PALAVERING WITH BEULAH: Wild Hog Run in Gopher Gulch
By Beulah Rampage Fishbite
I am in the process of writing a kids book, decided to try a bit of it out on my readers, see what you think.
“I grew up in a place called Gopher Gulch, well, that wasn’t really its name but that is what my friends and I called it. Seemed like it was so far from everywhere, empty, dusty and, what we called, boring. Little did we know that the things that we did and the things that happened to us would have scared the geewhillickers out of town-kids. A lot of it scared us bad too.
“The day I remember best, and wish, late at night when I am trying to sleep, I could forget it, me, Alex, Jake and Sean Pierre were kicking cans and throwing rocks down the alley behind the three stores in Gopher Gulch. One was a general store, one a little café, and one a millinery shop. The café had a heap out back where they threw away discarded food. Every now and then they covered it with dirt and lime. On this particular day it had not been covered in some time. Jake had just kicked the can and it bounced off the garbage heap with a whallop. We were just a step or so past it when ole Three Legs, a big feral hog that had been sighted a couple times came up out from behind that heap and screamed. I remember seeing his tusks, one front foot and dirty snout. The four of us ran like we had never run before. And Three Legs was after us. If that old hog had had four legs one of us would be dead now. I was glad we all wore shoes that day because it made running so much easier, and faster. We came around the back side of that café and cut through between it and the general store. I can remember some pretty silly things about that frightening run like when we made the corner Sean Pierre and Jake slid a bit and threw stones up on the side of the general store. I can still hear those stones hitting. And that was a hot day, I remember how hot the air was and we were sucking that stuff in fast. When ole Three Legs made that corner he skidded too, which was good for us because he fell and his butt got stuck under the store’s tight open crawl space. We were screaming like a bunch of little pigs ourselves and Mr. Gutmueller, the store owner, came out with his shot gun. Once we had all cleared the front of the store he stepped into the opening. I can still hear that big gun echoing between those buildings.
“It took us some time to slow down, start breathing regular again and realize we were safe. And for some reason at that point it all became mighty funny. We laugh and snorted and called each other names. Alex pestered me saying I was a scaredy cat and Sean Pierre said Alex was one. We all blamed Jake for hitting the garbage heap with the can. But we would remember that as the day we were chased by the wild hog. Reminded me of those boys, Huck and Tom, who ran from that old man down an alley way. I had read that book last winter and remember that run. Never want to be that scared again.”