Friday, December 12, 2014

Adventurous George (11)


The winter progressed. Rice was rationed to one cup a day and the berries to one small handful. George dragged some lumber out onto the bay and built a shelter over his fishing hole. As the ice reached a thickness of about two feet and it became more and more difficult to chop his hole open, George spent a week when the temperature warmed a bit just fishing. He went twice a day for a couple hours in the morning and a couple more hours towards evening and soon had a huge cache of frozen fish buried in a snow bank. The little perches were his favourite and fish eyes worked swell on his hook although often they would get nibbled off before he felt a little tug and he could reel one in.

As the snow cover had become deeper George had sawed and carved a pair of fine skis from some clear 2x6's. He stuck the ends in his tub of water for a couple days and wedging them under a plank nailed to his floor blocked the long ends up to give a nice curl to the fronts after they dried again. The harness took several tries, but he finally braided some poly rope and melted the ends together on his stove and just screwed a loop over each ski so he could just step in and out of them without taking off his mitts. He kept to the same trail and his rabbit snare run became a daily joy unless the wind was howling more than usual. He usually came back with at least one rabbit every few days and he and Mottles enjoyed the change from fish rice stew to rabbit rice stew with gusto.

The little green house didn't produce too well with the sun low on the horizon, but as winter wore on and the sun became higher his veggie garden took off and he soon had lettuce, radishes, green onions, and even baby carrots and spinach to keep him healthy, although Mottles wasn't overly impressed and viewed the whole affair as a mighty fine litter box to be dug and scratched in which didn't impress George all that much. So George built a box and filled it with dirt which was a chore in winter and the dirt had to be dried out first and then it had to be changed every week, but Mottles took to it like a pro and really got lazy about going outside unless it was a really, really warm day.

Throughout all this the mighty hornswoggle had kept guard on the door never once allowing a sneaky trickster spirit to enter, and George chuckled as he gave him his daily burnt offering still relying on that degree of history backed by tried and true methodology. The offering always disappeared when George was not looking and though he suspected Mottles may play a role in this he was never quite sure. And history books were rather vague on demise of burnt offerings. So George in honour of his beloved eidolon who had saved him from the cunning hairy beast, carved out many weeny hornswoggles, each with it's own peculiar mien, and in time had three walls with shelves three deep all lined with little hornswoggles and the place took on the look of quasi-sacred gift shop with offerings available for the needs of anyone's vexations.

And so it was with much amusement that Albert Two Shoes and Albert One Shoe and a fine assortment of friends and relatives arrived one fine day on a whole fleet of snow machines and filled his cabin with laughter and teasing and George made a whole canner full of hot tea which was sipped out of George's one cup and plates and bowls and everything else which would hold a few drops and they emptied the whole pot out in no time and wished George the best in his pricey resort and each left with a miniature hornswoggle as a parting gift. That visit made winter two months shorter. This human contact thing may be something he could cultivate in his future. George realized he may be a mite lonely.

(To be continued)
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