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{Some of my stories are based partially in truth, very few are completely true. I hesitated to even write this one, since I have a good idea what the reaction of some will be. But what the hell. Here is one from far back in my youth, and almost completely true.)

Unlike many others when I was young, I grew up on a remote island, a short six mile walk to our nearest neighbor. School was twelve miles, at least it wasn’t uphill both ways but it sure as hell was uphill on the way in. At first I had to run all the way every day, then things got modern and I could meet the school bus at a turnaround a couple of miles away. That saved a lot of time for work, running all the way to school took over two hours each way.

There wasn’t any real socializing, I just plain didn’t have time because there was always the ranch, work was always waiting.

My Dad strapped a small pistol to my hip when I was six, I graduated to a rifle by the time I was nine.

It wasn’t for show, it was a tool. I used firearms to help feed our family, and also to protect myself since there were things that lived out in our woods that had teeth and considered me or one of my brothers a potential meal. Usually making a bit of noise would keep them out of sight, but often we were hunting so we didn’t really want to make any noise.

There was a little black Bear one day that acted like it wanted to visit, I was out picking thistle heads to take back and store for salads. All we did with those was store them, the outer layers would turn brown but when we peeled them back there were nice and fresh, they lasted almost all Winter if kept cool. I liked those salads, Mom would slice cabbage and thistle heads, add tiny slivers of squash and Carrots and splash some vinegar on it.

That danged Bear was pesky, it kept getting closer, curious about me I guess. I popped four rounds into the ground at it’s feet and it completely understood that.

I knew which plants were good to eat, I knew which trees had bark that made a nice tea, I knew how to fold up a skunk cabbage leaf to make a pot, so I could heat water over an open fire. I even made Rabbit stew in those a few times. Up by the headwaters of one of our little springs there were snails, big ones sometimes 3 inches across. I fried those in butter, I could eat 20 of them at a setting. I also stewed up a batch in my skunk cabbage pot many times, mixing in some cattails for flavoring, adding some of that white colored moss that grows on the Adler trees. Even mushrooms if I could find them, sometimes a couple of red Elderberries. Those gave them a mildly bitter taste that I liked.

If the fire was kept low that worked great for stews and soups, get a bit too much flame going and I got to build another fire.

I carried a heavy blade, too. That came in handy for lots of things, like building a fire in the rain from green wood. Some might laugh at that, but all I had to do was select a good Fir limb with bubbles of pitch, peel off some thin shavings into tiny little curls and it burned nicely, covered by branches from Ferns over a stack of rocks to keep the rain off. Then there were always dry branches on the lower part of the Fir trees, even when it was raining.

Live wood burns like paper if shaved thin, wood that is rain wet won’t burn at all.

In bad weather I could find a warm dry bed, a rotten windfall stump hollowed out with leaves and branches laid down over it to drain the rainwater away served me just fine. Some of them still had huge rootballs, those were the very best. I had a feet of them I dug out that had enough room for two, maybe three people inside.

Of course critters liked them too, so I usually gave out a few hollers as I got close to one of my older shelters.

The Ferns were great for a roof, first lay down some thin branches for bracing, then lay green Ferns on overlapping with the tips of the leaves pointed out and it made a perfectly dry little shelter.

I could build a shelter in about 30 minutes, plus I had literally dozens of locations up there to choose from that I made over the years.

Those rotten stumps were always nice and warm inside, too. Sometimes I would be gone an entire weekend hunting, rarely almost an entire week if I was curing out in the woods. I got a big Elk once that I cured all the meat out there and hung it where the animals couldn’t reach it, then I went and got my brothers and we packed it all home in two trips. We never hunted close to the house because sometimes in the Winter game was scarce and the weather would get bad enough we could not go miles to harvest something.

Besides, smoked meat got old after awhile, some nice fresh venison steaks and homemade bisquits and gravy would hit the spot come January.

Animals that hung around close came in nice and handy, but it was rare we had to do that. Dad saw to it that we put up plenty of stores, most years food was not a problem.

