Sunday, July 12, 2009

Aunt Lucille Whups the Bear

This story is about to be published in an anthology from the North Carolina Writer's Network:

Some of ya’ll might have heard about the bear that staged a break-in at the
WNC Nature Center in Asheville awhile back. Accordin’ to media reports a yearling black bear scaled a ten foot fence and dropped in to do a little visitin’ with the center’s herd of deer. Bob Fay, the nature center’s critter curator, said the deer “didn’t much appreciate the visitor.” Why wouldn’t Bambi welcome a friendly visit with his ole buddy Smokey the Bear?
Speakin’ of visitin’ that reminds me of the time brother bear visited my Aunt
Lucille. Aunt Lucille was a nurse up at C.J. Harris hospital and a lot of times she’d work over-time and get back to the house pretty late. Her husband Rufus would leave the back door unlocked when he left to go to work at the mill in Sylva ‘cause sometimes Aunt Lucille would forget her key to the house. The bolt on the back door didn’t catch too well and Aunt Lucille had been pestern’ Uncle Rufus to fix it for the longest time.You know how us men-folks can be with those honey-do’s though.

It had been a cool spring with a late freeze and most of the berries and such that bears and other critters in the woods ate just weren’t coming out. A big ‘ole black boar bear happened to be huntin’ up some garbage cans close to town and scented Aunt Lucille’s pot roast simmerin’ on the back of the stove. He peered into the house and spotted a plate of cookies settin’ on the kitchen table like they was just waiting for him! Well it weren’t long ‘fore brother bear just happened to nose up to the back door and give it a little push. The pearly gates opened up and brother bear was in heaven!

First, brother bear devoured the oatmeal-raisin cookies on the kitchen table.
Like a lot of us folks brother bear’s motto was dessert first main course later.
Next he attacked the pot roast on the back of the stove—sliding it frontwards and spilling the juicy meat and vegetables all over the kitchen floor. A perfect mess!

After devouring the tasty pot roast off the kitchen floor, brother bear smelled a strange scent coming from the pantry. He ambled over to the pantry door pushing it open. There sittin’ in the corner was Uncle Rufus’ beer crock plum full of strong bubblybrew. After chowing down on the cookies and the pot roast brother bear had a powerful thirst. He knocked the heavy clay top off and commenced to slurpin’ up Uncle Rufus’ best homebrew.

When ‘ole brother bear was done he belched contentedly and feeling a little
sleepy padded up the stairs wobbling from side-to-side. Nosing the bedroom door open
brother bear saw Lucille and Rufus’ bed which looked just fine for a post-feast nap.
Aunt Lucille came home to find the back door wide open to the world. She
took one look at the hog wallow in her kitchen and just about had a hissy fit.
“That man,” she thought, “he’s a gonna get my broom on his backside” as she
commenced to cleanin’ up.

When Aunt Lucille got done cleaning up the mess she was plum wore
Out. As she started to the head of the stairs she could hear the snorin’ and thought to herself, “Rufe ate all that pot roast, cleaned out the brewin’ crock of homemade beer and now it sounds like he’s logging the whole forest. Can’t I ever get any rest?”

The light was burnt out in the hallway and Aunt Lucille felt her way up the stairs to the bedroom that she and Uncle Rufus shared. As she opened the door the snoring from brother bear sounded like hogs tussling over the feeding trough. Aunt Lucille got into her night gown and slippin’ into bed gave brother bear a poke with her elbow and said “Rufe quiet down so’s I can get a little sleep.” Brother bear grunted and shifted in his home brew induced stupor.

When brother bear wouldn’t quit snoring Aunt Lucille gave the bruin a little
nudge with her hip. Well brother bear didn’t like that too much and gave out a little growl that made Lucille sit up and take notice. She took one look at who her bed partner was and sprang out of bed like she’d seen the Booger man himself!
Aunt Lucille grabbed the broom settin’ in the corner and commenced to chasin’
brother bear ‘round the room. Just when she was gainin’ on him the bear would give a
little jump and get away. Finally, Aunt Lucille cornered the poor drunken bruin by the dresser and gave him a good whop with the broom. Brother bear saw his chance and
leaped towards the window like one of them gold medal winnin’ Olympic high jumpers
and crashed right through it. Aunt Lucille rushed to the window and all she could see was brother bear high-tailin’ it for the woods like a thirsty man headed for his still.

After that little incident Aunt Lucille made sure Uncle Rufus fixed that bolt on the
back door. So the next time you see brother bear pokin’ ‘round the backyard of your
‘little house in the big woods’ just remember he’s hungry and it’s his front yard!

The Bones of the Hills

The bones of the hills, these ancient rocks,
First laid down untold eons ago

The foundations of the Appalachians, strong and cold
Hidden away from prying eyes, secrets in the earth

These ancient mountains, the backbone of Pangaea
super continent, of the entire world!

The super Appalachians fierce and proud,
stretching to Scotland--all the way to Africa!

Mighty Granite, Schist, Gneiss, Shale, Igneous and Sandstone rocks,
Their weathered forms, what we see today

Ancient volcanoes, continents forming,
Ripping apart, change from a restless earth!

Stretching out on the rocks, in the bright sunlight
Absorbing the warmth, of a summer’s day

From what once were the fires of hell itself
Bones faded and exposed, now only warm to the touch

Chuck Connors, June 30, 2009

Nighttime in the Country

Nighttime in the country, the shadows dark and deep
Fireflies all a’ glitter, the frogs chirp a roaring peep!

The critters of the night move stealthily from bush to hay
The baby skunks and tiny possums come out to snack and play

The riot of nocturnal flowers, their scent so sweet and full
The first cutting of the hay, the greased implements in the shed of tools

I gaze across the land, breathe in the wonder of the night
Could it be that I am hungry for more than just the sight?

To live a good and just life, a life that gives back to all the rest
Sharing with each other is really the ultimate test

We stare up at the lights, each one alone it seems
What gains a man the whole world if he cannot share his dreams?

Nighttime in the country, the quiet takes my soul
Under a billion stars I once again become whole.

Chuck Connors, May 30, 2009