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Cantaloupe Crop Disaster: a faith based story from the Story Powerline
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 by Glen Hinshaw

Eleanor Galloway called me about deer eating her cantaloupe soon after I started working as Wildlife Conservation Officer in the Colorado, Cortez district in 1964. As with many of her neighbors, a garden provided her an important income from the local markets. At that time the Division was not yet providing deer fencing to prevent crop damage.

So I got a kill permit from my supervisor, and Miss Galloway instructed me over the phone. I’m sure I understood her to say, “Go in through the first gate on your left after you cross the McElmo Creek Bridge and there is an electric fence and you go up the right side of the electric fence and shoot the deer.”

All deer damage control was done at night when the marauding deer fed on only the finest cantaloupe. I had an aircraft landing light mounted on top of the truck cab. When that spotlight hit on a deer, it froze in its tracks and was an easy target for a clean kill.

I followed Miss Galloway’s instructions, but did not see a single deer that night.

I went home and about five o’clock in the morning the phone rang and it was Miss Galloway, “Mr. Hinshaw, I know you meant to do me right, but you have done me wrong! You drove all over my cantaloupe patch and did more damage than the deer.”

Then it dawned on me what the funny popping noise was that I heard while I searched for deer. I didn’t know what a cantaloupe patch looked like, but I learned. I should have driven up the left side of the electric fence, not the right side.

I drove down and apologized. Miss Galloway gave me a cantaloupe, a watermelon, and some tomatoes out of her garden. Even though I had caused her loss, I experienced her understanding and forgiveness.

(A few years after I left Cortez, the Division supplied deer proof fencing for orchards and gardens for preventing deer damage rather than killing the animals.)

Story comment

There’s a time to overlook an offense, and a time to say something. Glen made a bad mistake, and it was important for him to know it so that he learned not to make that mistake again. Even though she was upset, Miss Galloway was kind in the way she let him know he made the mistake. Instead of defending himself and arguing, Glen took the trouble to drive over and apologize, and Miss Galloway forgave him. The relationship was restored.

What the Bible says

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). NIV

Today’s prayer

Lord, __(name)___ has offended me. Is this a time to overlook the offense or a time to say something? I need wisdom to know whether or not to let this go and what to say that is kind and respectful if it shouldn’t be let go. Amen.

Resource

This story is excerpted from Echoes From the Mountains: The Life and Adventures of a Colorado Wildlife Officer, by Glen A. Hinshaw

https://www.amazon.com/Echoes-Mountains-Adventures-Colorado-Wildlife/dp/1502768119/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Glen+A+Hinshaw+Echoes+from+the+Mountains&qid=1556837086&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spell

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