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Conversation with Theada Nowell

Nowell, Theada
Harrison, Heather
Date of Interview: 
overcoming obstacles; relationships with people and places; stories and storytellers
Theada Nowell talks about a friend who observed a squirrel and a catfish on the lake and a friend who got bitten by a copperhead.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Heather Harrison interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
TN (Theada Nowell): This is a story that somebody told me the other day about they were going fishing, about this catfish and this squirrel. Well this good buddy of mine, he and his lady were going fishing and they went out to this pond that nobody had been fishing at for the longest time. I mean it took them forever to get there, they had to cut through all these woods. They finally got to the pond. It was just as thick as it could be. Well they got their johnboat out there and they were just a-paddling away, trying to get to the middle of that lake. Well they were just a-getting it. So all of a sudden they see this squirrel jump in the water and go swimming clean across that lake. And they were, "What in the world is that squirrel going to?" Well he was just a-swimming and a-getting a-going too. "Can you believe that? I'd never seen a squirrel do that before in my life." And they were going, "No I've never seen a squirrel do that either." And all of a sudden they saw this, this log, uh, it was, was just hanging over the side of the pond. And at the end of the log, it was kind of up out of the water, and at the very end of that log there was a white acorn. Well now squirrels love white acorns. Because they're sweet they're real tasty and all animals in the woods love white acorns because they're so tasty. Well that squirrel, he was going as fast as he could swimming across that pond. And he got over to where that log was and he pulled himself on top of that log. And he was just worn out. And he picked up that white acorn. He was just as happy as he could be. He sat right down on that log and he started chewing away on that white acorn. And about that time this huge splash made this sound in the pond and, "That has got to be the biggest fish-," my friend said, my friend said he looked at his friend and said, "Can you believe that? That's got to be the biggest fish I had ever seen." They saw the tail on that fish. It was huge, and all of a sudden this big old catfish, he jumped right out of the water and he snatched that squirrel and took him down in the water and my friend looked at his friend and said, "Can you believe that? Did you see that? I can't believe that? That catfish, he was huge. He just swallowed that squirrel." And they were just looking at each other and they were just in amazement. And all of a sudden that catfish came swimming up to the top and he pulled out a white acorn and put it back on top of that log and swam back [laugh].
HH (Heather Harrison): All right.
TN: I have this friend of mine who just loves snakes, he just loves snakes. Loves all kinds of reptiles and he's not afraid of anything. And when he was growing up he had this friend of his that lived down the street that was a great big old burly guy and they were best buddies. But every once in a while, just like boys do, they would get into an argument or whatever. Then they would just start fighting and wrestling and stuff and my friend was kind of small at the time, and so he knew if he was, if his friend was going to pick on him that he better get the first lick in because that was going to be the only lick he was going to get. Well he and his friend [laugh] had ridden down on, um, his motorcycle to go fishing. So they had all their tackle boxes, fishing rods, and they were both on this motorcycle and they'd gone down to this pond to go fishing. Well, my friend who loved snakes knew that his big old burly friend was scared to death of snakes, scared to death. So they were fishing and while they were fishing [cough] my friend looked over and he saw a copperhead. So being the person that he was, not afraid of snakes, not thinking anything in this world was ever going to happen to him. He decided he was going to play a trick on his friend. So he picked up that copperhead [laugh] by the neck and sort of, and said, "Hey look, look what I got." He said, "Get that thing away from me, get that thing away from me." So his friend started running and he started running after his friend with the copperhead and the fangs were all showing and he was just a laughing. He thought it was the funniest thing. Oh well in between running after his friend and laughing and carrying on that copperhead turned around and bit him on the hand. So here they are, they're out in the middle of nowhere in the country at this pond going fishing and he's done been bitten by a copperhead. So these boys get on the motorcycle and my friend's holding his hand up and he's got his fishing rods under one arm and the other guy is holding the tackle box in the other one they're flying down the road trying to get to the emergency room 'cause he's been bit by the copperhead and, actually, he lived to tell the story and didn't loose a limb or anything like that but he never picked up anymore copperheads. He still loves snakes and he will still play with snakes but no copperheads.