Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I swear

I swear... really I do.  I try not to.  But sometimes "bad word, bad word, bad word" just isn't as satisfying as spitting out what I really want to say!

This morning I learned my first Swedish swear word... skitsnack.  Now I can call something what it is in 4 languages.  Ironically it's what prompted my very first English swear word.

I was 11, or maybe 12, at the time and was camping with my Aunt Lillie and Uncle Mel in Spencer.  Moose Creek was a favorite campsite there, where we did actually see a moose eating some kind of vegetation in the creek on another trip, so there's a good chance that's where the day's adventures began.  After breakfast and clean up and some puttering around the campsite each day, Lillie and Mel would take me and go explore the surrounding area.  Different times we went out to the opal mine, fished in a little reservoir where the only thing the fish would bite on was dragonflies, climbed a forest service tower where they'd watch for fires later in the summer or find a patch of wild berries that turned into dessert for that evening.  I loved camping with them!

On this particular day, we were out in search of our adventure.  Mel was driving his pickup down a dirt road. There would be stretches of pine forest interspersed with grassy clearings.  Going past one of these clearings, I saw a giant boulder move.  It was just out of the corner of my eye, but I knew I saw it move.  Lillie and Mel  kind of laughed it off and told me rocks don't move but I insisted.  Finally, Mel stopped the truck and backed up to prove that it was all in my imagination.  And then he thought he saw a movement.  He stepped out of the truck to get a better look.  And then it really moved!

It wasn't a boulder at all.  It was a buffalo that had wandered over from nearby Yellowstone National Park.  And it charged!!

I don't think I have ever, before or since, seen Uncle Mel move quite so fast as he did to get back in the truck and drive off.  Lillie and I were both kind of screaming.  A buffalo moves surprisingly fast!  And for a minute or so it was an awfully tense situation.  She was flustered and just a little bit angry with him and started to cuss him out... she got as far as saying "this is bullshit!" when in all the innocence of childhood I interrupted  and said "cows shit, too."

They both laughed until tears were streaming down their faces... Needless to say, I didn't get in trouble for saying "shit" that time.