Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Lamar Beefeater's best pal Luther DooLittle had a first cousin by the name of Clydeen DooLittle - a girl, an often scheming, cantankerous and vengeful one at that - who resided in a nearby town just across the big ridge ... unfortunately for the boys, Clydeen DooLittle was en route by way of railcar to spend a week or so visiting her Grandpa & Grandma DooLittle who lived up at the head of DooLittle Hollar, her appearance was close at hand ... unfortunate because Clydeen had a vituperative dislike for both Luther and Lamar, and was fiercely opposed to their inexorable roguery ... the feeling was mutual ...
Later that afternoon Luther and Lamar found themselves at the train depot impatiently awaiting Clydeen's impending arrival, not so much as to greet her or to make her feel welcome, but rather Grandpa DooLittle had assured the boys in no uncertain terms that if they refused--both would definitely spend some quality time out in the woodshed getting reacquainted with his leather razor strop ... although time seemed to stand still, the hissing old steam engine at last pulled in and ground to a squealing halt ... a fogeyish conductor stepped out and slowly turned to assist Clydeen DooLittle out of the dusty passenger car, along with a matching set of threadbare carpetbags which held her "travelin' possibles" ... as soon as the restless boys caught sight of Clydeen, Luther was suddenly stricken by a wave of knee-buckling queasiness and trepidation, and Lamar's panic and apprehension about took him under ... Clydeen at once spotted the boys and modishly waved, then turned back towards the coach as if she'd forgotten something ... just then a smartly attired ... blonde-haired ... bouncing ponytails ... petite, young lady emerged from the train like a bright ray of sunshine breaking through layers of dark, roiling clouds ... what a looker! ... particularly in contrast to that drably-clothed ... manifestly unattractive ... tomboyish Clydeen DooLittle ... "hello fellers ... I'd like to introduce you to my new, best friend ... this here's April, she came along to keep me company durin' my visit" declared Clydeen ... the little girl's rosy cheeks reddened to an even brighter hue(as did those of the boys)as she fluttered her long eyelashes in rapid succession and a beautiful smile crept from ear to ear exposing a perfectly even set of glistening, pearly-white teeth "why hello boys, delighted to make your acquaintance" she hoarsely uttered ... Luther DooLittle was straightaway thunderstruck by a flaming arrow of love shot from the taught string of Cupid's merciless bow ... and if Luther had his way about it--he would soon be April's beau!
For the next several days Clydeen DooLittle and her lovely companion April ran adventurously and inseparably about the countryside doing what young ladies do--while Lamar Beefeater and the lovesome Luther DooLittle shadowed their every move ... now Clydeen had already warned April as to the rapscallion ways of her cousin Luther, and that she should discourage him at all costs by "dumpin' cold water" on his every advance--and that she did ... all the while Luther continued to pursue the attractive April, and pester the irascible Clydeen as to "fixin' him up" with her appealing friend ... with "sparkin'" on his mind, he feverishly harassed both girls to no avail until finally the exasperated girls determined to bring about an embarrassingly abrupt cessation of Luther's persistent and unrelenting badgering ... so Clydeen explained to Luther that her friend April had disclosed to her in private conversation that she only associated with amoristic gentlemen who were practiced kissers, and that it was glaringly obvious to her that he/Luther possessed neither the bold countenance nor any of the sophisticated mannerisms which are peculiar attributes displayed by that of any prodigious or capable osculator ... but he was not to sink into a miry pit of despondency ... for April had had a change of heart, and was willing to offer Luther a rare opportunity to prove his smooching prowess, or lack thereof ... it was to be kept secret of course, but that very evening as soon as it grew pitch dark outside, Luther was to stealthily proceed to the back of Grandpa DooLittle's barn, where was a lone window opening, its rickety cover loosely dangling by a single, rusty hinge ... Luther was to quietly approach that window from the outside, then blindfolded he was to stick his head through the opening ... April was to be braced and waiting anxiously for his kiss in the darkness within the barn ... Luther could hardly believe his luck, and unquestionably agreed to the proposition ... he would be at the barn window that night as planned ...
