Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Wreaking Hammock

From this . . .
But everyone had one!
Well, almost everyone.
Okay, he had seen one.
And wanted it . . .
It was summertime on the ranch. The perfect season of cloudless blue skies, soft, sage-soaked breezes, warm, golden sunshine and scented, star-studded nights.
And what better way to enjoy one’s occasional leisure hours than by swinging – relaxed, semi-conscious and blissful - in one’s very own hammock.
To ten-year-old Mark, the concept seemed heaven-sent.
There was just one catch.
He didn’t possess a hammock.
And his parents did not appear to be forthcoming with one.
Sigh.
But Mark was a kid of the prairies. What he didn’t possess, he made.
Or made do.
His dad was changing out the old canvas on the binder. Hmmm . . .
Mark studied the discarded heap of coarse material carefully. Then he scooped it up and carted it to the trees. Specifically to the two tall trees he had picked as being the biggest and most hammock-support-like.
Sometime later, following a maximum of grunting, sweating and words sometimes thought but seldom said, Mark was looking at a brand new hammock.
His brand new hammock.
His pride of accomplishment over spilled its banks.
Handsprings anyone?
A party was called for.
A celebration.
A . . .
Mark would have to settle for talking his mother into allowing him to sleep out on his new acquisition.
It took some doing, but he was finally able to convince her.
Happily, he gathered blankets and gear for his amazing outdoor adventure and in short order was perched atop his newest and best acquisition.
Snuggled down and shivering with delight, he waited for the sun to go down.
Then to come up again.
Which it did.
Mark blinked sleepily at the newly-risen sun. It was then he realized that his mouth felt . . . funny.
Sliding out of his hammock, he ran to the house and the nearest mirror.
Where he received a distinct shock. His upper lip was swollen like a balloon.
With no idea what could possibly have happened, he ran for his mother. Who took one look at his face and said, calmly, “Looks like a bug bit you, son.”
A bug bit him?! His face was three times its normal size and ‘a bug bit him’?!
Frantically, he raced back to the mirror and minutely studied his poor abused outside. How was he going to go through life looking like this?!
In case you're worried, I'll tell you that the swelling did go down. Fairly quickly in fact. With only one side effect. Mark now regarded hammocks with a degree of suspicion.
I mean – no one ever told him that they could come with uninvited and totally unexpected ‘guests’.
Overly friendly guests.
His was a hammock for one.
One.
Maybe someone should have explained that to the bug.
. . . to this.



14 comments:

  1. Any time one sleeps outside one is likely to acquire a new and unwanted friend. Nothing to do with the hammock.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. Outdoor friends. Enough said . . .

      Delete
  2. He made his own hammock? He's a very inventive child. too bad about the bug.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You had me at the pun. I didn't have to read further, I was laughing so hard! But then I did. All I can say is LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love to sleep outdoors, but I like it to at least zipped up inside of a tent! Poor Mark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's me, too. I like my safety screen between me and the great Outdoors!

      Delete
  5. Poor buddy--but that was a great-looking hammock!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inventive child, wasn't he? Too bad it didn't rub off on us, his children!

      Delete
  6. Ow ... either that was a stealthy bug, able to bite without waking him up, or else he was sensitive to whatever the bug was totin'. Either way, ow!

    ReplyDelete
  7. So unfortunate! I think it is fair to say though, that I would prefer to take my chances with a bug outdoors, than visit some establishments known for bedbugs! Does he still have the hammock?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bedbugs. Ugh. There's just something particularly nasty about bugs where it's supposed to be clean! *shiver*

      Delete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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