Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just A Swingin' ...


It was early spring ... and little by little ... step by anxious step ... Luther DooLittle and Lamar Beefeater cautiously zigzagged their way amid a narrow, secret path which led up the sloping hillside through a Brobdingnagian mass of undergrowth ... a tangled and confusing maze consisting of every vile and injurious brier and thorn bush known to civilized man ... with each step, and with each bead of stinging sweat that dropped from their keen brows, the seething throes of acute cabin fever began to lose its febrile clutch the nearer they approached to the pinnacle of the rugged DooLittle Ridge ... from the apex of a towering and timeworn oak tree dangled the twisted tentacles of that which purposed such treacherous exertions on the part of the boys--a heavy grapevine of the density and diameter of a mid-aged sapling--their familiar and trusty "swingin' vine" ... however, just how "trusty" had yet been determined with a "first go" by either of these courageous and adventuresome souls ... for a commonly stalwart "swingin' vine" is often compromised in its stoutness from the naturally ravaging effects of a hard winter ... now dare not think for a New York minute that Luther and Lamar had given no previous musings as to this necessary proposition ... thus they had contemplated the prospect of toting a hundred-pound sack of "taters" up the hill, attach it to the vine and grant the chanceful "first go" to the disposable and lifeless spuds, however after several toilsome hours of further glowing cogitations the plot was outright chucked due to its "overwhelming weightiness" ... eventually the boys settled on an alternative scheme of last resort, which would require the introduction of a third "stooge" so to speak, of whom in their minds was equally as disposable, lifeless and weighty as the previously aforementioned sack of taters, but capable of personally transporting said attributes to the top of the ridgeline at neither expense of energy nor effort other than his own--one Ansel Poteet Junior in all his hebetudinous ebullience!

As Luther and Lamar partook of a welcome respite at the predetermined summit, eventually strained and laborious huffings and puffings could be heard amongst the rustling underbrush and tumbling stones as the nearly exhausted yet grateful Ansel Poteet gradually made his way to the point where Luther and Lamar had been impatiently waiting for nearly an hour and a half, even though the ill-sorted trio had set forth on the ambitious journey simultaneously ... and although festering with fear and trepidation of the unknown, Ansel Poteet could hardly believe his luck and good fortune at being selected to join the august ranks of such an exclusive club of "vine swingers" as that of the venerable Luther DooLittle and Lamar Beefeater ... the manifestly corpulent lad was barely awarded time to catch his fleeting breath and settle his frayed nerves before Luther DooLittle commenced to instructing him as to the ancient initiation procedures he must subsequently complete and endure before becoming an official fellow "vine swinger" ... which simply necessitated taking the perilous "first swing" ... now Ansel Poteet's skittishness was growing by the minute, but not so much at the thought of taking that impending "first swing" of which he little understood the hazards involved ... no, the overly vigilant Ansel Poteet feared the unthinkable possibility of the appearance of some fierce and menacing rogue bear in these here woods ... and the boys would soon take advantage of that fact.

The elements associated with the dangers involving the annual "first swing" were the potential risk of either the vine carrying one aloft to a prominent height, then without warning its completely breaking loose from the treetops thus sending one to the rocky and thorny depths below, or for the vine to merely loosen and drop to within two or three feet of the ground thus dragging its passenger from one end to the other directly through the midst of the aforementioned brier patch--while accordingly shredding one to bits ... peering about nervously, ol' Ansel mounted the ledge and grabbed hold of the twirling vine with arms and legs then immediately froze in place right on the spot ... mindful of Ansel's dread of bears Luther and Lamar both at once began frantically sounding the delusive alarm "bear!" .. "bear!!" ... "tis a bear!!!" ... Ansel straightaway jettisoned himself off that big rock and soared through the air just above that jagged and dense bed of sharp, piercing briers and thorns, the creaking vine spinning uncontrollably as he screamed at the top of his lungs all the way to the outcropping on the adjacent hillside ... Luther and Lamar were in a state of grand hilarity as they cheered and jeered and pointed disdainfully in the direction of the shrieking trapeze artist ... they were so rapt in a fit of spasmodic laughter that they failed to notice that the gnarly vine had returned to them sans Ansel Poteet ... when the boys looked up they saw their hapless "swing test dummy" safely perched on the ledge on the opposite hillside waving his arms wildly up and down while yelling "bear!" .. "bear!!" ... "tis a bear!!!" ... well the far-famed and seasoned Luther DooLittle and Lamar Beefeater would never in a thousand years fall for bald-faced trickery such that ... no sirree ... so they both nonchalantly waved back then leisurely sat down at the base of that mighty oak tree as brashly disinterested in Ansel Poteet's flailing about as an old Eskimo at the sight of a young snowflake ... that is until they heard the chilling sound of jaws popping ... then slowly turned to discover a mangy, rangy, drowsy, starving black bear standing not five feet behind them freshly emerged from its long winter hibernation ... nodding its curious head back and forth as it sniffed the boy-strewn air ... searching for a quick and easy meal ... needless to say, there is no longer a single, crooked path wending its way through the brier patch to the top of DooLittle Ridge ... no, there were two additional paths cut that day, both as straight as the crow flies ... with bits of boys' attire marking the way all along the low-lying tree limbs and bramble bushes ... and though the boys never returned to the site, there remains a stout grapevine hanging from atop a magnificent oak ... just a swingin'!


--sja
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7 comments:

texwisgirl said...

GREAT story! "Boy-strewn air". ;)

MoonMan said...

How we survive our youth is one of God's great secrets!

Which one are you? We promise not to tell!

sja said...

Indeed MoonMan so true, but I'm not so certain that I did survive mine unscathed ... as for me, there's a bit of this wretched creature in each of my characters!

BOB said...

Well then donkey, which part of Uncle Virgil be ye claiming?

Near deaf or near genius?

I know with them new store bought glasses, you promised to get, you ain't be claiming to being danged near blind! Right?

How's Mom?

sja said...

Bob, Mom is doing well ... no so with the glasses ...

BOB said...

How so?

sja said...

There are none!