Well ol' Luther could hardly wait, but finally it got sufficiently dark, so he grabbed a lantern and hurriedly made his way to the back of Grandpa DooLittle's barn, where he met up with his cousin Clydeen ... whereupon she took the lantern from his shaking hand, then quickly blindfolding him she led him to the open window ... "okay Luther, pucker up now and stick yer head through that there winder ... and lay one right on 'er!" insisted Clydeen ... Luther did just that ... his pursed lips made contact with the softest most inviting mouth that he could ever had imagined in a thousand years ... while the familiar scent of April's perfume and flowery talcum powder wafted amongst that of fresh hay bales and cow manure ... that there kiss just went on and on ... Luther had to break away for a quick breath then he dived right back in and reattached himself to those delicious lips once more ... and again he had to stop for another gulp of air ... Luther wanted more, but feared that April would think him as being too overbearing or forward, so he figured he would be careful and polite and ask for a third kiss "Miss April, would you mind terribly if I kissed you but once more, please?" ... there was a short hesitation, then April replied "well I reckon so ... just make it quick ... I'm gettin' tired of holdin' this heavy ol' bullfrog!" ... Luther's knees suddenly felt wobbly and a million butterflies took flight within his churning gut at the thought of it ... "bullfrog?!" ... about then a few stifled giggles and chuckles exploded into an earsplitting chorus of trumpet-like guffaws as Luther scrambled for his lantern ... upon turning it up he discovered his pal Lamar Beefeater and Clydeen DooLittle, along with a dozen or so of his best "friends" ... he then rushed over to the "kissin'" window and stuck the lantern inside ... there stood a hysterical April all but overcome by the hilarity of the situation ... in the palms of her hands rested a big, fat, ugly bullfrog sporting a thick coating of flowery talcum powder and bright red lipstick smeared all over its bloated mouth ... Luther DooLittle forthwith lost all interest in becoming April's beau ... but he would be all and forever April's fool!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
It being the renowned Hungarian-born illusionist Harry Houdini's birthday--(born Erik Weisz; March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926)--a local pair of varlets had accordingly concocted a scheme fraught with inclinations of a deceitful nature, this partly in honor of the aforementioned late, great escapologist--but mainly to fallaciously acquire a hefty swag of burnished coinage from their ofttimes gullible friends, neighbors and acquaintances, along with that of a stranger or so ... thus preparations at once commenced ... the central character in this base plot, Luther DooLittle, obtained a discarded and moldering pickle hogshead from beside the General Store and straightaway concealed it behind an adjacent public 2-stall, 4-hole outhouse ... Luther's best pal, loyal partner and eager assistant, Lamar Beefeater, retrieved the proper tools required to "modify" the old barrel, which entailed the skillful cutting of a hole in its side thereby enabling the configuration of a hardly detectable trapdoor, hinged from the inside, and held securely closed by a small, rusty latch ... this accomplished, the boys "walked" the heavy cask to the corner of the store and positioned it strategically in front of a thick, overgrown multiflora rosebush ... then Luther cleared his throat and clapped his hands together loudly in order to elicit the attention of the nearby crowd, which was comprised of Ansel Poteet the Senior, Grandpa DooLittle, the Wooden Indian and Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt, all of whom were, as usual, settled in around a fiercely raging game of checkers on the store's front porch ... a few regular and anonymous shoppers were also milling about ... having gained their sufficient engrossment, Luther enthusiastically began his pitch " ladies and gentlemen, and all other inanimate objects ... I hereby declare that at approximately 6:00 PM this eve or thereabouts ... with kind assistance from my trusted apprentice and longtime partner Lamar Beefeater ... I shall confidently and boldly climb into this here begrimed hogshead ... hands manacled and eyes blindfolded ... its lid then tacked in place ... will within a very short span of time, upon removal of the lid by my helper Lamer, shall have upon your immediate inspection--'VANISHED' into thin air ... quite possibly to never be seen around these here parts ever again!" ... there was a definite hush amongst the multitudes, along with several giggles and guffaws ... then a sudden explosion of interest as the gravity of Lamar's words gradually sunk in "quite possibly to never be seen around these here parts ever again" ... what a grand and refreshing proposition ... Luther continued his magnetic spiel as he placed a glass, quart Mason jar with a slot punched in its lid on the wooden porch rail "all that I ask, is that each of you deposit a bit of your loose change into this here receptacle as a gesture of your appreciation--refundable of course should my efforts result in dire failure!" ... various and sundry coins began pouring into the jar!
