How I Happened To Give My Sister-in-law a 5-foot-long Catfish

One Saturday my wife Linda and I drove over to Bernice
To visit her sister, their mother, and our niece.
Aunt Margie and Uncle Travis also had come for lunch,
After which, Travis said he needed to go to Farmerville a whole bunch.
He needed to buy some seed corn to put out for the deer
So that with hunting season approaching they would stay near.
Besides the Tru Value hardware store had put in a new section for fishing.
He and I set off to Farmerville, in the light rain the truck's wipers were swishing.
We went by the feed place, then on to the hardware store.
In the hunting section were guns, ammo, bows, arrows, camouflage clothing and more.
There was a life-size brown deer made of plastic.
"Look, Travis, I didn't know that they made deer decoys. Fantastic!"
"Harry, that is for bowhunters to use for practice. Decoys will fool a duck,
But expect that thing to lure a deer and you'd be slap out of luck."
On to the fishing section we slowly wandered.
Upon a bin filled with large stuffed fish I stopped and pondered.
I'm guessing these are not decoys you hang over water trying fish to lure.
So, I asked a salesperson what they were, my curiosity to cure.
Turns out they were pillows made to look like a giant catfish or trout.
The catfish was five feet long, made of mottled fabric, with whiskers a foot longer thereabout.
"Every home could use one of these", said the salesman.
I'm thinking the only way one of these ugly monstrosities can
Ever make it inside my house won't be by purchase, only as a gift.
A gift! I can give this hideous thing as a joke to someone with whom it will not cause a rift.
My sister-in-law Janet was the perfect choice as giftee.
When I carried the catfish inside, the ladies all laughed so hard I was afraid they might pee!
"Janet, I bought this for you. You might not want it, but it's yours all the same."
Upon examination she decided upon its use and even gave it a name.
She had been wanting to get a body pillow to help her sleep.
This pillow she'd try , and it might be good to keep.
She named her giant catfish "Harry" in my honor without hesitation,
Not realizing her action would end up sullying my reputation,
When word spread all over town that Janet has said
Nothing put her to sleep faster than taking "Harry" to her bed!

Harry Edward Gilleland      09.03.01