By the time Winter set in, we usually had hard smoked meats and fish. The fish were just salted special forces worlds toughest test izle and dried. A couple of dozen Rabbits usually hung up there, we smoked the whole thing after salt curing it. There were stores of dried Corn, Potatos, huge Onions hanging upside down from the racks. Carrots kept well, and we also grew a lot of those big Squash. Some types we ate raw right off the plant when they were little, other kinds would keep all Winter long.

Yes, the description of me and my brothers is wild. We were animals too, predators on the world around us.

The result was a very naive young man compared to the other kids in town, almost completely and totally unaware of the possible ills of the world.

Some things I figured out in school, like the need for an education, and like so many young men fresh out of high school, I really had no idea at all of what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I did know I saw other people with things I didn’t have, and I wanted some of that for myself.

College was actually out of the question, my family were farmers. Back then the kids in town were the rich people, their Dads all had good jobs in the local mill. I even thought of doing that, maybe they would hire me? But I was down there once, the place smelled so bad I didn’t want anything to do with that.

We were just poor dirt farmers, there was little if any money. We grew food, or we ran something down and killed it for dinner. Our ranch was large, over 3000 acres so there were lots of things to kill. The land next to ours was owned by a timber company, nobody was ever around so we had the complete run of that also, thousands more acres. They showed up to harvest once in awhile, large rough looking men cut the trees and dragged them down to the river with horses. I remember sitting up on the mountain and watching them, expecting them to fall off into the river as they rode the huge logs but none of them ever did.

At least not that I ever saw. One man my Dad knew named George went in, the logs went over him. Nobody ever saw him again.

“Damn fool!” My dad exclaimed when he heard about that.

“He just refused to quit drinking.”

I decided to never drink after hearing that story, it made me shudder.

My folks had chickens so there were fresh eggs to trade for flour and sugar, always salt. We would take the boat to town, riding the tide with the tiny little engine chugging away, my job was to bail out the water that ran in so we didn’t sink.

I had to bail pretty fast too, and I was a bit afraid of the water so I never stopped.

I actually liked those trips, it meant we had real flour for awhile which was wonderful. Usually we harvested the Bulrush seeds and ground those down to make flour. The store bought stuff Mom traded for was lots better.

We had to go with the tide, if it was against us we went nowhere at all.

We couldn’t take a car, we didn’t have one.

There were no roads out there anyway.

My Mom cooked on a wood stove and we heated the house with wood, so there was lots of swinging a big 16 pound sledge hammer. Of course that started out with me using the 4 pounder but I grew pretty strong very quickly.

I was the youngest of four brothers, early on it was fine because they were all bigger and could help with bucking the hay for our cattle, and with all of the never ending work. We had some Sheep later on, then Goats. Of course we also had our share of Coyotes, we spent a lot of time keeping a watch out for them.

They stayed on the skittish side because if they showed us any hide at all we put a bullet in them.

My oldest brother joined the army soon after graduation, the next year the second brother was gone to the Coast Guard.

Two years later the third brother was married, it seemed he walked over to see the neighbor girl named Becky who lived about six miles away.

I knew all about that because I sneaked over behind him, and spied on them as they went down to the hay loft. They couldn’t see me, I slipped up the wooden ladder to the rafters, I could peek right over the top of a big board wall. My brother looked just like one of the Rabbits Mom kept in her cages, I even giggled once and he heard me, looking around for a moment before going right back to it.

Becky was a little bit on the fat side. I didn’t get a real good look at her because my brother was in the way and I was afraid to try and move to a better location.

She sure was naked, though. At one point she had her head laid back and her mouth open, I got to see her right tittie for a few seconds when it slid over to the side, but then my brother’s arm got in the way. When it looked like they were getting done I got the hell out of there because my brother would beat me up if he caught me.

There was quite a fuss when Becky’s Dad showed up madder than an old wet hornet a few months later, I think he actually had plans squid game izle to shoot my brother but he ran into my Dad who had his 30-30 model 94 Winchester tucked under his arm.

My Dad was on the big side, and well known for using a rifle. He could hit a six inch circle at 200 yards freehand, and I saw him drop a Coyote dead in it’s tracks at 100 yards once, it was on a dead run at the time.

