Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Voices from the Past: The Sucker in the Cypress (1903)

A remarkable story comes from the New Orleans Times-Democrat printed in May 1903 about a fish that lived in a tree. I present to you the story of The Sucker in the Cypress.

A Sucker in a Cypress.

A Story comes from Jeanerette, La., where about thirty pounds of fish were recently sawed out of the heart of a cypress log. The other day when the larger end of an immense cypress log was being passed under the saw of the mill of the Jeanerette Cypress Lumber Company, one of the millmen made the discovery that in a hollow of the log was some substance that was evidently extraordinary. His examination acquainted him with the fact that a large fish had been sawed up with the log. The log was one that had been cut about the usual distance from the ground, but which had a hollow on one side above where it had been cut. The hollow space opened out in a hole of a few inches in diameter on the side of the tree. The hollow space itself, however, was of ample dimensions. Occupying a great proportion of the space were the sawed remains of a large sucker, probably a "choupique," estimated to have weighed at least thirty pounds. The explanation that has been offered for the lodgment of the fish in so unexpected a place was that in high water when the hole in the side of the tree was below the surface of the water, a small fish got through the hole into the hollow. The fish failed to swim out of the hole before the water fell. Enough water remained in the hole at all times to permit the fish to live, and it "waxed fat" in its peculiar abode, and at least remained fresh, if not alive, when the log was being rafted and when it was run into the mill.

--Dr. Todd

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