Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rusty Pails #45:
The Great Camp Out

by Rocky Macy

We've been camped down by the river for a couple of weeks now. We each brought our own tent out of necessity. Nobody wanted to sleep with Shadetree Mike due to fear that he would talk all night about how awful Ermine had done him, and she had! Judge Redbone has his own tent and didn't invite any of his constituents to share his abode, not that we'd want to anyway. Rumor has it that he gives speeches in his sleep - and kisses babies! He can keep to his own tent!

Sharing a tent with Truman Treetopper is out of the question unless you have a gas mask, which none of us did. And Heck Frye and I ain't overly fond of one another, leastways not fond enough to share tight living arrangements. So five tents it was, but Baker and I share.

Our little encampment is becoming a jewel in the woods. Heck brought a bunch of Christmas lights and we strung them through the trees. They are hooked onto Heck's generator that also powers our coffee pot and Heck's hair dryer. (He wanted to bring his television, but the cable company refused to run us a wire. I'm sort of glad they didn't. Now instead of vegetating on mindless TV, we sit around the campfire each night and stretch our imaginations by telling tall tales!)

We have trails set out and bordered with rocks so we don't get lost at night as we head off to our special trees and bushes - the well fertilized ones!

Esther Pearl came by last week and set out some petunias. Ermine also came by trying to make nice with a platter of pastries and a big thermos of fancy coffee. That was appreciated, but we are still mad about the high-handed way that she disabused us of our domino parlor - leastways I'm still good and mad!

Our other guest of note was the game warden. He came looking for a gang of fools that had apparently been setting off fireworks late one night. He nosed through most of our stuff while lecturing us on how many years we could spend in jail for setting the woods on fire. Fortunately, he wasn't up to sticking his nose in Truman's tent, so we have enough bottle rockets and Roman candles left for another war game late some night!

We haven't had much luck living off the land. Truman and the Judge take their fishing seriously, but all they've pulled in so far are sun perch so small it's amazing that they could have swallowed the bait. Heck found a mulberry tree, but gorging on them caused us to have blue hands and the runs - and mature folks like us can't afford to spend much time running!

I go home every evening to feed Annie and the emus, and to check on things. I know that Esther does some checking on my place, too. But that's all right. If she hadn't been conspiring with Ermine, we wouldn't be out here on the riverbank trying to restore Shadetree Mike's self-esteem. It would serve Esther right if we moved our domino game to her store when the weather starts getting cold!

Until then...pass me another root beer. I'm on vacation!

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