This change in the weather from summer to fall brings to mind so many great memories. Hunting trips I’ve taken with friends and family, the birth of my first grandchild and my favorite daughter’s birthday.
When I was younger I did a lot of coon hunting with my friend, Kyle.
Coons are nocturnal so hunting is done at night. We would load our dogs in the back of the truck in their box and take off to the woods. On this particular trip, we got stuck. We let the dogs out while we tried to get the truck out of the mud. While we were working to get the truck out, the dogs took off to the woods. We hollered for the dogs to come back but they had a coon treed and weren’t leaving. We ran after ‘em but by the time we got there, the coon had jumped to another tree and the dogs took off after it. We chased ‘em but they crossed the bayou and we couldn’t follow ‘em. We stood there hollering for ‘em to come back but they ignored us and stayed after the coon. We were cold, tired and frustrated so we went back to the truck. We tried again to get the truck out but it was buried too deep. This was before cell phones so we couldn’t call anybody and the nearest farm was a couple of miles away. The only thing to do was wait ‘til morning and walk to the farm. It was really cold so we crawled into the dog box to get out of wind. I guess we fell asleep because the dogs woke us up trying to get back into the box. They were wet, we’re trying to push them out so we can get out and they’re pushing us trying to get in! By the time we got out of their box and got them in, we were soaking wet and freezing. The only thing left to do was start walking.
We made it to the farm about daylight. As luck would have it, the farmer didn’t have a tractor we could use to pull the truck out. Also, he and his wife were Polish and spoke very little English. The communication between us resorted to charades which, as it turns out, I’m not good at. She finally grabs four five gallon buckets, gives them to us and motions for us to follow her. She took us to the train tracks and in broken English, with lots of hand gestures, told us to fill the buckets with rocks then pour the rocks in the tire ruts to get the truck out. Do you have any idea how hard it is to carry two five gallon buckets full of rocks a mile through rough terrain? By the time we got to the truck, the buckets were half empty. We had to make five trips to the railroad tracks to get enough rocks to get that truck out. I swear my arms had been stretched two feet and were dragging the ground.
We’ve retold this story through the years to our kids and the only thing anyone remembers is the night Kyle and I slept together in the dog box.