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When someone says “it’s raining cats and dogs,” people commonly understand that to simply be an idiom. An expression. A figure of speech.
In reality, it would be terrifying if animals began plummeting from the heavens.
For one North Carolina woman, however, this harrowing scenario seemingly became a reality when a large bird hurled a catfish directly at her windshield.
Premierangler.com recently spoke with Rhesa Walston, whose bizarre experience has made her story a viral sensation over the past week.
Walston grew up fishing with her dad and grandfather, often for trout, but has moved away from the pastime in recent years. She joked that this was the first catfish she ever caught, though the circumstances were not what she would have anticipated.
On December 18th, Walston was driving home from her mother’s house in rural North Carolina with her 3-year-old daughter in the back seat. She then noticed what appeared to be a hawk flying toward her car with a fish in its clutches.
Despite living in an area replete with venturous game and fowl, this was far outside the realm of the ordinary for Walston.
“It was not expected at all,” Walston said, “and I’m always keeping an eye out for wildlife because sometimes you see some pretty cool stuff while you’re driving.”
When the bird released the fish, Walston realized there was little she could do at that point besides let it hit her car.
Once the catfish smashed into the passenger side of her windshield and bounced off, Walston pulled over and checked on her daughter to make sure she was safe.
“She said, ‘what was that’ and didn’t really know what was going on,” explained Walston. Fortunately, the young girl was neither harmed nor too startled by the incident.
Shortly after, Walston’s cousin and her husband were passing by and noticed the car on the side of the road.
Stuart, Walston’s cousin-in-law and an avid outdoorsman, was adamant about finding the fish to see just how big it was. Also, Walston realized that no one would believe her if she didn’t have the evidence.
After about fifteen minutes of searching, the party found the discarded fish near a building about 25 feet from the car.
When Walston posted photos and a recap of the incident on Facebook around 7 p.m. that evening, it received considerable attention from her friends and family members at first.
Within a couple days, however, the story had gone viral. Walston was contacted by FOX and ABC affiliates from markets around the country and her initial post, as of this writing, has been shared an astounding 137,500 times. While out to dinner, Walston was even recognized by a waitress who quipped that the special for the evening was catfish.
Walston says she is able to see the humor in the experience and realizes it makes for a cool story. She is also hoping to find some time to read the tens-of-thousands of comments the story has attracted.