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By Robert Smith, RHS ‘57
One day I was sitting in the Student Center at Central Missouri University drinking coffee with some of my fellow students and I mentioned that I was going to go bullfrog hunting that night. The college has a large lake and park just south of town. I had heard some bullfrogs going at it the night before.
One of the guys was real interested in going with me. He was a little Jewish guy from New York City. I told him I would pick him up and I advised him to wear some old shoes just in case he had to wade out in the water.
By the time I got parked, it had already turned dark. It was a dark and moonless night. As we were walking down a small dirt road to the lake, I could sense that he had never been in total darkness before, having grown up in New York City. Pretty soon, some of the bullfrogs gave out their deep, rumbling noise. In a nervous voice, he said, “What was that?
I said, “Those are the bullfrogs.”
He asked, “How big are they?”
I told him, “Oh, about the size of a small dog.”
He wanted to know, “Are they dangerous?”
I explained to them that they didn’t have any teeth and the only way that they could hurt him was, if after gigging them, they would take off for the woods and drag him through the brush. I told him that if that happened, to just let go of the gig, or he would get all scratched up from the branches. I said, “The skin off your hide is worth more than a gig. I can always buy another gig.”
After we got to the lake, I showed him how to use the flashlight to blind the frogs and then stick them with the gig. After he had speared a couple of the frogs, the mild mannered little Jewish boy turned into a raging killing machine. He really got into it. That night, we got our limit and I took them home with me. I had him over the next night and we had frog legs and some roastin’ ears. After that, he was always bugging me to go back, but the season was over. At least, he had a story to tell back in the Big Apple.