September 4 – Some of the older homes for the missionaries at Solusi Mission were surrounded by walls of stones all tacked together, maybe three feet high and two feet thick. These walls were fine hideaways for wildlife such as lizards, mice and rats, and snakes.
At one time I had some tame white rats as pets, and somehow they escaped and took refuge in the rock walls. My dad told me to recapture them if possible, and paid me a few pennies for each capture, so I tried to earn as much money as possible and did manage to catch some of them. I especially remember reaching in between two stones once and grabbing the whiskers of an unsuspecting rat, which promptly bit me and escaped.
One day I recall being out in our yard, having fun and spinning around and letting a large nail fly out as I spun, just to see where it would land. Suddenly, as I let the nail fly, down from its perch on one of the rocks in the wall fell a skink that appeared to be dead, yet bore no marks of injury. Puzzled, I looked it over and over, and finally discovered a hole in its armpit where that nail must have pierced it. What a freak shot! – DALE