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Wednesday, October 04, 2006 

Cecil and Agnes

My Great Grandfather was a reported character. He had several incidents where his Snagleyisms came out with great result. His name was Cecil Snagley.
Cecil was a farmer; he supplied the neighborhood with milk and eggs. He had two milk cows that provided 8 gallons of milk a day and he had about 50 laying hens that gave him 30 or so eggs a day. His barn was located on a hill, which gave him one of the few barns in America with a basement. He turned the basement into the chicken house. This particular fall he was having a problem with Opossums getting into his hen house and stealing his chickens.

If you are a farmer and opossums steal your chickens it gets personal quick. It is reported to me that he had lost 5 hens. He had an old single barreled shotgun, the kind that you have to load down the muzzle of the barrel. He usually kept it loaded with powder but would leave the shot out of the gun; (shot is the lead pellets for those of you who do not know ) on this particular night Agnes loaded the gun with shot. She figured if Cecil were not going to do anything about the opossum she would shoot it herself. Then they went to bed.

About 2:30 am they heard a commotion in the hen house. Cecil got up and grabbed the shotgun he quickly loaded it with shot, not noticing that Agnes had already loaded it once. He was wearing a nightshirt that hit him just above the knees, as was his custom that was all he wore to bed. He pulled on his boots put on his hat and stumbled out into the dark.

Now this was way before the days of flashlights but he had a small carbide light that he could hook up to his hat. He lit the light and let old Chester his dog loose. Chester was an old dog that spent his days and nights sleeping on the back steps.
Old Cecil was cursing a blue streak he had tripped once already and kept stepping on things his grandkids and Chester left in the yard. The light on his hat was about as bright as three kitchen matches held together, it did not provide him with a great deal of light.
He made his way to the hen house. The chickens were going wild. He could not see what was in there so he got down on his knees and leaned forward shining the light on his hat into the hen house.


Agnes heard the gun go off and sat down at the kitchen table happy that the opossum was finally dead and they could go back to sleep. Cecil came to the door. There was a dark cloud over his head. Agnes had seen this cloud before and knew something was not right. He came in the house without speaking and grabbed his pants off the nightstand and pulled them on. Then he changed into his work shirt and put on some coffee. Agnes was almost afraid to ask but she had to know. Cecil what are you doing.

He said, “ I am making some coffee woman. You need to get dressed too, we have about 25 chickens to butcher, I got down on one knee to shoot that damn opossum I bent way over, and I had my finger on the trigger and Chester cold nosed me on the butt.