Monday, October 01, 2007

Short Takes from Lanesville 3

Well, I've delayed some in writing this story as I was hoping to come up with a photo to go with it. After about a week of on and off hunting, I have come up with....


So, without illustration, here's the story.

It's called "Stumped".

It was twenty-nine years ago this month. Doc and I had been living in the house for just over six weeks. We had been working hard, inside and out, to get everything ready enough for winter weather. With Halloween approaching, we had become concerned about practical jokers and worse. The house had been broken in to so many times over the years and as recently as two weeks before we moved in. Area teens had used it as a "party" house and we thought they may resent that "their" place was no longer available!

In anticipation of many dreaded possibilities, we decided that we should clear out some of the overgrowth surrounding the house. Years of neglect had encouraged the growth of many saplings. Mostly sassafras trees and straggly young oaks. We spent an entire week of free time with Doc brandishing the chainsaw and me hauling and loading the limbs into his truck. All the trees were left with the main trunk remaining about 2.5 - 3 feet above ground. Several dozen of them. This would provide the leverage to enable us to dig around the base, attach chain around the stump and to the truck, and pull the stumps with their roots. Stump pulling would have to wait until springtime when the ground would be soft and soggy.

We had visitors one evening shortly after we had thinned out "the forest". Not the invited type. It was coal black outside. Must have been a new moon. We heard a couple voices out back. Doc went into the kitchen to take a look out the window. Since the lights were off in the kitchen, no one could see him looking out. He said he could see two teenage boys climbing over the stone wall at the rear of our property. They were heading towards the house. We decided it would be best to just politely scare them off.

Doc opened the window a mere crack. Enough for his voice to be heard yet not enough that they would see or hear the window opening.

With a loud, stern voice he called out, "This is private property. You're trespassing!"

Their confident swaggers swiftly became panicked gallops as they headed past the house towards the front wall and the street beyond. But there was something powerful out there that they hadn't been able to see in the pitch blackness.

Those 2.5 - 3 foot high tree stumps.

The night awakened with yelps of pain.


mary said...

What a great story! I would have wanted to spend the next day looking about the school and town to see who had cuts and bruises on them but I am sure you had to go to work. Bummer.

Thanks for the story. Now, of course, I want more.

Little Wing said...

Oh my! You can bet that those boys remember that night also, even after 29 years!!!!!!!!
Great story! Thanks for sharing!

deb said...

More like who couldn't straighten up. 2.5 - 3 feet is coincidently just the *right* height!

Who Me? said...


Hopefully they managed to still fulfil all of their dreams.

Like become fathers?


Great story Deb. I love stories :)

deb said...

(sly grin)

dickiebo said...

Wicked sod!

deb said...

Heeee,he,he,he (cackle)

And to the 80th Gala am I.