I was standing there, my pistol on my hip as Becky’s Dad went into a tirade. By then I could peg a Rabbit at 50 feet pretty regularly, and I shot them in the head so as to not mess up any meat. Becky’s Dad eyed me but he went back to yelling at my brother.

I was thinking that if he moved to really do something I would shoot him in the arm, but just then our Dad showed up.

Needless to say, Becky’s Dad got a bit more polite when Dad came around the corner.

There were some discussions, my brother married Becky and went to live on their farm. That settled that little problem.

Which left our ranch with Dad, Mom…and me.

I was 13 years old.

My life became a string of getting up at 5 AM, rounding up the cows and milking them. I took the milk up to the house and ran it through the hand cranked milk separator, so Mom could use the cream to make butter, and some of that Cottage Cheese she hung from the clothesline. Lord that was good, there is nothing in the world as good as fresh sweet Cottage Cheese.

Then it was split the wood for the house, take a bath and make the long walk to meet the bus at the end of the road 2 miles away. Rain or shine, it made no difference. Mom insisted that I go to school, Dad objected a little bit saying he needed me around the ranch but Mom got her way.

On weekends we worked all day, my Dad was not lazy, he was right out there with me. We cleared brush, smoked meat, tended the gardens, it seemed my Mom was always canning something.

I liked it when Mom sent me fishing, my job was to bring as many home as I could carry. I knew where whatever kind she wanted would be and never had any real trouble catching them.

The County extended the road past our place by the time I was 16, we owned timber and now it could be hauled in to the mills and sold. It suddenly became very valuable, Dad capitalized on that very quickly.

In short order electric power arrived, there was even a telephone that hung in the hallway, it was a big boxy looking thing with a handle on the side of it.

Soon we had a crew of men out in the woods and working around the ranch, Dad got himself a huge Stetson hat, bought a bulldozer and a tractor, and a fancy 1963 Lincoln.

Suddenly were were rich landowners, now Mom drove to town and bought neat things like hot dogs. She even got me some store bought clothes from one of those Sears and Roebucks catalogs.

I hated those, I was always ripping them on something, the ones that Mom made for me were lots better.

The good part was I also had one heck of a lot less work to do.

I was 18 when I graduated from high school, a solid six feet tall and 160 pounds. My dad sat me down that same evening and told me that I could stay if I wanted to, then he handed me a piece of paper with my rent and living expenses.

Hell, I still had on that silly looking dress and the little square hat they made me wear.

I went out and got a job the very next day, packing shingles around in a mill, loading them on box cars. That was interesting, it was a union job and in that industry, the workday was just six hours.

I made enough to pay Dad the $40 per month he demanded for my bedroom, but I refused to pay for my meals since I knew how to go out and get all the food I wanted. I would grab my little .22 rifle and pop a young buck, skin it out and pile up some rocks to make a smoker.

I could run down to the river and catch some perch or flounder. In the Fall the Salmon would come in, those were easy to catch, I had a long pole with some stout twine on it, a huge treble hook and just snagged them.

There were lots of Trout in the creek, Rabbits to trap or just pop in the head with my pistol, plus those big fat yellow bellied Squirrels, too.

I also tired very quickly of paying Dad $40 for my own bedroom, to be honest that really pissed me off, so one day I just packed up my gear and headed out into the woods for good. It was Spring anyway, I had no problems at all living out there.

By the next Fall I had almost $500 saved up, and I had bought a 1955 Desoto, it had one of those Red Ram V-8 engines in it and it really would haul ass if I stomped on it, which I did a lot of.

Then I got a ticket for spinning the tires in town one day, that cost me $14.00. I was careful after that, I waited until I was way out in the country to have some fun.

I had to make some payments, but those were only $22.00 per month. I really liked that car, it said Hemi right on the valve covers although I had no idea what that meant but it was great.

The star trek picard izle car was neat because it had big traction tread tires and would go right up the dirt road to almost where I was camped, except for when it was raining, then I had to walk.

