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Dead Animals

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Old 02-17-2009, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 841
Default Dead Animals

All this talk of dead cows in the paddlewheel reminded me of my experience with a dead hog. It was a warm night in winter when he floated into the wedge-shaped space between the Belle's bow and the wharfboat Renown, where I was winter-watchman.
I had no power other than a set of chain falls rigged to use the landing stage as a spar. Now this fellow was BIG. I very carefully (VERY CAREFULLY) worked the stern of the Belle out about six or seven feet and propped it there with a 4" x 4" timber that was lying around. Next I eased the bow out in much the same fashion hoping the current and Mr. Hog would float on through with the weeds, branches and cornstalks. Unfortunately there was no current. Using a spike-pole I gingerly urged the cornstalks and branches through the miniature canal I had made but that stubborn hog refused to follow them. Desperate, I got an oar and made a current downstream from the bloated animal and it gradually worked its way through. It took about seven hours and by the time I had the boats retied I was one very tired man.
When I came back the next morning, there he was: snagged on a paddlewheel bucket!
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