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2010 Liars Contest

The tales were tall and the house was full at the 2010 State Liars Contest at last year’s Vandalia Gathering.
When the stories were done and the smoke had cleared, the winners were:
1 - Conner Sorrells, Charleston
2 - Adam Booth, Shepherdstown
3 - John W. Smith, Meadow Creek
Youth Award - Noah Lepp, South Charleston
Thanks to all of our contestants! Here are a couple of samples of last year’s tales. -ed.

You can watch videos of all the winners here.

John W. Smith (Meadow Creek)
John W. Smith - 3rd Place. Photograph by Michael Keller.

“Hunting with One Bullet”

I’ll tell you about the time I went hunting with one bullet. I don’t like to be bragging about myself for nothing, you know, but I think I hold the world’s record for killing the most game with one bullet. It’s kind of an accident the way it happened.

I was going hunting. There was an old gun hanging over the fireplace that had been hanging there for years and had been handed down from generation to generation. I got to scratching around in a drawer and found one bullet that fit that gun. I told my ma that I was going down to shoot that gun.

She said, “Well, since you’re going down the holler to shoot that gun, reckon you could saw that old sapling stump off down there and put a bottom in it and make me a flour barrel?”

I said, “Well, I guess I could.”

So I hitched a sled up to the horse and went on down in the holler. I got down to the stump, and I looked at it a little bit, and thought, “Now, while I’m sawing on that stump, I’m going to throw my goose net out and catch me a few geese.”

I throwed my goose net out and throwed me a little bit of corn under it, you know. I started sawing on that stump and had it about sawed off when I heard a racket over there. You ain’t going to believe this, but that goose net was plumb full of geese. You couldn’t have got another goose in that net. I gathered up all four corners of that net. Now you ain’t going to believe this, but them geese all started to fly at one time. They picked me up right off the ground. I was holding on, and before I knew it I was at the top of the trees. I thought, “Lord, I’ve got to let this go.” I got skeered.

Well, I let that net go, and I fell down into a hollow tree about that big around. I fell into honey up to my waist, the most honey I ever seen. I was stuck in that honey. I looked up, and I could see the blue sky. All at once it got dark. It was a big bear coming down in there to get that honey. I thought, “Lord, what am I going to do?” I thought real quick, and I grabbed that bear by the tail. I goosed him and he pulled me plumb to the top of that tree. When I got up there, I gave him a big shove, and he fell off and broke his neck down at the foot of the tree.

Well, you know, I still had that honey all over me. There was a creek that run by that tree. And I thought, “Now I’m going to get in that creek and wash that honey off me.” So I got in the creek and was washing that honey off, and something got in my shirt and was choking me to death. I didn’t know what in the world it was. It was so tight that it popped my top button off and killed a partridge sitting on the bank. It was a big 12-pound catfish that had got down in there. And I got that 12-pound catfish, and that partridge, and that bear. I put that honey in the barrel and put it all on the sled. I was getting ready to go, when I heard a racket.

I looked up and saw all them geese hung up there in a big pine tree. I thought, “I’ll just cut this joker down.” So I cut that tree down. Now, you ain’t going to believe this, but when that tree fell, there was two buck deer over in a big pine thicket. When that big tree fell, it killed both of them buck deer in that pine thicket.

Well, I got them two buck deer and them 21 geese and put them on the sled with that 12-pound catfish, and that partridge, and that bear, and that barrel of honey. And I had me a load. I was getting ready to go to the house when I heard another noise over there. I turned around and I looked. There was two turkeys up on a limb. Boy, I grabbed my gun real quick, and by the time I got it loaded, there was three more that had jumped up on the same limb. That was five turkeys. I loaded that gun and took aim. About the time I shot, I fell in a stump hole. I missed all five of them turkeys. You ain’t going to believe this, but that bullet hit three trees, ricocheted around three times, and killed all five of them turkeys.

When I fell in that stump hole, that old gun was so old the hammer of it fell off and killed a swamp rabbit that was laying over there in the swamp. Well, I got the swamp rabbit, got them five turkeys, and put them on the sled with them 21 geese and them two buck deer, that 12-pound catfish, and that partridge, and that bear, and that barrel of honey, and I had me a load.

I grabbed them lines, slapped that horse on the rump, and we started to the house. When that horse started to pull, it broke both trace chains. I thought, “Lord, what am I going to do with all this meat on here?” I thought real quick and I skinned them deer out and made me some rawhide straps. When I made them rawhide straps, I put them on the horse and hit that old horse across the rump. We headed to the house, and I never even looked back.

Now look here. You ain’t going to believe this, but when I got to the house, that rawhide had stretched and left all that meat sitting down there in the bottom. Boy, I was mad! I hung that harness on a stump, went in the house, and went to bed. Now, you ain’t going to believe this, but when I got up the next morning at 10 o’clock, that sun had come out and drawed that rawhide up and sucked all that meat up out of the bottom.

And if I had more time, I’d tell you about the time I went hunting with two bullets.

Noah Lepp (South Charleston)
Noah Lepp -Youth Award . Photograph by Kim Johnson.

“Gravity Bill”

One morning I woke up and something wasn’t right, but I just couldn’t place it. When I rolled over to get out of bed, it hit me. What hit me, you ask? The ceiling. I was stuck to the ceiling in my room. Good thing I wasn’t in my sister’s room because of the glass ceiling. And so I decided to go down into my parents’ room and ask them what was going on.

So I scampered across the ceiling. When I got to the stairs, I made sure to hold on to the handrail, because I didn’t want to take a nasty fall off the stairs. And when I got down there and woke them up, my dad then figured out that he must’ve forgotten to pay the gravity bill and the gravity got shut off.

And so we tried to call Appalachian Gravity and Weights Company, but the handset for the phone had floated off somewhere. Somebody really ought to invent a cord or something that attaches the phone to the wall.

So we decided to eat breakfast before going down to AGW to pay the bill and get the gravity back on. But it’s not easy to cook an over-easy egg when there’s no gravity. First you have to turn the skillet upside down and then flip the egg down with the spatula. And forget about trying to pour milk for a bowl of cereal. I don’t think we’ll ever get that milk out of the light fixture.

When we went out the door, I stuck my head out and it got caught by gravity, but my legs were still in the anti-gravity house. And since my head was going down to the floor and my legs were going up to the ceiling, that made me do a flip. And then that flip flipped me over again, and there I was doing somersaults in the doorframe.

We drove to the Appalachian Gravity and Weights Company, and they told us that our gravity would be back on in between 10 and noon. And so when we got back to our house, we found some very angry astronauts and scientists from NASA who were going to use our house as an anti-gravity training environment. We told them that we were sorry for messing up their training, and we would call them any time we forgot to pay the gravity bill.

So from then on, it’s been my responsibility to make sure that the gravity bill is paid at the end of every month. Oh wait, it’s the 30th. Argg-g-hh! Does anybody have NASA’s phone number?

You can watch videos of all the winners here - this article is in this issue of Goldenseal, available in bookstores, libraries or direct from Goldenseal.