Monday, August 22, 2011

DAY 24

Thanksgiving Day in the wilderness. We sit around the campfire now, Winter Hawk and Crazy Elk actually not trying to figure out a new way to kill me today.

"So" I ask, "What are you two thankful for?"

They sit and think about it a few moments, then Winter Hawk's eyes grow wide as he claps wildly. "Click, click, whistle, lip pop, click!"

Crazy Elk looks at him now. "You can't be thankful for Great Turkey coming!"

"Click, whistle, click!"

"No, that dumb! There no Great Turkey!"

Winter Hawk narrows his eyes as he points at Crazy Elk now. "...Click...Whistle...Click..."

*There no Great Turkey. Him not bring gifts. Him not real!"

Winter Hawk whoops loudly as he jumps up and leaps across the fire onto Crazy Elk. They fall back and the punching, kicking, biting, scratching and hair pulling begins. I roll my eyes and sigh as they duke it out. After a few minutes I have had enough.

"STOP!" Get to your sides of the fire! This is Thanksgiving, we aren't going to be fighting!"

"Click, click, lip pop, whistle" mumbles Winter Hawk.

"No, that isn't what I think, that is what I know!"

"Why he so crazy, Big Bear? You hit him in head when little?" he asks, dusting himself off.

"Shut it, Crazy Elk. Just sit there and be quiet"


"No one asked you, Winter Hawk!" I shout.

As they settle back and the quiet returns, I continue. "Okay, today is Thanksgiving, and time to remember what is important. Our Pilgrim Fathers came to this land to escape religious persecution. To make a new start, a new life. Their first winter was horrible. Their provisions had ran low, a number of them were sick or already dead and the winter was much harsher than they had ever planned for. The Indians of the area saw the plight of those Pilgrims, and because of them and their aid, the Pilgrims where able to survive that first winter. The Indians taught them about the land. How to plant, how to harvest, how to hunt, how to do many things on their own. Together, in having survived the first year, they celebrated and gave thanks to God for his protection and his goodness. Now, that is the story of Thanksgiving. So, again, what are you two thankful for?"

Silence and dumbfounded looks. Then Winter Hawk shakes his head.

"Click, click, whistle, lip pop, click..."

Crazy Elk draws a long breath. "What I say already? There no Great Turkey"

"CLICK CLICK!!!" yells Winter Hawk.

"Okay, Winter Hawk. you so smart, you tell story of Thanksgiving"

Winter Hawk stands now, clearing his throat and begins. He Launches into a series of clicks, pops and whistles as he acts out the scenes he is describing. I will save you the clicks and whistles and interpret the story for you here.

In the words of Winter Hawk, This is the First Thanksgiving and The Great Turkey.

...." Many many years ago, the Pilgrims decided they needed to go on a cruise, but they couldn't drive a boat because their leader had a DUI and lost his license. So they found a skipper and a first mate with a funny hat to help them because they didn't really know much about boats anyway, except that they floated.

So the Skipper and the First Mate took them out all on the cruise, a really big one with a bunch of boats, like a regatta or something. Three hours later, they were playing shuffleboard and having drinks with Gopher and Doc on the Promenade Deck when they hit bad weather. All the other boats on the cruise, except the Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria, Minnow, Edmund Fitzgerald and the Guadalupe sank...The Edmund Fitzgerald sank later at Pearl Harbor when it got bombed by the Germans...But they did picked up a chick floating on a trunk from one of the sunken boats. Her name was Rose. So anyway, they make it to America after the storm, but they didn't know where they were, so they stopped in at a convenience store and the store guy says, 'You're in Plymouth" and the Pilgrim says, 'No, I drive a Nissan, Bro!"' So they named the place Pilgrimland and built a clubhouse, which was cool because they had water slides.

So, that was when The Pilgrims met the Indians, at the 7-11, you know, when they asked where they were, and the Indian guy told them, and they became friends and the one Indian guy, his name was Karan, he says, "The Great Turkey will be coming tonight!" and the Pilgrims decorated the clubhouse and made cookies and knitted mittens and other stuff. So they all waited for the Great Turkey and drank eggnog and Captain Morgan.

So later that night, he shows up in a carriage made out of a pumpkin that was pulled by three blind mice and a Raccoon named Rusty. Wearing his red cape, the Great Turkey walks into the club house and jumps up on the table and pushes his viking helmet back, opening his velvet bag and pulling out pies, stuffing, mashed potatoes and a huge turkey with gravy and sets the table so they can eat. He also left everyone presents, fireworks, tequila and hid eggs around the clubhouse for them to find later. He table danced for a few minutes, but the Pilgrims didn't have any money because they spent it at the 7-11 with Karan, and so he jumped back in his pumpkin and says "Gobble, gobble, gobble!" and takes off. They all ran outside to wave goodbye and then they went to play football, but they didn't have a football so they had to use a baby, but it was okay because they just played touch football...And tag, they played freeze tag, too, mostly because it was really cold outside and they had no choice. Later, they drank all the tequila and it made them all get into fights, and that is why relatives still celebrate today by fighting on Thanksgiving during football! Every year since then, people have waited for the Great Turkey to come and bring gifts and hide eggs. The end"...

