Sunday, March 2, 2008

Rusty Pails #20
"It's a bird..."

by Rocky Macy

The Sons of the Saucer have been at it again…and this time we made contact!

It was late in the evening with just minutes of good daylight left, and the boys and I were dug in at our secret spot on the creek fishing with a vengeance. Leastways, the Judge and I had our lines in the water. And Shadetree Mike, asleep in his lawn chair, held on to a pole that had long since ceased to interest him or the fish. Heck was preparing the campfire while Truman was spraying root beer fizz into a trench that he had scraped around out tents. What that would protect us from was anybody’s guess, but it did keep Truman happy – and busy!

Baker busted the varnish on the peaceful scene with a howl that threatened teacups and windowpanes clear back to Sprung Hinge. That’s when Truman saw it. He grabbed Heck’s arm as he stumbled backward. They both fell over Shadetree Mike in his lawn chair and landed unceremoniously on the gravel beach twisted into a giant human pretzel.

The commotion was more than any decent fisherman should have to tolerate! But as I turned to confront my rude friends, the Judge pointed beyond the people pile-up to an even more bizarre sight. There, floating lazily out of the sunset toward our camp was…well, it wasn’t a saucer, but it was in the air – and coming at us!

The thing looked like a butterfly, not a flying butterfly, but a big, golden, spectacular butterfly that was standing erect in mid-air. I quickly checked to see that all of my buddies were still breathing, just in case the danged thing coming toward us was an angel!

“It’s a bird!” Heck shouted.

“Or a plane!” The Judge stammered.

“No!” Thundered Shadetree Mike who had come out of the tangle holding Truman’s opry glasses. “It’s Gramma Pinkins!”

And it was! Up in the sky, in an old lawn chair kept aloft by about two dozen helium balloons, sat the most senior citizen of Sprung Hinge, fuzzy blue house shoes and all!

“Hi boys!” The community matriarch yelled. “How about tossing me a line?”

It took several tries (none of us had that much experience in casting “up”), but eventually I managed to hook one of the fuzzy blue house shoes and reel in the biggest catch of the day.

Gramma Pinkins had gone “over the hill” again from the Gristle and Gruel Old Folks Home. And this escape, using balloons from her grandson’s golden wedding anniversary bash, was her cleverest yet! For her efforts, Gramma got to spend the evening on the creek bank with the Sons of the Saucer. We fried fish, drank root beer, and popped balloons until the wee hours of the morning. And after the weaker souls gave out and went to sleep, Gramma Pinkins hitchhiked back to town. Maybe she had bigger fish to fry! Leastways, livelier ones!

Auction Tip: It’s always a good idea to arrive at yard sales early. Unlike auctions, the good stuff at yard sales will often be among the first items to go.

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