The afternoon slowly passed and it finally approached 10 of 6:00 PM ... Luther and Lamar were giddy upon their return to the store as they discovered a massive audience gathered anxiously round the hogshead, and their Mason jar overflowing with shiny pieces of U.S. currency ... now the plan was for Luther to descend into the barrel manacled and blindfolded ... Lamar was to replace the lid and soundly tack it in place ... in the meantime, Luther was to loosen the latch located within the barrel, open the trapdoor ... exit the barrel on the concealed side ... slam the trapdoor shut, thus prompting the latch to again catch hold thus securing it ... he would then signal Lamar that all was clear so he could remove the lid and show the breathlessly anticipatory throng that Luther DooLittle had indeed doubtlessly and unquestionably disappeared from sight--whilst he forthwith made his escape by way of the dense multiflora rosebush--never to be seen again--at least until the crowd had dissipated ... at which Lamar Beefeater was to retrieve the jar of coins and hurriedly rendezvous with Luther at a predetermined covert locale ... all evidence associated with the ruse--the hogshead--was to be destroyed by fire at a later time ... unfortunately, miniscule and/or unnoticeable miscalculations often result in unforeseen and devastatingly tragic outcomes.
The time had come ... the crowd fell silent in a state of intense awe ... all eyes fell on Luther DooLittle as he slowly and dramatically eased himself down into the dark, musky depths of the barrel ... manacled and blindfolded ... Lamar Beefeater positioned the lid and fastened it firmly with half-a-dozen or so short, brass brads, then awaited Luther's signal ... but to his terror and dismay, Luther DooLittle discovered that he was incorrectly positioned, and unable to reach the rusty latch as previously designed while handcuffed, much less open the trapdoor--he was in a 'pickle' so to speak ... meanwhile the spectators were growing increasingly restless as torturous minutes slowly trickled by, and foreboding murmurings could be heard as Lamar Beefeater nervously prayed for Luther's signal ... yet nothing came forth ... Lamar could hear Luther thrashing about inside and was now certain that something had definitely gone awry ... the expectant onlookers had transformed into an angry mob, and as they closed ranks on Luther and Lamar their collective shouts rang out "open the lid! ... off with the lid!! ... charlatans! ... open that danged lid!!!" ... Lamar Beefeater made an executive decision and took off running towards the hills ... just as the ringleaders were about to unceremoniously dismantle the rigged hogshead piece by piece, along with its contents, Virgil Hunnicutt stepped up and saved the day "now look here folks ... let's not be overly hasty ... I believe Luther DooLittle is without a doubt capable of disappearing, just as he proclaimed, quite possibly to never be seen around these here parts ever again ... ain't that right Luther DooLittle?!" at which Uncle Virgil tipped the wooden cask roughly onto its side and gave it a hearty shove in the direction of the greenbrier thicket which sat directly across the road, and ran for a good half-mile or so--every whit on a steep downhill grade--until it met up with a deep beaver pond below ... the tumbling barrel quickly rolled out of sight, and the piteous sound of Luther DooLittle's frantic screams eventually faded from earshot ... Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt fetched the Mason jar containing the coins and smugly declared "I reckon this here's mine ... considerin' I'm the feller what made that scandalous Luther DooLittle disappear!"
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Lamar Beefeater greeted his mother bright and early one Saturday morning with an unusual request "I wish to view all family photo albums if you please ... particularly those comprised of my earliest ancestors?" ... his mother stared dubiously at the anxious and seemingly troubled youngster as she submitted "why, you've seen them all previously on numerous occasions" ... Lamar continued to insist and was eventually granted access to every album, scrapbook and loose photo that could be found on the place ... "now explain your abrupt and earnest interest?" she demanded ... Lamar looked up at her with eager, searching eyes "I need to make sure none of 'em look like apes!" he announced ... then spent the larger part of the day doing just that.
