My friend, Eugene, has a friend named Purly. Purly has an uncle who owns a camp way the heck back in the hills. The camp is really just a shack by a pond but Purly’s uncle rents it out to city people who come up to hunt. He makes good money with it, too. A few years ago, he let Purly, Eugene and me use it at the end of the season in exchange for doing a little job while we were there.
The camp is primitive,and the latrine is never more than two fifty-gallon drums, stacked on end in a hole, with a board across the rim to sit on. A canvas tarp provides privacy on three sides (the fourth provides a view of the pond) and it has no roof. Each year, Purly’s uncle folds the top of the upper drum over with a sledge hammer, buries the whole mess and digs a new hole somewhere else. Our little job was to fold over and bury that season’s latrine, which was especially full due to heavy rains the week before.
We hadn’t even been there an hour when a red squirrel ran past with one of Eugene’s candy bars in its mouth and disappeared into the woods. Eugene doesn’t like squirrels except for eating, and when it ran by again, this time dragging a Slim Jim, that squirrel became Eugene’s obsession. He set elaborate traps for that squirrel and he threw rocks, cans and knives every time he saw it, but it was persistent and cunning and it generally happened that while Eugene was looking for the squirrel in back of the shack, the squirrel was running around the front with another candy bar. Continue reading