Winter Hawk sits down now and claps wildly again as he laughs wide-eyed to himself. "Whistle, click, click!!!"

We just sit there, dumbfounded. We stare at him, then at each other, then back at him.

"That most crazy story ever. That not happen" said Crazy Elk finally, throwing wood on the fire.

Winter Hawk stops laughing and looks over the fire at him. "Whistle, lip pop, click" he said.

"No, it is not true. you just dumb, like Beaver dumb." says Crazy Elk, poking the fire with a stick.

Winter Hawk grins as he pulls his knife out slowly. ""

In an instant, they are at it again, rolling around in the dirt. "Big Bear! He trying to scalp me again!...Big Bear!"

Needless to say, after pulling Winter Hawk off Crazy Elk, again, we decorated the camp, with pine cones, leaves and what we could find. Winter Hawk just chirps around with glee. Needless to say, we now "anxiously" await The Great Turkey.

Hey, we do that, or sleep with one eye open so Winter Hawk doesn't scalp us in our sleep.

Who knows, maybe, just maybe, The Great Turkey will show...

DAY 23

"Hmm. Need Turkey. Thanksgiving coming." says Crazy Elk.

I listen and just shake my head. We are stuck in the wilderness and Crazy Elk is talking about a thanksgiving and a turkey.

"Click, click, whistle" says Winter Hawk excitedly, licking his lips.

"How we get stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, candied yams, rolls and pumpkin pie out here?!?" ask Crazy Elk.

I just look at him.

"Hey, that what he say." he says, pointing at Winter Hawk.

Winter Hawk jumps up, runs behind the Tee-Pee, whooping and yelling like a crazy man and then back around to the fire, dragging his latest creation with him. He whistles and clicks excitedly as he shows us what he has made. Crazy Elk gets up and walks over smiling, running his fingers across the wood slowly.

"What is that?" I ask, almost too afraid to say it. Winter Hawk just stares at the wooden box, rubbing his hands together, the excited look still plastered to his face." Click, lip pop, whistle, gobble, gobble, click!" He says. I raise an eyebrow.

"A turkey trap? Really? And what kind of bait do you use to catch a turkey with?"

"Click, click?..."

"No, I don't think they eat Pie"

"Whistle, click, cheek flip, click!"

"No, they don't eat Pilgrims, either!"

He shrugs and looks at Crazy Elk, who is tapping his chin in thought. "Hmm. Turkey eat nuts. Acorn, chestnuts, berries, grasshoppers, worms. Turkey need pebbles, too. Help digest hard food..." We just stare at Crazy Elk now. "What? Me just know things."

Winter Hawk grabs some of the nuts and berries he had gathered and sticks them in his pocket. "Click, click!"

"We set this morning, give a day so turkey come." says Crazy Elk as he stands.

"Good luck guys" I say, warming my hands by the fire.

"You come, too, Big Bear"

"Click, whistle!"


"You help carry. Trap heavy."



"You not help? You not eat turkey."


"Nope. I'm not going. You aren't going to catch a turkey. you are going to catch something really, really bad, you always do, and I am going to wind up in the middle of it somehow, and it is going to hurt, and probably hurt a lot, and I ain't going!"

Winter Hawk draws a long breath, shaking his head as he bends down beside me. He pats me on the head, then looks at the fire as he speaks. "Click, lip pop, whistle, click...Whistle, click, click"

"What? I know it's okay to be scared sometimes, I....Wait, I'm not scared! I am just tired of being hurt!"

"Click, click whistle"

"No, no you don't feel my pain! You have yet to feel my pain! Let me say it again, I...AM...NOT...GOING!!!"

Now they both stare at me. Why are they looking at me like that?


"How do I get talked into these things" I mumble to myself as we half carry, half drag the trap through the woods. We climb up a small hill and come to a clearing in the forest. Sitting the trap down, we look around to find a good spot to set it up and bait it. Winter Hawk runs across the small field now, arms out, making airplane noises as he weaves back and forth. Crazy Elk goes to is look around the edges of the clearing, and me, I just sit down and wait.

Finally Crazy Elk comes back, Winter Hawk in tow, making the sound of an airplane landing. "We find spot, edge of hill. Turkey feathers up there." We pick up the trap and move to the spot. I walk over and look at the steep drop, then back away slowly. "This is a high place. It Drops into the woods and keeps going." I said. They are both oblivious to me as they set the trap up along the edge.

Winter Hawk pulls the berries from his pocket.

