In 1938 (or thereabouts) my uncles, Vern and Sam (Kansas farm boys) were in the middle of a lice outbreak in their small town school. Anyone who has handled chickens knows they’re covered in mites which are perfectly harmless.
So, what happens when a vivid imagination kicks in? You have a story!
Thanks, Doug M. for this very nice photo.
Land owner: Rochelle Wisoff- Old Cotton Fields Back Home
Vernon and Samuel, covered with chicken mites, loaded the last of the chickens into the coop.
Vernon laughed. “You got mites. Better than that lice at school.”
Sam looked at his overalls. “Yeah, these you just brush off.”
“Say, Sam, what if these really ARE lice, not mites?”
“I don’t know.” Sam began to scratch himself.
Vern scratched, too. “These mites are making me itch! Sure they ain’t lice?”
“Sure, they ain’t lice.”
Vern panicked. “These ain’t mites! AAUGHHH!!!”
Running to the horse trough, scratching violently, he dunked his head under the water, then came up. “There! DROWNED the sonofabitches!”