It was so strange

It was so strange

By: Dr. Jeff Fuller

Savannah showed me a squirrel on the side of the garage a few days ago.  That rodent was doing some of the strangest things.  It was spread out against the brick, heading toward the ground by not going toward the ground.  It was hanging onto the house.

I would move around and with those large brown eyes it followed every move.  Yet did not move its head.  When I would advance toward the wall it would dance around, upside down. Within three feet I would advance, it would move a few inches away but never jumped down.

It was so strange.

An experience from the night before did not help that strange feeling.  While leaving Weogufka, the stillness of the night was violently disrupted by a sound which rattled the ground and shook my teeth.  It was the sound of a helicopter; it appeared it was just above the treetops.  Scanning the night sky I could not find a strobe or any aircraft lights.

It was so strange.

On the day we found the squirrel literally hanging around the house, I read an article on AL.Com website which explained there was an operation taking place in Central Alabama.  Wildlife Specialist from the United States Department of Agriculture were in the process of dropping packets of rabies vaccines in seventeen counties to curb future outbreaks of rabies among raccoons.

I assume the squirrel on the side of our house was either needing the vaccine or was a recipient of the packets.  It was mighty strange.

It reminded me of a story dad told about his young days, attending an old country church.  The church opened the windows, and the doors to allow the breeze to flow through the building.  Those old wooden floors revealed the ground underneath the building, leaving a small space between each plank.

During a late spring revival, Lawrence County heat blew through the open doors, the evening filled with flies and mosquitos buzzing and diving around the inside of the building as the preacher delivered his fiery sermon.  As boys are accustomed to do, sitting together on the back pew, the sermon was not what captivated their attention on this night.

What drew them was not the Spirit of God but a hound who was walking back and forth under the floor, allowing his old tail to shoot up between the floorboards.  The boys made a game of his passing, by stomping their boots, attempting to catch the dogs’ tail.

The preacher, fiery and loud, captivated the crowd with no one paying attention to the boys on the back row.

“When the days come…” the preacher yelled.

The dog passed through, tail raised and sticking up through the floorboards.

Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp.  All missed.

“On that awful day, the great reckoning will take place…” the voice of the preacher rang upon the rafters.

Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp.  All missed and the dog was safe.

“It will truly be a difficult day for some of you in this very room…” the preacher wailed.

Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp. Missed him again!

Lifting his voice above the encouragement from the audience, funeral home fans waving, and the preacher sweating the crowd was solely focused on the preacher.

The hound is passing through one more time.

“I am here to remind you tonight…”

Stomp. Miss.

“You need to be ready; the time is coming and is now upon us…”

Stomp. Miss.

“They are coming for you.  It won’t be long now…”

Stomp. Miss.

It was dad’s turn.  The dog was upon him.

“And the hounds of hell will come for you to take you away to a bitter, blasting end!”

There is silence.  The dog even stopped and retracted his tail.  All eyes were on the preacher as he stood as still as a statue.

“You hear them?  I hear them!  They are coming; coming for you!” the preacher thundered.

The dogs tail reappeared.  The tail was right below my dad, and “STOMP.”

He made contact.  The old hound sounded out a wounded, miserable, soul shaking sound.  He jumped, hitting his body on the underside of the floor board shaking the entire building.  As the boys peeked over the windowsill, they saw that old dog running like it had hot water poured on it, and inside that little church a revival was taking place as none had before.

The preacher passed out cold.  The mourner’s benches filled to overflowing.  Several folks jumped out the windows and disappeared into the corn field at the back of the church.

It was strange.

Until next time…

(Dr. Jeff Fuller is pastor of Rockford Baptist Church.  You may contact him through the church office at 256-377-4900 or by email at

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