(Colona) General Kashmir Horseshoe, 156, reportedly broke his tongue in three places while fly  fishing the Uncompahgre River here it was reported today. According to the Ouray County Sheriff’s office the accident happened shortly after dawn. Although the report is sketchy at best several eye-witnesses gave this combined account.

“We observed a clumsy figure decked out in full military regalia descend into the river near Buckhorn Road at about 5:30 am. As he entered the water and began casting his fly rod about in a haphazard manner. Leaving the river to get his faithful mount he returned high in the saddle in his quest for breakfast. It was at the exact time that he landed a nice trout that his horse slipped and fell into the surging current.”

The witnesses admitted that they didn’t really see what happened next but it became apparent that the retired military officer was in trouble. One woman who came to his aid told reporters that Horseshoe’s line had somehow become firmly entwined around his sharp tongue and would not come loose. It was then that the break occurred. Fortunately there was not much line on the reel and his journey down the river was a short one. His horse, a less than gung ho buckskin gelding, was recovered, bruised but not shaken, down river near Delta that afternoon.

“He’s a resourceful old fart,” said another rescuer. “He began reeling himself in and avoided what could have been a disaster. He did, however, lose the fish.”

Horseshoe was cheated and released at St. Roscoe’s Hospital in Montrose. Doctors  there confirmed that his tongue would have to be in a sardonic, vinegar-base splint for the rest of the summer. In addition he suffered a bruised ego and lost most of the hair on his left forearm. The better part of his brain will remain in traction for an undetermined amount of time.

A statement released by aides suggests that the publisher will not be able to speak clearly for at least a month but that he plans to go fishing again tomorrow since he’s already invested over two thousand dollars in flies.

“We in no way expect this accident to affect his ability as copy editor since his lips still move around quite freely,” said the release. “It’s just lucky that the line didn’t catch him around his skinny neck and pull him headlong into the waters, but it’s sad that he lost the fish.”

This is the second time in a decade that Horseshoe has suffered tongue breakage. In 2005 he was rendered unconscious after breaking the same fleshy muscular organ while negotiating the Headwall at Crested Butte. That injury, according to attending physicians, never really healed properly since Horseshoe refused to stop talking during his recovery period.

– Fred Zeppelin


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