Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Here is the final George Anderson tale that I wish to relate on this evening. Now, most folks would not believe what I'm about to tell; what was told to me by George. But, old George was not given to telling tales. He was a rare Man that knew what secrets could not be told. He respected Truth and other folk's capacity to handle such… or not.

But there is a story that he did pass on, and he left me the evidence the prove the tale true.

Up on Bell Hill, he had that shack with two windward walls that had some clap board, and where you could feel the wind blow through the others. One morning, going to fetch water from the spring up the mountain, past the pile of the old fifty dollar tin stoves he burnt out… there was a young buck that had no sense to be afraid of a White Foot Scout.

With his bare hands he took that critter and slashed his throat with a buck knife. I am not a hunter and do not feel entirely right about what had happened, but it did happen. Yes, I did enjoy the venison chili seasoned with very special mushrooms procured from the band down the hill. It was the next night that we enjoyed George's triumph, the dogs slept under the shack as the wind howled and the snow banks piled up above the window sills. The new tin stove did glow cherry red. In the morning, bellies still full, we dug the pups out and unburied our cars. We drove off as George was finishing some business with the remains of that young buck.

Years later, George died in the arms of one of his compatriots from the war. I suppose that was fitting, tho I wish I had been with him, myself. But, a couple days after we made his funeral up in the North Country, his girlfriend called and said he had asked to pass something on to me. Now, I haven't done dope in over a decade, but I do still prize a single piece of pot paraphernalia. It is a pipe fashioned from the antler of a young buck taken by the bare hands of a Man and by chance in the midst of the woods, way up north.


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