Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes Pap

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Tore Up Tiller

One of the first times we met at Pap’s big garden to work earlier this year we encountered a mystery. Someone had cut the spark plug wire off one of Pap’s tillers. It was just gone. Completely gone. We looked around to see if whoever cut it off left it laying around, but found nothing. We wondered why anyone would cut it off. Was it just pure meanness or some kid bothering things they shouldn’t?

I said “Well all our kids are big enough to know better.” Pap said “Maybe they were down here slinging something around and they accidentally cut it off.” I said “I don’t think so.” Paul said “I bet it was a dog.” Pap and I both questioned why a dog would bother a tiller, but Paul continued saying he bet it was a dog.

Pap has several old tillers so they got a spark plug wire off one of them and replaced the missing one. We were going to crank one of the other old tillers so two of us could till at once to make short work of what needed to be done and do you believe the spark plug wire was cut off it too?

The discussion resumed. Who in the world would do such a thing? Personally I let my imagination run. As I scanned the ridge line above the garden, I began envisioning a dark figure slipping through the woods intent on destroying Pap’s tillers. Paul stuck to his theory it was a dog and said he bet he knew which annoying dog it was-Molly.

Two hours after we started that spring evening The Deer Hunter rolled in from work and between him and Paul they got the garden tilled and with the help of the rest of us we got the taters planted.

So did we ever find out what happened to the spark plugs? Yes. Paul was right-it was Molly.

Since then she’s has added to her destruction list by chewing the throttle cable off another tiller and the pull cord on one of Steve’s lawnmowers as well.

Molly is known for barking at cars, Pap thinks she fears anything that runs and when no ones around she takes her vengeance out on those running things she can easily attack-the tillers and the lawnmowers.

Paul is still lording it over Pap and me that he was right in the first place.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Now that’s one smart dog! I remember the knobs to my stove were missing once. I had just cleaned the kitchen one morning and they were all there. Went to do something else, I came back to the kitchen and really didn’t notice too quick but they had vanished. The same culprit who stole my stove knobs tried taking my vacuum but I caught them red handed. It was my Nephew, Joseph playing tricks on his Aunt (ME). I just laughed, bless his little cotton pickin’ heart.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 6:32 am

    i bet Paul is still singing I told you so at the top of his lungs. so Molly has a vengeful streak for loud engines. this is really strange. how will you protect your machines? fence them in? fence her out? LOL on Molly girl

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Well, that’s the first I’ve heard of a tiller chewing dog. I guess she is a puppy at heart and can’t find any shoes to chew on.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Amazing! And some call them dumb animals. LOL
    With love.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    B-yes I actually do use it quite often : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    July 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but I haven’t heard “he/she is lording it over me” in a long, long time…
    Do you use that term a lot?….
    Also tell Paul for me, I wish he would get the lead out, on that video of “Undone in Sorrow” with Chitter and Chatter singing at the church!…
    Just kidding a little bit!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    What a hilarious story! I’m glad you were able to solve the mystery. Sometimes they don’t get solved.
    My dh’s aunt had the leaf stolen out of her dining room table. Her college age boys were sitting eating breakfast, one at each end, & she came in & asked where the leaf was. It was there the night before. They didn’t even question why there was big hole in the middle of the table. It’s a family mystery that has never been solved. Too bad we can’t blame it on the dog!
    This was years ago & yes, it’s prank these boys would play but they would’ve given it back by suppertime – it’s a big family & they need a big table.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 13, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Molly the wire chewing dog. Perhaps she has a metal deficiency in her diet….LOL!
    Congrats to Paul the Super Sleuth!

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    July 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    my goodness.. naughty dog.. lol
    the things that go through our minds.. eh? guess you will have to fido proof your machines from now on.. funny story to tell you about my poor brother…. years ago he was going to help his in laws till the garden and they said to fire up the tiller.. and take a go at it.. they were all on the porch watching.. and .. he started the thing right up.. and held onto the handles… and all of a sudden he was thrashed all over the garden in a circle… his arms wrestling to hold the beast… and his inlaws were laughing with tears in their eyes as he was being thrown around like a rag doll… (they never mentioned to him to put down the rudder type thing… before starting to till) lol if you could see my brother tell this story.. it makes me laugh now…
    so glad that you got your taters in… and give the princesses a ladybug hug for me

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Today’s blog about dogs trigger an
    incident my sister-in-law had. In
    2008 she bought a new Chevy SUV
    Blazer. (She has 5 Rotweillers) A
    field rat came and got up inside
    the passenger wheel area and those
    dogs tore all the wireing, the
    plastic linings and bumper area
    all to pieces. Since then they
    have stuck to disecting those big
    turtles in her fishpond. She told
    me her insurance didn’t cover
    teeth, so it cost her about $800.
    to fix the car…Ken

  • Reply
    Chief Dog Walker
    July 13, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I wonder if Molly doesn’t have one of those inner anxiety type of things that is so hard to understand. She might benefit from Comfort Zone® with D.A.P. (Dog Appeasing Pheromone). You can look it up at Amazon, or I have a an explanation here, in the 3rd yellow row down: Can’t say I know anyone who’s tried it, but it sounds good. Chewing wires ain’t right. Wait, maybe she was after something else, I had a dog chew the brake lines off my truck one time, trying to get a chipmunk out of there. Maybe it was something like that, a bird or a rodent sitting on there that she couldn’t get and then took it out on the motor?

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    A rototiller eating dog – now there’s something you don’t see every day, lol

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I would never have guessed a dog either.
    But I’m thinking he’s right about the dog getting back at that noisey tiller.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 11:25 am

    ooh sorry he was right and it wasn’t a wild goat or a garden hater crazed woodsman. But then you don’t have to look over your shoulder knowing that it is just Molly.

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    July 13, 2011 at 10:36 am

    When I pulled the rope on my tiller, it wouldn’t start and I noticed ants and eggs falling out from under the cover. I cleaned out leaves and chewed grass string, I guess I had a mouse also. I had to replace the points and condenser to get it to start. I think the ants killed the tiller.

  • Reply
    Brian Blake
    July 13, 2011 at 9:34 am

    In our family the culprit would have been Uncle Jed, who had a jug too many of white-lightning and rolled out at midnight to chaw on something that looked like black spaghetti.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Paul is smart to have figured that out so fast. I’d never thought of a dog. I always think of the worst when something odd happens.Sometimes i figure it out and other times not. Glad you got the tiller fixed and the tators planted.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    July 13, 2011 at 8:36 am

    This post was so funny…As I was reading, my mind was wandering about who or what it could be, especially when you mentioned the ridge line behind the garden. Ooooh, we have wooded ridges surrounding our garden, too…I think I watch to many Monster Quest episodes!..Ha Then I was thinking squirrels or groundhogs..not a sweet little innocent doggie…
    Bad doggie!..but at least it wasn’t an Ewah, Sasquach,or heavens forbid a North Carolina Big Foot…
    Great post, Thank you for the mystery this morning…

  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 8:28 am

    We had the same problem this year as well on our tiller and on our generator.. both were in the storage shed so the only thing we figured it could be was the crazed squirrel or the wild pack rat that had taken up residence in there which have both proven to be rather difficult to keep out without building fortresses… always something.. .iffin we dont break it a critter does for us

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