I have thought often about times as a young child. I’m glad the memories are still tucked away in the older brain of mine. I can remember in the summer the kids and I would take pine branches and construct a tee-pee in the woods. We would spend all day gathering twigs and bowels for the walls. I can still picture the neighborhood boys all crunched up inside the tee-pee so proud of what we had all accomplished.
The pine tree within this patch of woods was a playground for all of us youngsters. Hey Dewey? You think we can climb that one over there? Geez I don’t know Bernie that is a tall one and the limbs are a little sparse. Maybe that one over there, or maybe not. The greatest feeling is when we found a tall pine tree and we climbed to the tippy top. The person who made it all the way to the top would holler down to the other boys. I have made it, Wahoo I’m the king of the mountain! One of my friends during the Estes Rocket days constructed a rocket that had a camera affixed inside the cone. When the rocket made its descend it would snap a picture. One of the lads was in the tree and the rocket took a picture of him atop the big pine.
We were also bad at times in those woods. The kids and I being the young one’s in the neighborhood would dig fox holes and put branches across them and then spread pine needles over the top setting a trap. We would get the older kids pissed off and they would chase us into the woods. We knew exactly where the foxholes were and the big kids would trip and fall. The big kids were very angry with us. What a laugh we had just watching this . Another trick we would play is take kite string and set trip wires. Oh, we were bad little kids.
We also had some bad adventures for ourselves. We had decided that tipping over old rotten tree’s would be so much fun. Hey! Watch this one fall and crash to the ground. The tree would fall and the dust would blow all over the place and the tree would burst apart. The only problem with the old tree’s was it also homed the bee’s and boy didn’t we get our asses whipped by bee stings.
I also remember, wow, my mind is digging here real hard. The woods was also a place of rest. Meaning this is where we would bury our dead animals. Our cats,dogs,birds, newts, and about any other animal we could think of . We made headstones with rocks we would find in the woods and make crosses out of pine branches. Oh, Fluffy I wish you was still with us.
It is very sad what time can do to memories, but I do want to say that those nice pine tree’s are now probably in someone’s house because all the tree’s were harvested. I guess nothing last forever. My mind will probably be next. I would really like to hear some of your childhood memories, we are all still kids in our mind right?
A billion years ago I was walking down to the river to get some water. I had walked for many days through the forest. The insects had been biting me all the way and I stepped on a black snake. I think that it bit me on the foot. I found some ginger root and rubbed it on the bite location. The ancient elders had told me that ginger would draw out the poison from the serpent.
I first came to the waters edge and put my sore foot into the water to cool the pain that I’d been having since the bite. I looked out to the other side of the river and out of the corner of my eye I saw a pack of wild dogs. One of the dogs looked at me and growled, then all of the other dogs looked up at me. The one dog from the back of the pack started swimming across the river, I could see another one downstream doing the same. I could tell that they were trying to surround me, I would become their meal. I had to advise a plan and real fast as to how I would protect myself. I looked to my right and I could see a large club lying on the ground. I picked up this weapon for defense purposes incase these dogs surrounded me. Looking out to the woods, I could see a large tree and I though that if I scurried a little fast that I might get to the tree and climb up. I turned on my bad foot and made a quick trip, hobbling as I went.
I stood in the crotch of the tree limb for a long time and the wild dogs at the bottom of the tree. They were showing their teeth, drool was dripping from their mouths. I was going to be their meal if I stepped down from this tree. Finally after the sun went down that the dogs started to disperse. I was getting very hungry and tired. I went back to the waters edge and drank some water and cooled my foot, which was still aching. I crossed the river in search of food. I was walking for quite some time when I could smell an awful odor. I looked up ahead and could see an animal lying on the side of the path. It looked like this might have been left over from the wild dogs. The meat was still pink so I grabbed my stick and poked at it to get some chunks of meat apart. I ate for awhile and then I heard an awful screeching sound. I jumped to my feet real fast and hid behind a bush to try and get a visual of what was coming . Tromp, Tromp, Tromp, I could hear in the forest. Screeeeeeeeech! It brought chills to my spine and all the way down to my toes. I looked up, there before me was a giant bear like creature with large fangs. The paws on the animal were the size of my head and it didn’t look very friendly. I could tell that it had my scent and the only way to get rid of this creature was to start throwing some of the meat that I had gathered from beforehand. This seemed to be working, I kept throwing out pieces of meat, as far as I could throw. My arm was starting to hurt from all the tossing, what the heck is this soft thing lying across my face, why am I laying down on a soft square object, where is my club? What is that beeping sound?
When we were kids we would take the Cattails and hit each other with them until it all fell apart. Another thing we would do is soak the Cattail in gasoline and use it as a torch at night. They would burn for quite a long time and put off some good light for us night dwellers. Another one I always enjoyed was Pussy Willows. The soft gray and fluffy bud on a branch. Not much to do with these but rub them on your cheeks and feel the softness. They also look very good in a vase on the fireplace mantle.
The funny things we played with when young children. The kids in the neighborhood would venture into the cow pastures and woods in our region and try to find anything to pass the day. We would knock old rotten trees down just to see them crash to the ground. Sometimes we had to run like heck because a beehive was inside. We would also go to the local brook and either fish for trout or just tip over rocks to find a crawdad or a newt. We would also build teepee’s in the woods with pine bowels. So many things we would find in the great outdoors. We learned about nature in our own way and loved every minute of it.
Interesting that today I hardly venture into the woods because ticks have infested our region. You cannot even go in the woods unless you check yourself after by stripping down and having someone inspect every inch of your body. Sometimes this is not a bad thing. A lot of single people have Lyme’s illness because no one could check them.
I cannot wait til spring so I can go to the flower shop and get me some cattails and pussy willows. This ole boy is not going in the woods this time. Enjoy the day, I will.