Ricky Harpole 10/24/2014

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 24, 2014

Copperhead Ridge campers learn why Bambi character named ‘Thumper’

Children never cease to amaze. how they react, the comments  have to say about what they see and how they perceive it, how they discuss things among themselves when they think no adults or about.

I once entertained the notion of bugging their homes with listening devices retained from the bad old days but bowed out because that might be considered invasion of privacy.

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Not that they have any problems invading mine.

Not all of the younguns are related to me but they are all important.

A friend of mine, his wife and city-raised twin granddaughters from Jackson spent a recent weekend with me for a taste of redneck life on Copperhead Ridge. We went perch jerking on the catch and release principal, rode a four wheeler, shot Pepsi cans and enjoyed a bonfire.

Dave and I pick and strummed Amazing Grace while they sang with Heather. Those twins had a large time, and just before bedtime when the fire was almost down to coals we all shared a few ghost stories around the fire about headless horsemen and werewolves and Indians in the woods.

Then the fun began. There was a thumping sound in the woods, possibly scalp hunters. It sounded kind of like war dance ceremonies. The twins looked nervous.

I knew what it was, and I just couldn’t resist having some more fun. I said we better check this out.

The blue twin asked, “Is it dangerous?”

“Your grandma will cover me from the rear,” I told her.

“We want to go too,” the red twin said.

 I broke out my night vision device and my snake gun. I led the way down the trail with the N.V.D. I gave everybody a flashlight but cautioned them not to turn them on and give away our position

I’d explain to Heather so she would understand situation. We all hooked up hand-to-belt elephant fashion with the twins in the center. I led the way down the trail.

The drumming sound got louder as we got closer. I brought the company to a halt on a ridge and found what I expected. I told the troops to be still and quiet.

I don’t know what they thought they would see but what they saw wasn’t it. It was a big hollow log timber cutters had discarded years ago and there was down there kicking that log a big old cane cutter.

I don’t know if y’all have ever seen a cane cutter before. They are an extremely rare and large rabbit. Some call them swamp rabbits. A big male was kicking that old log. That is the way they attract the females.

“That is one big rabbit,” whispered the red twin.

“Yeah, he’s almost as big as the Easter Bunny, the blue twin whispered, “ but why is he beating on that drum?”

They were passing the nightscope back and forth.

“Well, he’s calling up his girlfriends for a party,” I said.

By this time another drum had started and sure enough there she came. He ignored her and continued drumming. Pretty soon here came another do a female rabbit.

That was the one he’d been calling up. After that they had a ritual dance leading up to something the city twins didn’t need to see.

So I said we don’t want to mess up their party so we’d best get back to the camp. About halfway back the coyotes began to howl. By the time Heather got back they were in dry socks and the DVD and iPad we’re no longer in service.

Of course, the fact that Heather and I had capped a few rounds in the ground along the route  added to the “Was-it-werewolves?” myth

“Did you get them?”

“We’re here aren’t we,” Heather replied. “Y’all want to go frog gigging in the swamp?”
They declined.

Ricky Harpole
(Contact Ricky Harpole at www.facebook.com/harpolive or www.colespointrecords.com)