A little boy’s first great adventure in the wilderness. =)
Wide-eyed and curious, he had really enjoyed the drive up to Flagstaff, Arizona in the back of his parents’ cream-colored Chevy Malibu. The scenery from Phoenix, on Interstate 17 was pleasant enough. And, he always got a kick out of passing the road sign for “Bumble Bee, AZ” – as soon as he saw it, “Bumble Bee Tuna’s” jingle would start running through his head. On some trips, he’d even start singing it – “Bum bum bumble bee, bumble bee tuna. I love bumble bee, bumble bee tuna…”.
But, on this trip, his dad had just installed a new, hi-fi, super-deluxe, 8-track player. (Hey, it was a big deal back in the 70’s.) And, his favorite tape was the motion-picture soundtrack for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. His favorite song was “Rain Drops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”. And, his dad played it all the way up to Flagstaff. It was a great ride, singing along with the tape and his parents.
Once they reached their cabin in the pines, they were ankle-deep in snow. And, little Bobby loved it! He almost immediately laid down in the snow to make a snow angel. “Sure, go ahead and explore, Bobby, but stay close by. We’re going to have dinner soon,” said his mom.
Bobby, never having been in the forest before, was even more excited and wide-eyed than he’d been in the car. He thought the feeling of the pine trees’ trunks was funny – it tickled his palm. He noticed how absolutely quiet it was. He couldn’t hear noises that he’d never even really noticed back in the city – the hum of air conditioners on people’s roofs, barking dogs way on the other side of the neighborhood, even the faint sound of neighbors’ home stereos. Now that those (and just about every other sound) were missing, he really took note.
At first, the lack of sound was somewhat peaceful. But, then he remembered a movie he’d seen in which all of the sound suddenly stops. All of the characters noted that jungle or forest sounds suddenly stopping usually meant that some sort of predator was nearby – for, all of the animals try to hide by not making a sound. This started to creep little Bobby out.
Then, he came upon what looked to him like a huge, old, mansion in the middle of the woods. Bobby noticed that the house looked uninhabited because of how unkempt it was. He found this interesting, so he stepped closer to get a better look. Before he knew it, a very strange yet powerful feeling came over him. Without even, honestly, really seeing anything that appeared threatening or dangerous, a wave of absolute terror swept over the little boy.
Scary ideas and images, even not totally formed, raced through his head and scared the crap out of him!
So, he crept slowly back the way he came, the look of terror on his face the whole way. It was the most strange and eerie feeling he’d ever felt. Despite there being no real and apparent threat around, Bobby just KNEW in his very soul that something was out there. Maybe there was a real predator somewhere in the forest nearby; maybe the old mansion was actually still inhabited, but by mean and evil people, maybe the mansion was haunted!
“Yes, haunted!”, Bobby thought to himself. “That’s it! That has to be it.” He scampered back to his parents’ cabin and hugged his mom and dad like never before. And, he was safe again… or, was he?