"Click, click, whooooo....Click, click"

"I not put berries in. This your trap. you set" says Crazy Elk, crossing his arms defiantly.

"Click, whistle, click" says Winter Hawk, narrowing his eyes at Crazy Elk.

"You build. You set trap!" He looks away, eyes closed, resigned, and refusing to take the berries from Winter Hawk.

Winter Hawk sits the berries and nuts on top of the trap and wipes his hands on his furs. He casually pulls out his knife, flicking the blade across his thumb before walking towards Crazy Elk. "Click, click, grrrr!" he says. I stand now. "STOP! You are not going to bait the trap with Crazy Elk!" Winter Hawk stops and looks at Crazy Elk, over to me, and back at Crazy Elk, eyes still narrowed. "Whistle, pop, click...." he growls low. "I don't care if you think he looks like he would be tasty for the turkeys! What is wrong with you?"

"Hmm. You look like turkey poop" says Crazy Elk, still not looking at Winter Hawk.

"Click, click, head smack, click!"

"I not look like bear butt, you look like bear butt"

"Click, click...!"

"Enough! Give me the stupid berries!" I yell. Both of them look at me now in silence.

I snatch the berries and nuts from the top of the trap, mumbling under my breath and completely frustrated with the entire affair now. Crawling through the door of the trap and inside, just fitting through the opening as I slowly make my way to the back. "Bear butt...You see my bear butt out there?!?...Big Bear butt... Always fighting...I have to do everything....Never in my..." I hear the trap door slide closed behind me. "...Life.." I finish saying quietly. "Did the door just close behind me?" I ask. I hear nothing for a few moments.

"You spring door with big bear butt. Now it locked" came the muffled reply from outside

"Well open it!" I shout.

"Click, click, click, lip pop" says Winter Hawk ad I hear knocking on the wood.

"What do you mean you can't open it?!"

"Whistle, click, click!"

"He say, turkey might open trap. They smart. He fix trap so when it close, it stay closed"

"I know what he said!!! Are you serious right now?!?"

I can feel them tugging on the door as the trap shifts around with each tug and slam against it. "How did you plan to get the turkey out if you caught one!!!" I yell. They stop. No movement. Just silence. "Click, click" comes the reply after a few moments. "Oh, nice, you didn't think that far ahead!!!"

They start pulling and pushing on the door again. That is when I feel a big shift to the side. "What are you doing?!" I ask. "I hear the strained reply. "We...Holding...Trap!!!" That doesn't sound right. "Huh? Holding trap?" That is when I remember the steep hillside we sit the trap on. "Oh no...No, no, no!!!"

That is when I hear the snap of wood, and the piece of the trap they were holding on to breaks and the trap slips sideways down the hill and begins to flip down the hill.

Over and over and over, down the side of the hill, occasionally catching air and hitting hard, to just keep rolling. Me in the box providing the heavy weight for the momentum. There was just enough room inside the trap for me to feel every single landing, every turn, every bump as his impacted the ground. It wasn't until it hit a tree on one corner, twisted in the air, landed and it begin to flip end over end, that it got really bad.

Crazy Elk and Winter Hawk just stood at the top of the hill I heard later, still holding the broken wood in their hands, a look of amazement on their faces as they watched the trap roll down the slope.

"This not good" says Crazy Elk.

"Click, click" Winter Hawk comments.

"I not break! Big Bear too big of bear. Should have had safe word"


"No, whiskey not good word...Oh! Hit tree. That gonna hurt!"

"Long whistle" says Winter hawk as he nods slowly.

When the trap hit the slick pine needles on the forest floor about half way down the hill, the wooden box went from a twisting, rolling death trap to a sliding one. Like a pinball being bounced around the forest, I slam into one tree then the next, parts of the trap begins breaking off and coming apart. I felt like the six million dollar man, but only the very beginning of the show that had the terrible accident he was involved in. I do remember some screaming and crying on my part before blacking out from the G-force, in conjunction with the impacts caused by the event. I also knew that sooner or later it had to end, probably more later than sooner given the past history of such events.

I was told when they found me, I was lodged between two trees near the foot of the hill, one forest and two rock facings later.

I woke, as I usually do, beside the fire. Well, I should say I opened my right eye beside the fire, my left eye swollen shut. I tried to talk, but my lips where too swollen to speak. I wanted to cry, but the sniffling hurt my swollen nose. I lay there, slowly moving my fingers and toes to make sure I still had all my digits and Dr. Frankenhawk had not sewn something back on wrong. Satisfied I had most of my parts still attached, I just lay there and breathed, which also hurt. Honestly, I thought, if they didn't know I was awake, it was less pain they could inflict on me.

I looked over to see Winter Hawk with a drumstick. From what I was told later, with smiles on their seemingly uncaring faces. At some point, they related, I had rolled over a turkey in the forest.

Well, I guess the trap worked after all...