My father worked in oil fields when I was young. He would drill the holes in the ground and take core samples. We would move every few years. One time we lived in Henderson, Kentucky. My dad bought a piece of property, right across from a huge corn field. It had an old shack on it, so he cleared the property, tore down the shack and bought a new mobile home and put it on the property. Right next to our property was still these old shack houses, kind of like the top picture. They were really small with 2 rooms. They didn’t have running water and they had out houses right near the house. I looked in the window of one of the shack house that was empty, they had a 4 rent sign. The kitchen had this pump handle that you had to pump to get the water to come out. I don’t know why anyone would rent the thing, it was a dump and had an outhouse. Nobody had outhouses, except these few shacks. Once I saw a giant rat run across the yard, into the outhouse. Scary.
The shack beside it had these two old lady sisters living in it. I always thought they looked like witches. They always had smoke coming from the chimney, probably how they cooked with one of those big iron pots, probably throwing frogs and bats wings into the pot for their stew.
One time my mother was trying to catch a mole that was digging holes all over the yard. She put a water hose in the ground and turned on the water. The mole came out of the hole and she hit it with a pan and killed it. She was really screaming because of the frenzy of hitting it. I was all terrified of her hitting the mole with a pan.
One of the old witch ladies came running out from her shack to see what was going on. She ran over and picked up the mole.
“Can I have this?” My Mom said “Yes, take it, I don’t want it.”
I asked the lady what she wanted it for. “We love the fur on the moles, we use it for powder puffs. We used to use the feet for the babies for teething, they chew on it.”
I felt the fur. It was very soft. The feet were big and hard. I guess they used what they could in the olden days, probably early 1900’s when they were young. Who knows, maybe those witches were 100 years old. I will never forget them taking the mole back to their shack, all happy they had a fresh killed mole.