NOTE: This entry should be read after Part 2 of the #CampSeries, A Trip to the Outhouse.
We went up to camp again today. It was boring until our cousins got there. I played in the field with Carl, Jenny and Alex. Carl wanted to talk about the Boogie Man again. He wanted to know if we’d seen it or not.
“No,” we all said at once. Then I asked, “Have you?”
“How do you know he is real, then?” I’d been wondering this since we saw each other last week. It kept me up all night after we got home.
“Because Aunt Carol told me about him. We can trust her. She ain’t an adult yet.”
Grampy was coming toward us on the big green tractor. “Do you all want to come for a ride?” he asked.
“Yeah!” We all climbed excitedly onto the tractor. Carl and Alex sat on the metal over the tires. Jenny and I each stood on one side of Grampy. The tractor went slow, but it was so much fun! We didn’t get to do this often, so we knew to enjoy it.
“So, what were you kids talking about? You looked so serious when I was driving out to you.”
“Grampy,” Jenny said. “Do you know the Boogie Man?”
Grampy didn’t say anything for a minute, and the air around us suddenly seemed somehow different than normal. “No, I do not.” Another pause as he shifted the tractor gears. “Why do you want to know?”
“He sounds scary.” Jenny looked down at her feet, then looked back up at him. “Is he real?”
“Well, that all depends on who you ask. I don’t believe in him. But I recall your father, aunts, and uncles believed in him when they were young. Don’t forget, they are all still here. No Boogie Man ever got them. Let’s not talk about him any more, okay?” We agreed. It was too scary.
It was so much fun riding high up on that tractor. We could see more of the big field, even the huge hole in the ground. I’d never been so far out. The camp, and all of our family in front of it, looked so tiny from where we were.
Grampy stopped the tractor at the long rock wall and we all got down. “I want to show you kids something. You are all big enough to explore the area for yourselves now, as long as you tell us where you are going, and always remember to wear orange so that hunters can see you. Look over here,” he said, climbing down from the tractor and heading over to the rock wall.
“What is it, Grampy?” I asked.
“Ooh!” Jenny said happily, as we followed our grandfather. “Grapes.”
“Oh,” I said. “I love grapes!”
We all sat there for a while, eating the juicy fruit straight from the vines. Then Grampy began talking to us again. “Just remember not to go too far into the woods on this side. Now, if you go down on the other side,” he said, pointing to the corner at the other end of the field. “You will find a path that goes down to a creek. You can all go in the creek, but must never go in unless one of your older cousins or an adult is with you.”
Back at camp, Aunties’ boyfriend taught us a new song:
monkey pee all over you!
It was so funny that we were all laughing. Even the little kids.
Auntie gave us all paper and pencils so we could draw her boyfriend some pictures, because we liked him so much. I drew him pictures of hula girls. He liked them.
Then we went way across the field into the woods with the men. There sure are a lot of woods out there. Grampy and Dad and the uncles had to cut wood. The chain saws were very loud, but dad said we would need the wood to heat the camp during hunting season.
I don’t know why but, when we got back to camp, Dad was so mad! He must have been mad about Uncle Ben because they got into a fight. They were hitting each other and everything. I was so scared I cried! Mom held me and I put my head on her shoulder. “Why are they hurting each other?” I asked. “Because Uncle Ben did something very wrong,” Mom answered.
Why doesn’t someone hurt Dad for the bad things he does? Maybe he is the Boogie Man.
NOTE: Now is the time to read the next story in the #CampsSeries, Auntie’s Boyfriend.
Shannon L. Buck