LESLIE CRISS: Fishing, gardening and an imperiled pachyderm, all in one week

By Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal

“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.”
Doug Larson

“Gardening is akin to writing stories. No experience could have taught me more about grief or flowers, about achieving survival by going, your fingers in the ground, the limit of physical exhaustion.” – Eudora Welty
“Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. Henry James

Random ramblings and recollections: I recently wrote about having fishing fever.
Well, my friend Cheryl and I had an opportunity last week to wet a hook or two in a beautiful lake in Yalobusha County, thanks to our friend Jean Bailey Kirk.
The moment my first cast hit the water, my cork disappeared and I reeled in a beautiful bass. Feeling the early catch foreshadowed a fortunate day of fishing, I released the bass back into the lake.
Minutes later, Cheryl caught what we believe to have been the same bass. Again, it was given a reprieve.
And those, my friends, were the only bites of the day.
But it was sunny and warm and fun. And we can’t wait to go back and try again.
• My dad, a green-thumbed gardener from way back, visited last Sunday afternoon and built for me a raised bed so I can plant some vegetables.
We made a quick trip for the needed lumber, picked the sunniest place in the backyard and then Dad built the bed.
It will be a small plot, easy to manage, and after discussing with my dad all the many things I wanted to grow, he’s said it can easily be done. He will even come back and help me plant.
The best part of it all – Dad has offered some of the leftover plants and seeds that did not go into his own garden this spring.
My hopes are high that, by the time this is being read by you kind folks, there’ll be Vidalia onions, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce ready to take root in my little east Tupelo garden.
Yum. I can taste the fresh salad now.
• I’ve tiptoed around it, but it’s time to talk about the elephant in the middle of the room. Carol. The pachyderm that’s been on our minds most of the week.
If you’re a human being with any modicum of decency, you have been appalled and heart-sickened by the inane, idiotic actions by one or more cowards who shot at an innocent circus elephant visiting our town.
The good news is she is going to be OK. But I imagine she was scared. And I imagine it hurt her. No living thing – human or animal – deserves that.
I loved the fun fact that my friend Travis Childers, a Democrat and good person, was the very first person who called and started the reward fund with his own money. A donkey reaching out to help an elephant.
It’s not something I’ll ever forget.
Nor will Carol.

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