It was Doc who first noticed Dud's strange
I was too busy trying to drop an elk-hair caddis fly, size 16, just
beyond that big smooth rock on Lewis Creek. I know there's a big
rainbow trout in that hole there, you see, and there is nothing more
important, on a summer morning like this one, than enticing that big
rascal into delivering himself to my waiting hands.
But Doc noticed that Dud had laid his fly rod down in the bushes and
was doing strange things with his hands. Finally, Doc got my
attention, pointed to Dud, and we both stopped fishing and walked
over to see what our long-time pal was up to.
Dud would look around in the air, then make a one-handed grab at the
air. After several grabs, he'd take two fingers of his other hand,
put them in his clenched fist, and wiggle around. Then he'd smile
and open his fist and look in the air again. Doc and I looked
silently at each other, wondering how long it would take from our
day of fishing to get Dud delivered to the nervous hospital in the
"Dud," said Doc, "how's the fishing?"
"Huh? Oh hi. Not fishing right now, Doc. Experimenting."
"Experimenting?" I said. Of course, I said this automatically,
forgetting for a moment how time consuming it could be to start Dud
explaining things of a scientific nature.
"Natural selection," Dud said,
proudly. "Survival of the fittest. Yes, I decided to spend my
morning in Darwinian pursuits, making the world a safer place for
[to top of second
Doc looked at me. "He's talking like that again," he said.
"Well, Doc," said Dud, "you, of
all people, should be able to appreciate what I'm doing. After all,
you're a man of science and a healer. I'm going to rid the world of
dangerous diseases. Observe."
Then Dud made another grab at the air, and this time we could see he
was snatching a mosquito out of the air. Again he used his other
hand to do something to the mosquito, and then he released it.
"I'm pulling out their drillers," Dud said. "I figgered if I pull
out enough drillers, then sooner or later two drillerless mosquitoes
will get married and have pups and then we'll have a family of
drillerless mosquitoes here on Lewis Creek. Without drillers, they
won't be able to pass along yellow fever or malaria to fishermen."
Doc looked at him in a strange way. "Dud, there's never been anyone
get malaria from these Lewis Creek mosquitoes."
"See?" Dud said, brightly. "It's already working."
[Text from file received from
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