My brother took our nephew camping not too far from Shelburne Falls this weekend, to a campground where we spent most of the summers of our childhood, so we went to visit them on Saturday.
Vincent went out on a canoe, splashed around in the lake, toasted marshmallows for s’mores (which he then spit out, deciding he prefers the ingredients individually, leaving me to eat the remaining s’mores alone, alas), watched fireworks, and ran his little legs off.
The boy was literally unspeakably exhausted by the end of the night: when he tried to tell me something as we were driving away, his words came out garbled. He was asleep before we turned onto the road.
The day was a wind-swept sunny gift.
I reconnected with one of my oldest friends (and Vincent made a new friend in her sweet-hearted daughter). We had lost touch when our lives flowed down separate streams. Well, my life flowed. Hers was always more akin to whitewater rafting. But now, a confluence, an even keel. Our re-meeting was perfectly timed.
Lance finagled a few stories from her about our youth — old friends seem to be an endless repository of memories you’ve forgotten, or wished to forget — and it reminded him of his own boyhood summers. S’mores did not figure.
His family stayed in a cabin off the coast of New Hampshire, or Maine, [Note: in a cabin on an island in a lake in Maine. “Off the coast? There aren’t any frogs in the ocean, Sweetie.” Details, details.] and his father hunted frogs with a bb gun. But the frogs sank. Ever resourceful, his father then began to shoot the frogs with darts devised of bicycle spokes on a wire, which he pulled in.
Then he sat at the end of the dock and cut the legs from his bucketful of frogs for that night’s dinner.
Little Lance wouldn’t go near them.
He didn’t want to go near that dock, scene of the carnage, ever again either.
I guess it depends on where you stand in life whether you find this story horrifying or hilarious. It reminds me of “The Triplets of Belleville”, whose plot also features bicycles and frogs. In a word, hilarious.