June 16, 2008 - "Blue Boy and his Egret"

Herman "Blue Boy" Duhe has been running trotlines on Blind River for 25 years--so long that the waterway where his camp is located was named after him, Blue Boy Canal. He's something of a Blind River legend because of his constant companion. Most any day you can find Blue Boy running the lines with Alverta, a great egret, on the bow of his skiff.

"Wherever I go and come on the line," says Herman, "when I raise the line, she'll come on the line."

Blue Boy recons that Alverta is about the fourth egret he has trained through patience, perseverance and a good supply of shad--bait for the fish, breakfast, lunch and dinner for Alverta. And while Herman supplies the food, Alverta provides more than companionship--like that time a few years back.

Blue Boy explains, "She started squawking a lot. She started squawking, and she never did act like that. I turned around, and I looked and says, 'Well, what you hollering about?' And all of a sudden there's a big bull alligator on the side of the boat! She was letting me know that that alligator was right close to the boat."

Folks on Blind River just naturally look out for each other.