Snow and sleet peppered down and soon had the so-called floor covered with a sheet of white while the wind caused the “roof” to creak and groan, threatening to collapse at any moment. By 2:a.m. we were seriously considering feeding sections of the floor to the fire and by 6:a.m.we had to fight down the insane urge to set the whole thing ablaze and get warm before starting the trek back. Only stiff penalties by the law prevented arson and a hanging. We considered our chances, thinking it could be made to look like a satanical ritual.
Dawn broke and frozen stiff, we decided to salvage something from the original plan. So, we sat on the edge of the floor and waited for those deer hiding behind every tree to begin moving. The only thing that moved were purple lips that muttered occasional profanity directed at our host. After an hour I struggled up on frigid, stiff legs and announced that even if a deer big enough to pull the Budweiser wagon walked by, I wouldn’t think about harming any local resident that had the courage to live like this every night.
No wonder wild creatures have such fear of us. What other species would attempt to survive on a bitter night, wrapped in a cloud of smoke generated by smouldering Dixie cups, old peanut butter sandwiches, and months old copies of The American Handyman? Such a species is either the toughest or the craziest. Since then I’ve bought my meat from grocers, hung up musty old racks from antique shops and lied to my friends about them.
As for the nephew, the three of us invited him to ride a mule that had never seen a saddle. I don’t care what the Bible says, I still believe in the old saying of “Revenge! How sweet it is.”