Starfish Extract

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I LOVE storytelling.

There is something about a good story that stays with you body and soul. One of my fondest memories was an endurance ride in Kentucky where nearby they were having a story telling convention. After the ride and the horses were tucked in for the night we went to the story telling. Story tellers from all over the country had come to spin their tales. We were delighted by saga after saga, and as the night wore on, by design, the stories got spookier.

Horses, mountains and fantastic story telling……it just doesn’t get better than that.


There are some stories that are so EPIC they take on a life of their own. I was originally told the Starfish Extract story while riding in a vet truck going from farm to farm on ambulatory rotation in vet school. I personally have retold this story several hundred times since that day. It’s a party favorite and I’ve been asked to give my rendition….. a lot. Bad Eventer being quite the story teller……….

A few years ago I was at a dinner on the other side of the country…… and to my amazement I heard this story being told by a stranger at a nearby table.

The original teller of this story is my personal hero. There are few people in life as fun, funny, and smart or as good at story telling. My life quest has been to become him when I grow up.


I wasn’t sure if this story could be converted to a written form, but I decided it was worth a try………so I proudly present…….

Starfish Extract

originally told by
David Pugh DVM
as written & re-invented by Bad Eventer
It was midnight on the 4th of July in Hazy-ville, Georgia. The temperature was 95 degrees, and the humidity was higher. I heard the phone ring through the Turkish sauna that was the house, and being before the days of caller ID…. I didn’t have much choice but to take my chances and see who it was.
I heard the deep southern drawl yelling as soon as I picked up the phone, “Doc, Doc, COME QUICK!!!! Star jumped thur fence an’ cut ‘is root off!!!! Hurry!!!”
I had to shake the fog and heat out of my head as I asked, “What do you mean? What….what happened again?”
Panicked and talking quick, “‘is root!! Ya knaw, Doc, ‘is… root!!! He cut it off!!!! You better hurry.”
By this point I was pretty awake and said, “You mean his….. penis?”
Mr. Fitch agreed that yes that was what he was referring to, and I decided I better get going because if the old boy had really done  some damage to it he might bleed to death before I could get there. I let him know I was on my way as I stumbled out to my truck in the pressing heat in the middle of the night.
Shortly after I pulled in at Heavenly Acres the home of Mr. Fitch and his prize stallion Star……. where the best horse they had on the property was “an own son of a grandson” of a horse that had once been a brother to a horse that might have won something, and I think they’d paid a whopping $100 for him.
There was a small crowd of pick up trucks……
around the century old barn, and I noticed all the empty beer cans in the truck beds as I walked up.
Two teenage boys had ahold of one of the farm dogs and were wildly gesturing for me to come  towards the dog.
“Doc, doc when Star jumped the fence, the dog grabbed his Root and ate it!!! Should we cut him open??? Can you sew it back on?????” One of them quickly pulled out a pocket knife, offering to DO THE DEED.
I knew I was in trouble when I got the call…… but this just took the cake.
“Hold on boys, hold on, let’s not get hasty, let me take a look at Star before we do anything else.”
With great trepidation, I entered the old shack where they had corralled Star after his escape. There were girls in very SHORT shorts sobbing near the stall, “Save him Doc, you gotta save him!! He’s our best horse!!!”
They had brought an extension cord in and hung an old drop light from the side of the stall. It was like a scary movie looking in the dingy corner were Star was standing in the swirling dust and humidity. He was still standing up and I didn’t see any blood from the doorway so my concerns that he really had damaged himself were quickly allayed.
I walked in the stall and took a peek. What I found was that good old Star had a bit of a summer sore on his abdomen just in front of his sheath. That’s an irritated area of skin caused by flies. What had likely happened is he’d jumped the fence and scraped it, they saw a little blood decided it was the end for poor Star’s manhood, and you know the rest of the story……
I stood up to speak to the rather large crowd now that had gathered around the stall. They were all waiting impatiently for the verdict and I had to pause for a moment.
I had a vision on one shoulder of the Good Little Doc saying, “Don’t do it.” and the other shoulder the Bad Little Doc encouraging, “Do it, DO IT!” After a small pause, I announced to the crowd whose beer breath was overwhelming me even from 10 feet away, “Yep, he cut it off!”
A wail came up from the crowd.
Mr. Fitch went into full melt down, “What do we do Doc what do we do???? Do you want the dog??”
I convinced them to let the farm dog go, who wisely high tailed it out of there as fast as he could. I told Mr. Fitch that he was in luck. I asked if he’d ever seen a starfish?
“Yeah, yeah, Doc I’ve seen a pi’ture of one.”
“You know how they can grow back their arms??”, I explained further. “If you cut one of their arms off it grows back???…..”
“Yeah, Doc, yeah, I’ve heard about that!!!”
I just couldn’t stop myself…… I went on, “Well, old Star here is in luck. I have some Starfish Extract in the truck….. and it grows back body parts…….” The small drunken crowd started hooting and cheering.
“But……….it’s reee-all expensive.”
Mr. Fitch said, “Give me your hat! Give ‘er here!” I handed him my hat and he started passing it around as everyone emptied their pockets into it.
While they were taking up the collection to save Star’s manhood I got the appropriate medication from my truck to dress the small wound.
It couldn’t have been a better set up.
I gave him a touch of acepromazine (for any that don’t know that makes male horses drop out their “roots”).
I was dressing the wound with medication in the dingy dusty stall by drop light, and all of a sudden like in a Jaws movie, the part in question started to appear.
It dropped out a couple of inches and a roar came from the group, “It’s WORKING!!!!!!!”
Cue the music.
As I cleaned the wound, inch by inch the penis “grew back” each movement to an accompanying cheer from the crowd.
I medicated the wound, slapped my hat full of money on my head, and followed suit after the farm dog making my escape.
The next day I got a call from Mr. Fitch.
“Doc, doc we need to talk about last night…… I talked to Dr. Jones today and he told me there ain’t no such thing as Starfish extract!!!! And I do NOT app-erciate you takin’ advantage of me last night in my inebriated state.”
Completely busted, I told him I didn’t get any more money than it should have been for the farm call, and I asked him if he wanted his money back.
“No, no….no Doc……I don’t want my money back, I just want you to NEVER tell anyone this story.”
And I never did……….

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