Jekyll Is­land deer welcome news they are now of­fi­cial

The Covington News - - OPINION - DICK YAR­BROUGH COLUM­NIST You can reach Dick Yar­brough at yarb2400@bell­south.net; at P.O. Box 725373, At­lanta, Ge­or­gia 31139; online at dick­yarbrough.com or on Face­book at www.face­book.com/dick­yarb.

In the midst of all the tur­moil over re­cent Supreme Court de­ci­sions on Oba­macare and gay mar­riage as well as the furor over the Con­fed­er­ate bat­tle flag, you may have missed the big news. The white­tailed deer has been se­lected the of­fi­cial mam­mal of the state of Ge­or­gia.

This was es­pe­cially wel­comed news for my friend Claude and his white-tailed col­leagues on Jekyll Is­land. As you may re­call, The Jekyll Is­land Au­thor­ity had been mak­ing noises about shoot­ing the deer on the is­land be­cause they were pro­cre­at­ing at an alarm­ing rate as well as has­sling peo­ple on the beach for acorns (the deer, not the Jekyll Is­land Au­thor­ity.) Claude had called me at the time seek­ing my help in let­ting peo­ple know they were un­der siege. He said there were more lawyers in Ge­or­gia than white-tailed deer and no­body was talk­ing about shoot­ing lawyers. He made an ex­cel­lent point.

The JIA has backed off the plan tem­po­rar­ily, say­ing they have de­cided to do a study first. I don’t think they need a study to know that tourists come to Jekyll Is­land to see the deer and not mem­bers of the Jekyll Is­land Au­thor­ity. That’s an ego-buster, I’m sure, but some­times the truth hurts.

Last week, Claude called to thank me for my in­ter­ven­tion on their be­half dur­ing those dark days and for the spe­cial sta­tus he and the other white-tails now en­joy. He said state of­fi­cials were giv­ing the credit to a group of first-graders in Musco­gee County for the idea of mak­ing them the of­fi­cial state mam­mal, but the deer are con­vinced that it was my col­umns that made the dif­fer­ence.

Claude wanted me to know that in ap­pre­ci­a­tion for my com­ing to their de­fense and for keep­ing them from get­ting their white­tails shot off, the deer on Jekyll Is­land had got­ten to­gether and had voted to plant a clump of Dixie Rein­deer Lichen (Clad­ina sub­tenuis) in my honor on the cause­way.

I told Claude that while I was hum­bled by such a kind ges­ture, it might not be a good idea for us to be as­so­ci­at­ing our­selves with “Dixie” at the mo­ment. Claude wanted to know why not.

I told him the po­lit­i­cally-cor­rect crowd was on a tear these days try­ing to get rid of any­thing hav­ing to do with South­ern her­itage and if they found Dixie Rein­deer Lichen on Jekyll Is­land they would pour weed killer on it and it would be the lead story on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.

Claude said he had no idea who Lester Holt is and that lichen is not a weed. He says lichen is a com­pos­ite or­gan­ism that arises from al­gae and lives among fil­a­ments of a fun­gus in a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial re­la­tion­ship, which is more than he can say for the Jekyll Is­land Au­thor­ity and white-tail deer.

I said those kinds of de­tails don’t mat­ter to the PC crowd. It’s the word “Dixie” that will get their shorts in a wad. Claude said he won­dered how they felt about Dixie Cups, South­ern Com­fort and Rebel Tall Fes­cue Grass Seed Blend. I must ad­mit that I hadn’t thought about that. I hope the PC crowd hasn’t, ei­ther.

Claude said that while the Jekyll Is­land Au­thor­ity clearly has not treated him and his white-tailed as­so­ci­ates with the re­spect they felt they were due, the deer re­main South­ern to the core. Have you ever seen white-tail deer in down­town Ne­wark or in Detroit City, he asked? I said I had not but that was be­cause I spent as lit­tle time in those two cities as pos­si­ble. Claude wanted me to tell the po­lit­i­cally-cor­rect crowd in no un­cer­tain terms that the deer would plant clumps of Dixie Rein­deer Lichen (Clad­ina sub­tenuis) when­ever and wher­ever they pleased. I couldn’t be sure but I thought I heard a cou­ple of rebel yells in the back­ground.

As we were hang­ing up, Claude said he had an idea he wanted to run by me. Now that the white-tail deer is the of­fi­cial state mam­mal, did Ge­or­gia have an of­fi­cial state pest? I said I didn’t think so. I know the honey bee is the of­fi­cial state in­sect but I wasn’t sure about pests and won­dered why he was ask­ing. Claude said he and the other white-tails had got­ten to­gether and were think­ing about nom­i­nat­ing mem­bers of the Jekyll Is­land Au­thor­ity for the honor. Hmm. An in­ter­est­ing idea. I must re­mem­ber to talk to the school kids in Musco­gee County about that.

Cour­tesy of Metro Cre­ative Con­nec­tion

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