Out On The Mudline

Ferocious Fish Lived In Sadie’s Pond

By W. P. Sissell

The Taylor Farm

Not long after Nannette and I married in 1947 the farm adjacent to her mother and father’s farm was offered for sale.  Out on the Mud Line we knew that our days there were numbered for the impoundment of water in Enid Reservoir was imminent.  In the years before I returned from the service Dad had made several changes.  The sawmill had already been moved to the Cottoner place.  The concrete stave silo and a hay storage barn had been built in the Oak grove along the Mud Line.  All the land north of the Mud Line had been sold.  This ended the dairy and the hog feeding operation for the headquarters for these as well as our home was located on the land sold.  Only the little storage building that we called “The Brooder  House” was kept and moved across the road at the house there.  We were really camping until we decided where we would go.  

When I told him about the farm (Mr. Carr’s farm) being for sale, I was told to walk over it and find out about the price.  At the time I was working on a farm operation plan in one of my agriculture classes at Mississippi State so I did this the following week, in duplicate, so that I could give Dad a copy.  That plan included comments about the usage of each of the fields along with the reasons for the comment.  

When I arrived at home the next weekend Dad was ready to go take a look at the farm himself.  After that walk-over he bought the place.  He saw several things that I did not see.  Before we left he asked Mr. Carr about the Ford tractor sitting there in the yard along with the equipment and bought it.  

In a few weeks, when he found out that the small triangular place across the road  (the cutoff road that went through the old covered bridge) from the place, was for sale he bought that too.  In a short time he had that Kimzey house moved and Mr. Bennett Hill’s crew building a new house there.  

Joe Stribling and family moved to the Carr house to see after the place.   Joe’s house was used by the movie people when they made “Intruder in the Dust.”

After Mother and Dad got moved to their new house and he noticed the pattern of the run-off water in the pasture, one day—out of the blue—a dragline showed up in the, across the road from the house, pasture and dug a hole about six feet deep by twenty feet wide and sixty feet long.  After the winter and spring rains that hole was filled with water.  In those times when Yocona got out of the banks causing the old Yocona run to overflow, the hole became stocked with a variety of fish—and Miss Sadie had a fishing hole not much over one hundred yards from her back door.  She had kind off culled the old run—it was quite a piece from the house and the banks brushy and snakey.  

After catching that first fish from “The Hole” she spent many spare times wetting a hook in that little body of water that Reuel had managed to fix for her.  There was even a Paw-Paw tree to stop by on the way to her fishing hole.  

What was in Sadie’s Pond?

The content, besides water that is, would be a matter of opinion.  Dr Y. J McGaha, zoologist,  would have been intrigued by what I ran up on one afternoon.  As I walked up to the pond where mother was fishing I noticed two probably four pounders just over the bank.  I thought I recognized them at first and when I reached for the nearest he/it snapped at my hand—one of the two ferocious fresh water fish we have in our area the amia Calva or Bowfin or you may know it by the name Grinnel.  This fish builds a nest and is an egg layer.  I found many nests as I cleared Dry Bayou.  I have never figured out how Miss Sadie got the unhooking done.  That kind of fish has been on this earth millions of years.

Dr. M. B. Huneycutt, Botanist,  told me, after just looking at the pond surface, that there were probably twenty Phd’s in that little pond.  I would bet that he was correct.  

To Miss Sadie the thing that mattered was the presence of fish and Reuel had fixed it for her.

Thank you for your encouragements.  Had a call from Wesson Wright’s son several days ago.  Wesson worked on our tractors at Mr. Bill Trusty’s shop.  You can reach me most of the time at 23541 Highway 6, Batesville, MS 38606 or 662-563-9879.

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