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Adventures in Arkansas

Short story By: LizanneStewart

Some unusual guests visit us while camping years ago.

Submitted:Apr 27, 2011    Reads: 34    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

When I was a young girl, my family went camping in Arkansas. That year, we had some un-invited guests come visiting. One could perform an interesting trick. And the other was...well...unwelcome.
The first came one night, right after we were finished eating. My mom had been hanging out clothes. When she turned around, she saw this guest reaching over the edge of the table to get some leftover fried chicken, which we had not put up yet. She noticed the guest wearing a striped suit, black gloves, and a mask, to cover his two beady black eyes. The fried-chicken-stealing guest...was a Raccoon. He had only thought he was being just so sneaky. But the clink-clink of the chicken hitting the plate as he tried to rake it off, without being seen, gave him away. He seemed undisturbed as we sat watching him. When he had his helping of fried chicken, he went down the slope, toward the small river.
The next night, my family and I were talking around the picnic table, when we saw the un-welcome guest lurking in the shadows in the edge of the trees scattered around our campsite. Some friends had camped in the same spot, and warned us that they had seen this guest and he might be back.
We could see the guest come into view, waddling toward us, that he was mostly dressed in black, had white hair sticking up on his head, and that he also had beady black eyes. As this un-welcome guest came toward us, my mom and I calmly scrambled to get on top of the picnic table. We didn't want to smell like our guest, seeing as he was a Skunk! He didn't seem to notice us sitting so near as he leisurely waddled under the table. I was concerned about my dad and brother; they weren't able to get on top of the table. So, they had to sit there as still as they could possibly be. But the Skunk went on his way, through the trees on the other side of the campsite.
However, he wasn't quite finished with his sightseeing at our campsite. The next night...he was back. And we had already gone to bed. As it were, this happened to be my night to sleep by the door. When I saw our lovely guest, I wasn't exactly the happiest kid on earth. As my family was fast asleep, I meanwhile was wide awake watching as he meandered through our campsite, right by our tent door. With the flaps open on this hot summer night, and only the screen separating me from him, I sat there watching, praying that he did not get spooked in any way, form or fashion and spray. I took a deep breath, as I watched my prayers being answered. Only his fluffy tail was visible as I watched him go back into the shadows...where, in my mind he belonged.


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