Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Sad Day with a Dear friend Mandy the best coon hound ever

I received a letter in the mail today from an old friend, Snake Williams.

Yes, there are some that still write and are not hooked up to the world electronically. Snake - whose real name is Handford, but who would ever go through life as Hamy when the name Snake was available - was one of those true heroes when I was young and probably was the driving force that got me to stay rooted in the country. He is known for the best Coon Hounds anywhere, and Mandy was known as the best of the best.

 Here is the interesting part… like a lot of people, Mandy did not have the pedigree to be a champion Coon Hound, you see, she wasn't a red bone, or a blue tick, or any type of true hound. She was a Feist, and though they make wonderful squirrel dogs.  A Fiest is a breed that would be laughed at as a coon hound, or would be at least until Mandy came around.

Mandy weighed in at a whopping 30 pounds, a definitely a light weight, but she could out hunt any two other champion dogs set against her. Snake was even offered $5000.00 for her just to keep her from embarrassing the other dogs, but Snake and she made a team that was a sight to see.

Snake wrote to me to tell me that last Wednesday, Mandy and he went over to the Young homestead about noon time just to let Mandy stretch her legs. You see, coons are hunted at night because they sleep during the day, so going at noon is just to enjoy the country and get exercise. Mandy was used to this routine and took off at a run straight down the holler as Snake stayed to the ridge line just to watch her run. 
That was when the trouble started. Mandy yipped. With Mandy Snake knew that a yip was the sign for a fresh coon trail. There shouldn't be a fresh trail at noon time something was wrong. About that time, Mandy yipped twice and that meant she was now in sight of a coon. This is double wrong because dogs hunt coons in packs because if a dog goes against a coon by itself, the coon can win pretty easy.  You have to understand that many a wayward dog has been lured into a stream and had the coon sit on its head until Glory Land came. This was bad. 

Snake ran across to the edge of the ridge only to see his worst nightmare. Mandy had sighted a coon, and it was a huge boar coon - bigger than Mandy by a lot. This coon wasn't even trying to run; he just turned around to Mandy with a log to his back and waited for dinner. 

This was the first mistake for Mister Coon. He may have weighed 45 pounds or so; he was bigger Mandy. But Mandy hit him so hard that he went over the log and decided he wasn't that hungry for a little dog after all. He started to run, and Snake knew that now that Mandy had tasted blood there would be no stopping her. That coon ran but what worried Snake was it was running like it had a purpose. It did. It ran up to and old beech tree that had roots jutting out like walls and just turned around for this little dog he had worked up an appetite.
This was the second mistake for Mister Coon. Mandy didn't hesitate; she just went after that coon like a buzz saw. Mister Coon decided that the best place for him was up the tree, and no little dog was going to stop him. He started up and Mandy grabbed on to his hind leg to stop this monster of a coon. All was going okay for Mandy until she realized that she was off the ground going up the tree attached to the coon’s rear leg. Now the famous yip of Mandy was a whimper that broke Snake’s heart, this had never happened before. About that time Mister Coon got to a limb and, glory be, there was a hole. Without hesitation he went in, problem was when he went in the 30 pound mass on his leg plopped in on top of him. All hell broke loose as Snake ran up to the tree with World War III and IV going on inside.

Snake listened as it got quiet inside the tree until nothing could be heard. Snake ran back to the old home place and grabbed a little Mini Mac 12 chain saw and went back to the tree.  He began using that old saw more as a plow than a saw and sawed that tree down. He got it down and split opened, and all he found was a little blood and a little fur.

That coon and that dog had gotten so mad…they ate each other up.
 I know that I am supposed to be telling and showing you different homesteading ideas, but one of the most important things to remember is to laugh a little also.

Snake Williams was a real man who had a rough life but also had a young boy who listened to ever story he told. He never to my knowledge had a dog named Mandy but could hunt, fish and trap with the best of them. He showed me how to love and respect the land..

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