The Rest of the Story
By Doug Harrell
Clint had many strengths, a vivid imagination was certainly one of them. He often said that Harrell Hill was his haven of safety and solitude. Clint had had his share of hard times, some of his own making, as we all do. His worldly experiences were amazing. He had traveled the world over in his very successful corporate life, and yet he was a little child in so many ways. He tended to see things with both fear and joy to the degree that escape most of us, and that is our loss. Oh, for the ability to exhibit the enthusiasm for life that Clint was able to do in life, and in death.
Clint’s Chronicles on the Funny Farm
By Clint Pollard
Many of you have written or called about Clint’s Chronicles on the Funny Farm. It seems that you take great pleasure in my many foibles and near –misses with danger. Also, some of you question my veracity – that would be TRUTH telling – regarding these tales. A couple things you should know: clearly the Lord is protecting me from myself and the myriad monsters and events that seek to snuff me out; and these stories are absolutely true (not to say I don’t exaggerate a teeny tiny bitJ) Now get a load of this.
Coyotes in the Corridor!
Since moving to Harrell Hill farm back in March my insomnia has all but disappeared. At first, I considered it a miracle but I think it has more to do with arising at 4:00 am, working like a pack mule in the torrid sun, gorging myself on Barbara’s marvelous home cooking, fighting off all manner of vermin and dodging life-threatening equipment at every turn. Whatever the cause(s), one night in August I was snoozing peacefully at the Harrell’s farmhouse, a cool mountain breeze wafting through my open windows.
Doug told me a few days prior that packs of coyotes – I think he said packs…hmmmm, or did he say platoons, or pods, or wads…just not sure. Anyway, I was awakened by howling, snarling, moaning monsters I knew could only be the coyotes…and they were very near the house.
With my newfound farmer courage and a strong desire to protect Doug and Barbara I bolted upright in my comfy bed, sprung into my city slicker flip flops and galloped down the stairs to investigate the ruckus.
I never experienced true darkness before Harrell Hill. I guess the fact that there isn’t a city light, an interstate light pole; not even a stop light in the holler makes nighttime real. In any event you get the picture…it was DARK outside. I stood on the porch listening as the howling critters moved closer and closer to me. (By the way, I was on the back porch because Barbara had seen a groundhog – and you remember what they do to me – on the front porch days earlier. I wasn’t tempting fate by invading his lair.)
So, it’s about 2:00 am and I can literally hear the coyote paws striking dew covered grass nearby. Well, it seemed the right thing to do to GET OUT OF THERE now. I quickly sauntered, okay I stumbled and dashed, into the back door to escape what could be a catastrophic event.
The inside of the Harrell farmhouse is dark like an underground coal mine so my hands are ‘feeling’ for the walls as I struggle to again find the staircase and retreat to my warm bed. I was thankful to have escaped yet another vicious wild animal attack…at least so I thought.
It seems that sometime during the early evening house, long after farmer Clint had passed out in my bed, the Harrell’s son, two granddaughters and their itsy-bitsy teacup yorkie dog named Kringle had come for a visit.
I finally came upon the stairs and began the steep climb to safety, all the while contemplating the sheer terror of what might have happened to me had the savage coyotes managed to corner me on the porch.
Suddenly, out of the pitch black of night, an animal screamed, it jumped on my bare leg and growled like a grizzly bear…the nightmare was true. I screamed – not sure how my friends slept through the cries for help – and nearly plunged backward down the staircase. I sensed the soft fur and a very wet tongue attacking my legs. I knew it was only moments before the creature would take its first chunk of farmer Clint flesh.
I regained my balance, dropped to my hands and knees, and duck-walked quickly up the mountain staircase…arriving at the landing and frantically searching for the light switch. I knew this was the end; the carnivores would soon drag my lifeless carcass into the woods. But at least I would confront my attackers and put up a fight.
The blinding light shattered the pitch-black night, startling me and the beast. When what to my wondering eyes should appear…but the itsy bitsy yorkie named Kringle, so glad to see meJ. I first thought it was a mirage, possibly an out-of-body, near-death experience. So, this is what a coyote looks like? Not what I expectedJ.
My heart nearly stopped…my breathing was labored…my nerves completely frayed…is there no safe place at Harrell Hill Farms? Can a farmer not feel secure in his own farmhouse? (Well it’s not actually my farmhouse but you know what I mean.)
I slouched in the corner; unsure of the vision before me…what was it, where did it come from, why was it now sitting in my lap licking my face at 2:30am? Where were the coyotes, they must be close behind?
That’s when I remembered Doug telling me that his son, Greg, and granddaughters were coming for a short visit and would arrive at 9:00pm or so. “That’s it,” I said aloud. “This vicious teacup yorkie must belong to Greg.”
I rubbed Kringle’s belly, rustled his fur a bit, shooed him down the STEEP staircase and slinked back into my bedroom.
The beasts continued to howl outside, nearer than ever now, but I didn’t care. I was tired…I was safe…I was happy…I was home. I had cheated death once again, a new adventure on the Funny Farm