From the very earliest of his formative years, Lamar Beefeater had proven to be a supremely meditative and opinionated young lad, determinedly set in his ways, and proficient at "readin', writin' and 'rithmetic" long prior to his introduction to the elementary levels of public education ... an individualistic "thinkin' man" of the first order ... shortly succeeding his immersion into the murky depths of the aforementioned didactic process, Lamar was out of the blue put upon by a profound academic stumbling block, which threatened to straightaway dash to pieces all basal thought and accepted instruction which he had up to then gleaned from the pages of either politically-sanctioned textbooks or from the mouths of schoolhouse pedagogues, and immediately scatter every bit of it to the four howling winds ... the burgeoning Lamar Beefeater was suddenly introduced to the ever-polemic "theory of evolution" of which he'd never heard before, and in a manner more attuned to that of fact rather than theory ... with a frown of dismay he raised his hand so as to address his instructor "what about 'The Good Book'? ... it don't say nothin' about us comin' from apes or monkeys ... it says we was created in God's image!" ... thunderstruck by Lamar's bold asseveration the schoolmarm authoritatively replied "well Lamar, evolution is presented in your textbook as but one of many scientific theories, not as fact" ... the puzzled student continued "and what are the other theories?" ... edging ever closer to a spirit of discomposure the teacher clamantly exclaimed "well all other theories are deemed less important or unacceptable as to inclusion in our present studies" ... Lamar continued the exchange "is that 'God created man in his own image' included with those 'deemed less important or unacceptable as to inclusion'?" ... "of course not!" she sternly proclaimed ... "then it certainly must be fact!" adjudged Lamar ... "I wouldn't go as far as to say that!" returned the teacher.
The adversarial discourse continued "then accordingly, it would make little difference if I were to covet other folks' belongings ... bear false witness ... rob and steal ... commit adultery ... murder ... disrespect my mother and father ... forget the Sabbath ... take God's name in vain ... worship idols ... or other gods?" enquired Lamar ... "no, but what has all that to do with the curriculum at hand?" demanded the teacher ... "because those commandments were given to us from God, and were recorded in the Bible ... the same Bible that says we were created in His image ... if evolution is true, then either God is an ape, or He is a liar(neither of which He is!) ... why then should the commandments be adhered to, much less anything else set forth within His Holy Word? ... if one were to regard one part of the Bible as false, how then can any part be held as truth?" deduced Lamar "including all the practical teachings concerning love, kindness, faith, honesty, long-suffering, compassion, grace, mercy and good-will toward our fellow man as mentioned in the 'Sermon on the Mount' among others?" he added ... the teacher was now at her wits end "I'm not going to argue with you Mister Beefeater ... I am mandated by the school system to teach you exactly what is approved and contained within your textbooks ... that is that ... now kindly take your seat ... and be quiet!?"
Lamar obediently complied and promptly took his seat ... but his mind was anything but quiet ... he had at once slammed solidly into the realization that he could no longer take for granted that everything which issued forth from the mouths of his educators should be unimpeachable or true ... he had emphatically rejected this "theory of evolution" so insolently thrust upon him by direction of the public school system, and which was by all odds diametrically opposed to his tenets of faith ... he refused to approbate such foolishness ... therefore, he thenceforth never again accepted nor embraced any teaching or instruction at face value simply because it might perchance be put forth by some "official figure of authority or governmentally-mandated text" ... and although "readin' , writin' and 'rithmetic" were definite absolutes, anything beyond that would from then on require and demand his fervent attention and utmost consideration ... often it isn't the overall bulk of one's educational journey or development that most determines one's eventual destination, position and outlook on life ... it's usually those fleeting and seemingly insignificant instances that most drastically affect us ... such as Lamar Beefeater's aforementioned experience ... consequently, he developed into an even more prodigiously independent thinker ... a stalwart and unshakable apologist as to verity and common sense ... we are each entitled to our personal beliefs and opinions, along with their respective consequences, therefore, I would hope that this narrative should at the least evoke a bit of thought and confabulation ...
Monday, March 14, 2011
It had been a relatively quiet and uneventful day for Deputy Sheriff Cletus A. VanMeter--an unassuming fellow of impeccable character ... unquestionable integrity ... and unwavering sobriety ... as he sat poised for action in a big V8-powered patrol car parked clandestinely behind the familiar Sunbeam Bread billboard which stood adjacent to the main drag ... the only sounds to be heard were an occasional motor vehicle passing by, and numerous and frequent gunshots boom! boom! echoing from amongst the distant hills ... quite possibly emanating from the general direction of Grandpa & Grandma DooLittle's place ... now it was well-known around those parts that Grandpa DooLittle only fired off his worthy Stevensen shotgun in order to bag a critter for supper ... or to scare off some pestiferous troublemaker ... or maybe even a slithering revenuer now and again ... none of which required more than a single shot ... two at the most ... so considering the relentless fusillade, Deputy Cletus figured it prudent to respond forthwith to ascertain the welfare and status of one Grandpa DooLittle.
