Friday, July 2, 2010

Tales from the Campfire

One afternoon while we were camping, my son was shooting his bow at a target, and starting to feel really confident in his archery skills.  Later that day as we were hiking, he proudly proclaimed that he wanted to sleep in the hammock that night with some hot dogs in his pockets, so he could:
A.- Attract a bear into camp with the hot dog smell.
B.- Shoot the bear with his bow and arrow and be a hero.

Don't you just love the mind of eight year old boys?  They think they're soooo tough. Late that evening, we all sat around the campfire drying the kids' socks and making smores for dessert.  It was the perfect night for gazing into the fire.  The air was still, the moon was high, the stars were bright, and we were all bundled up in our camp chairs.  Then my father- in- law began to tell tales of days gone by.
First, he told the story about the last Grizzly Bear found in Arizona, who happened to roam an area not far from camp.  He was notorious for killing cattle, and scared the ranchers into hunting him down. My son's eyes were getting big. Then he told the story of a man in the newspaper who was mauled not once, but twice by a grizzly bear after shooting it with his hand gun.  My son was hanging on every word he said.  After that, he spoke of seeing a man-eating lion that was now dead in a museum in Chicago, and told about the many people the lion devoured before getting shot. 
All of the sudden, my boy who never wants to go to sleep, suddenly wanted to go to bed inside the trailer, with his two sisters.... immediately.  He said he was getting "tired".  I laughed and helped tuck them all into their sleeping bags, where they were safe from the bears.  Needless to say, it was the last time he spoke of wanting to sleep in a hammock, or about shooting a bear with his little bow and arrow.  I think he has a healthy respect for nature now, and don't anticipate him baiting bears with hot dogs anytime in the near future.

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