Every payday I went in to the bank, I always went to a young girl named Terry’s window. She would take my precious passbook, write down my deposit and initial it alongside and hand it back with a big smile.

I really liked her, the day I reached $500 she smiled and commented that I was really getting some nice savings.

I managed to mutter something about how I would like it if she would let me take her to lunch, she beamed and said she would love to.

My very first real date! None of the girls in high school would go out with me because they just couldn’t be seen with the son of a poor dirt farmer. That was changing by then of course but I was too naive to notice the looks.

Terry and I talked a lot, both of us had hopes and dreams, I told her I wanted to go to college and become an engineer, design and make things. To be honest, I wasn’t real sure what an engineer really did but I had read it somewhere that engineers made lots of money. She wanted to go to college also, she wanted to become a registered nurse.

A few days later I took her to my place out in the woods. I had tarps I bought at the military surplus store, a cookstove I had built out of rocks with a metal sheet perched on top. I even had running water, there was a spring uphill and I used rain gutters to direct it down to my camp, letting the overflow run on down the hill. I had built a small outhouse down the hill, it was a continuous flush toilet. It even had a door on it.

Terry thought my camp was really neat, then we necked a little bit and one thing led to another. We both ended up naked on my bed, which was piles of blankets on top of soft fiddlehead ferns I harvested and packed in there.

Her body was slender, one of her breasts was bigger than the other and she was really self conscious about that until she realized I was completely delighted.

Hell, it was the first bare breasts I had ever seen up close! She rolled her hips back and forth to help me when I started tugging at her panties, I managed finally to worry them down her legs. She had a mass of black hair down there and even some on her stomach. She also had a circle of hair around each nipple which I found surprising but then I thought that men had hair on their chests so I guessed women did too.

I just never knew that. She didn’t have any under her armpits, though, I checked. In fact, I checked everywhere on her, it was fun.

We did it about 5 times that day, and when it started to get dark I built a fire and we lay there and played with each other some more.

Finally she told me she needed to be getting home, and that I probably did, too.

“I am home.” I told her.

“What? You mean you actually live out here, you aren’t just camping?”

“Yes, I live here, why?”

“Oh. I didn’t realize. That’s a little odd?”

Terry got dressed, she was quiet after that. We walked down the hill to my Desoto, and I drove her to her apartment in town. I asked if I could come in, thinking we could have some more sex, but she told me she was too tired.

She wasn’t as nice to me at the bank after that, and she wouldn’t go anywhere with me, I asked her several times.

It made me a little bit mad, like she thought I wasn’t good enough maybe?

One day I came down the trail to the house to see my Mom, actually I was low on salt and sugar and was hoping she would have some of that pancake flour, too. If Dad wasn’t around Mom would just give me what I needed.

There was a car parked in front of the house I didn’t recognize. A man in his 30’s and a woman about the same age were visiting, it turned out he worked for some timber company Dad was dealing with.

“This is Thomas, and his wife Jerri.” Mom introduced me. Tom was about my height but heavier, Jerri was an extremely pretty brunette, she wore her hair clear down to her shoulders which was different. Most women at that time either had it piled up, or wore it about to their ears and curly. Jerri’s hair was straight as a string.

I managed to not giggle at their names. I had loved to watch the Tom and Jerry cartoons on our black and white TV dad had bought after he suddenly had lots of money.

They talked a lot, finally at one point Mom loaded me up with some supplies. I went back in to say goodbye to them.

“So what do you have planned for your life?” Tom asked me.

“I am saving up, I want to go to college, I have enough to start at the Junior College out in the valley next semester.”

“Really? That’s great! Hey, I have an idea. We live just two miles from there, why don’t you just come and stay with us?” He asked.

I thought that was strange, they didn’t even know me.

“I don’t want to put anybody out.” I told him.

“You won’t, Jerri and I love company. It will be great, it will help you out with your schooling costs too. Maybe you might consider learning timber management?”

“How much would you need for rent?”

A look I didn’t understand passed back and forth between them.

“It’s just a spare bedroom, and it has a small fridge and even a TV set. Color, too!” He grinned at me.

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