By Tom Morrow
When I was growing up, we had an elderly neighbor who was one of our town’s many colorful characters. He was a rather rotund man — walked slightly crippled using a cane. He never went anywhere without an old mongrel white and black dog wagging alongside him.
Luther Hibbs had a flowing head of white hair with a beard to go with it. Well, the beard would have been snowy white as well if it wasn’t for the stain of tobacco juice streaking down in places.
Luther would walk from his house to the town square, crossing an open field, always passing Mr. McMurry’s milk cow staked out on the south side of the Rock Island Railroad tracks. Just north of the tracks was Elvin Leggett’s granary where corn was processed into various animal feeds and chicken meal.
Late one afternoon three of the Leggett workers were standing around, smoking, waiting for the evening whistle to blow so they could go home. Luther happened to be passing by when one of the men thought he’d have some fun and called out, “Hey, Luther, how much do you think ol’ man McMurry’s cow weighs?
Luther stopped, turned and looked back at the cow, which was sprawling out on the ground, chewing its cud.
Now, Luther had a bit of a speech impediment – a lot of the first letters of his words got sorta mushed and run over.
“By dod, I reckon dat dare cow weighs seven hundred and fifty-six pounds,” Luther said in all the seriousness he could muster.
The men looked at one another, smiled and went over, got the cow on its feet, unchained her from the stake and walked it across the tracks to the granary’s truck scales. They carefully positioned the cow on the scale’s platform while the weight was measured. The scale stopped at “7-5-6” pounds. The men looked at one each other with stunned amazement.
“Well, Luther – that’s a pretty darn good guess,” one of the men said.
Luther started back on his journey, slightly turning his head, snorting in earnest, “Well, by dod I coulda come closer if’n she dah been standing up!”
GREAT QUOTES: “I sent the club a wire stating, ‘Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” — Groucho Marx
SCAG SEZ: “A neighbor told me the other day that he’s lucky his wife has only one extravagance — she likes to spend his money. — Cecil Scaglione, www.maturelifefeatures.com
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