April, thank the Lord, is possibly my favorite month to write. Average temperature is daytime high of 65 and nighttime low of 40… sounds good compared to this past Christmas when the high was in the low to mid-teens.
My first story came from a good friend. I heard it while we were at the Hardy County Turkey Festival craft and car show in Mathias. This show is in October and has many events I will tell you about in a future issue. But talk about a delicious Turkey Supper-one of the best.
The story went something like this… A friend of his was driving down a country dirt road, when off to his right and on the side of a wooded ridge he caught a glimpse of what he took to be a wild turkey. It shocked him at first sight because if this was a turkey it was the biggest turkey he had ever seen in his life. But another thing that made him doubt that it was a turkey was the bird’s erratic movement. It didn’t run like any turkey he had ever seen. He was to the point he couldn’t get this animal off his mind, so much so he had to return to the area to try and get another glimpse of this creature.
On the day of his return he walked up on a high ridge where he could see a long way. After settling in where he was well hidden, the time passed, and then he heard a noise. As he peered out of his brushy cover he couldn’t believe what he saw. For there, slowly feeding up the ridge in front of him was the biggest Wild Turkey Gobbler he ever saw in his life! This would have to be a state record! As the turkey came closer, he then realized what was causing the erratic movement that he didn’t understand at his first sighting. This gobbler’s beard was so long that the turkey had to walk backwards to keep from stepping on his beard. Wow, Pete (We will call him Pete.) thank you for this incredible hard to believe story.
Next story took place about 1965. I was at the store on the weekend before deer hunting season came in. As those that can remember the store was a beehive of activity, and because we sold hunting license we were considered by the non-residents as a something like a visitors’ center. Two non-resident hunters approached my daddy and inquired about where Runions Creek was located. It was their understanding that a lot of National Forest land was in that area and provided a good number of deer and turkey. My daddy gave directions and confirmed it was an area known for good hunting. Just as the hunters were turning to go, a man came up to my daddy and said, “Matthew when you go down Runions Creek, be careful, and be sure and take a gun! There’s a monster on the creek, ya know. “No I hadn’t hear about any monster,” my daddy replied. (Now as I continue, I’ll leave out and edit the profanities)
“Oh yeah, a big son of a gun, over eight foot tall! When he crosses the road his one foot is at the edge of the road, and in one step, he’s in the middle of the road, with the next step he’s over on the other side! Yep! Right back there on Runions Creek where Rockingham County meets Shenandoah -near the line. People has had a heck of a time this summer! That monster comes in and tears their gardens up, eats their corn and tomatoes, and has even carried off some of their butchering hogs! Tucks them under his arm and takes off!! Worst of all, bullets don’t stop him. Matter of fact, back there close to the National Forest, the road is laying full of empty shell casings where people has been shooting at it when it crosses the road. It just keeps going. They say it’s one of them Bigfoots. Just be careful Matthew!” Now by this time the gentlemen that had asked directions were talking to their other buddies, and what they were saying I couldn’t tell you, but as a boy of about nine I was scared to death. When Archie (We will call him Archie.) turned away, I had but one concern. I stopped my daddy and asked, “Daddy, do you think that monster will be here in Fulks Run?”
My daddy turned and looked down at me and very seriously said, “Now listen to what I’m going to tell you and listen good. That monster will not show up in Fulks Run. That I assure you, so don’t you worry about that at all, you hear me?”
“Yes, I hear you.” Now I must say, I certainly felt a whole lot better than I did before; but I couldn’t understand how my daddy could be so sure about that. But even at that young age, I knew whatever my daddy said you could take that to the bank. Presently we don’t hear any more about that monster. I guess he moved on out west where I hear that they occasionally see him, or maybe old age finished him off. And I must admit as I grew older, I finally understood how my daddy could be so sure that monster would not show up in Fulks Run. I guess that proves the older you get, the wiser you get.
That’s all for April, and I hoped you enjoyed the stories and that everyone had a wonderful April Fools Day Believe it or Not
Until Next Time