Hopefully to stay for a while . . .
For over twenty years, my Husby served as Scout supervisor.
This included acting as a leader on numerous scout camps.
A true test of one's manhood.
Or at least one's patience and endurance.
These camps were held, invariably, in the great outdoors. Woods. Mountains. Streams.
The scouters glimpsed many, many of these latter. But the animals they saw most were the cute, little furry ones who ran in and out of their campsites. Made messes.
And stole food.
The original camp robbers.
On one camp, there was a particular little scamp who was a little bolder and craftier than others like her.
She got into one too many bags of treats.
One of the scouts - who had aspirations to play major league - threw a rock at her.
Hit her square.
And knocked her dead.
I don't know which of them was the most surprised.
Husby looked at the chagrined boy and decided this was a perfect teaching moment. One did not waste what was given in the woods, he told the scouter.
He made the boy skin the squirrel out.
And cook it.
Unfortunately, the lesson was rather lost. It was a young squirrel, tender and succulent.
The boys talked about the incident throughout the rest of the camp and into the next season.
And winter camp.
Attended by the younger brother of the first scout.
Who now had some big shoes to fill.
Or so he thought.
Again, there was an abundance of squirrels.
He chose one.
Took aim with his rock.
And hit it with one shot.
So far so good.
After enduring the getting-to-be-standard lecture from his scouter, he skinned the squirrel out.
And cooked it.
And suddenly discovered that not all squirrels are the same.
This one, a rather elderly male had been surviving on winter fare and was . . . nothing like the first.
Tough, stringy and decidedly . . . un-tasty.
Unhappily, he chewed his way through it.
Then hung up his stones and throwing arm for good.
Some records just aren't made to be broken.