake."
Then he stretched out on the road, resting his
head in the crook of his arm. Knowing he would soon meet his Maker, he fell peacefully asleep.
A couple of hours later
--- he woke up!
Come to find out, he had unknowingly hacked into a hornet's nest, and an angry hornet had flown up
the leg of his overalls and stung him.
Shrugging his shoulders, Clayton grabbed up his sling blade and headed for
Copyright 2000 by Karen Harper DeLoach