Cletus hurriedly made his way up the gravel lane leading to the DooLittle place as the persistent sound of gunfire grew louder ... soon he was steering the shiny police vehicle through the gate, and as he cautiously approached the DooLittle house there sat Grandpa in his rocking chair on the front porch peering vigilantly into the woods ... a look of dismay upon his craggy face ... his trusty Stevensen resting upon his bony knees ... spent shell casings scattered everywhere ... suddenly the old man brought the heavy weapon to his shoulder and leveled it in the direction of a thick clump of bull-briers Booom! Booom!! ... "what on earth is wrong with you DooLittle?! ... what are you shootin' at anyhow? cried the stunned policeman, his ears ringing from the thunderous blasts ... "why didn't you see him VanMeter? replied Grandpa ... then once again unexpectedly BOOOM! BOOOOOM!! ... Cletus tried to cover his ears with his hands, unfortunately a split-second too late, and was now certain that his eardrums had been split to shreds ... Cletus immediately sprung onto the porch and wrestled the smoking gun from the bare-knuckled grip of Grandpa DooLittle "now I demand to know ... what the devil are you shootin' at old man ... answer me?!" ... Grandpa pointed in the direction of the woods "are you blind VanMeter? ... cain't you see him? ... Deputy VanMeter slowly and deliberately scanned the wood line from end to end but saw nothing of significance "I don't see nothin' but trees and bushes Grandpa ... so what were you shootin' at?" ... Grandpa's answer was unflinchingly and unabashedly succinct "that thar green-clad lepr'chan!" ... well Deputy Sheriff Cletus A. VanMeter straightaway took a more thorough gander towards the woods! ... when the lawman turned back he discovered what he thought was the likely cause of Grandpa's "lepr'chan" sighting plainly sitting there between the feet of the elderly gunslinger ... an empty 2-gallon stone jug ... of which the intoxicating contents had been gradually transferred during the course of the afternoon down the gullet and into the gaping innards of Grandpa DooLittle ... who was duly and soundly intoxicated!
Cletus helped Grandpa onto his feet, and with the assistance of a now furious Grandma DooLittle they escorted the aged inebriate to his bed as the Deputy eventually convinced him "tongue-in-cheek" that he would at once personally dispatch "that thar green-clad lepr'chan" ... and before leaving, Cletus and Grandma DooLittle had a great laugh all at the expense of Grandpa ... "just to think" Cletus sardonically proclaimed "a green-clad lepr'chan?" ... "never!" as he climbed back behind the wheel, closed the gold star-emblazoned door and commenced to ease the big V8 through the DooLittle gate and back onto the gravel road ... a flash of green caught his eye in the rearview mirror ... "nah ... couldn't be" ... but there it was again ... a glimmer of green behind that tree ... Deputy Cletus slammed on the brakes and whirled around for a more direct look, but saw nothing ... when he turned back around there was yet another flash of green right near the hood of the car ... ol' Cletus A. VanMeter hit the accelerator and never looked back as he sped out of DooLittle Hollar faster than lightning on a greased pole--sternly reassuring himself all along the way "a green-clad lepr'chan! ... couldn't be!"
... "could it?"
Saturday, March 5, 2011
As usual, Grandpa DooLittle and Uncle Virgil Hunnucutt were seated on discarded soapboxes at opposing positions around a good-sized pickle hogshead which sat on the front porch at the General Store, where upon they were deeply entangled in a heated yet seemingly eonion game of checkers ... Ansel Poteet Senior stood adjacent to the auld participants, along with the ever-stoic Wooden Indian, glancing occasionally with mild interest at the protracted match before them ... now as I've often touched on in the past, the immutable Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt was rumoured to be well above one hundred years of age and a near genius, dazzlingly skilled in any field with an astronomically immense IQ ... accordingly, due to his advanced age, the prodigious centenarian was all but totally deaf and nearly blind--in spite of his store-bought ear horns and Coke-bottle eye spectacles, however Virgil Hunnicutt was still the sharpest knife to be found in any drawer ... off in the distance one could hear the soothing albeit frenetic baying of hounds ... "Whooooa!" .. "Whooooa!!" ... "Whoooooooooa!!!" .. "Whoa!" ... hunting dogs most likely, growing manifestly louder and nearer by the minute ... the old gentlemen mused amongst themselves for a bit before thus determining that it certainly could not be a coon hunt this early in the day, nor a bear hunt this time of year, neither yet a rabbit nor a squirrel hunt, for either or usually entailed far less distance as to length of chase ... no this held the tune and hackles of a classic English fox hunt--almost.
Just then a beauteous and regal red fox emerged from an immense corn field--its bushy tail held high like a glorious and noble oriflamme waving proudly in the air--and went rapidly bounding by, at times bouncing and pouncing from side to side in a zig-zaggy motion, then in an instant darting and sprinting straight as an arrow released from the faithful string of William Tell's true and accurate bow ... as the cunning Vulpes vulpes made its way, it proceeded to leap over logs, crawl under logs ... encircle particular saplings and small evergreen bushes multiple times respectively ... dash through a brier thicket and wade about tall bulrushes in the marsh ... trot up the side of a pile of stones then roll down the other side ... dart through a culvert then traverse a couple of flowing irrigation ditches ... at last apparently concluding its evasive maneuvers as it disappeared behind the store building ... but not quite yet ... the guileful critter reappeared from the other side, ran up the steps onto the porch and boldly perched on its haunches ... panting exhaustively ... right there betwixt Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt's greasy brogans just as his ragtag pursuers came into sight with Lester DooLittle and Ol' Blue in the lead ...
This was in no way a genuine English fox hunt, for there were no pedigreed foxhounds at hand--merely rangy, obnoxious and uncouth coondogs--among other lesser breeds ... neither was any individual in this hunting party attired in proper foxhunting habiliment, which was comprised of both Lester and his cousin Luther DooLittle, the infamous artificer Lamar Beefeater and the oft-avoided Ansel Poteet Junior--rather, they were all clad in well-worn and threadbare flannels, along with ragged denim britches ... nary a hunter rode upon the back of a well-behaved steed befitting of the sport--just listless and broke-down work mules ... needless to say--the fox was at great advantage! ... and if this confederate group could not possibly be more undignified or pathetic, every now and again Lester DooLittle would give forth a tawdry blast "Bluurrrpppp!" from a cheap tin bugle previously acquired in a swap for half a poke of "baccy" ... thus was the scene as those hounds snuffed the ground in a near-futile attempt at unraveling the tangled and twisted scent by mimicking every elusive move made by the now resting fugitive sitting motionless at the feet of Virgil Hunnicutt ... it took the better part of the afternoon for that pack of tiring coondogs to retrace the exact path of their majestic fellow canine before finally heading around the side of the store and returning from the other to the front ... then all activity abruptly halted and time stood still but for a fleeting moment ... then fire and brimstone was at once unleashed as that mob of hounds laid eyes on the subject of all their toilsome efforts crouching there next to Virgil Hunnicutt ... it was a horrendous assault as those angry dogs converged and fell upon that fox, along with Virgil ... alas fur flew ... slobbers were slung ... fragments of clothing were strewn ... checkers and checkerboard went airborne ... shrieks and cries for help were heard before Lester DooLittle and his collaborators were able to rescue the piteous Virgil Hunnicutt from the iron jaws of the relentless, mauling curs before they mercilessly tore the man to shreds ... fortunately Virgil was relatively uninjured considering the viciousness of the onslaught, yet suffered from numerous and painful bites and countless stinging abrasions ... it could have been much worse ... somehow that sly fox had managed to escape virtually unscathed and almost unnoticed from the midst of the mayhem ... and now a superbly enraged Uncle Virgil was about to give all present an overflowing earful as he proclaimed "fellers, that was the absolute worst attack on one of God's most grand and gracious creatures that I have ever seen ... an honourable mammal of the highest level of knowledge, intelligence and wisdom ... an adroit and ingenious beast of the loftiest order ... a far superior being than that of its motley peers ... a productive yet unassuming social being ... a master of its domain shamefully mishandled and abused ... a ah ahh uh" ... Grandpa DooLittle could stand to hear no more and thus interrupted "whoa, whoa, hold on there fer a minute Hunnicutt ... that ol' fox weren't hurt none ... he got away without barely as much as a brush of a tooth and sauntered directly back into that there corn field from whence he came" ... Uncle Virgil Hunnicutt stared disdainfully at Grandpa DooLittle for a bit until the silence became unnerving before audaciously replying "well DooLittle ... I wasn't speaking of that fox ... I was referring to myself!"
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
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'!
Posted by sja at 1:30 AM