Saki

The shadow of a Great Horned Owl could be seen. It would hoot and another hoot would be heard. It was similar to a wife saying who, and a husband saying what.

A short, muscular old man, wearing a hard-hat, sat very near the fire; he was cleaning, and oiling a heavy old-fashioned chainsaw. Soon he was peeling off more clothes, due to the heat of the fire; his helmet came off to reveal a bald head on top with long tied grey hair. His large semi-tractor stood parked next to the tree line; it did not have a trailer and the name on the door could not be seen. He was no longer silent when his tools were clean and oiled.  He stopped David in his conversation, saying, “You’re the fellow that followed me; I drive a login’ truck now, was an ax man.” He looked at David and spat a chew of tobacco,” saying, “Names’s Jack Burns.”

David replied, “Not much left of that ridge just out-of-town.”

Jack answered, “Yeah, I saw you chasing your dog before the fog set in, how did you find your way back?”

David, “I followed an eagle.”

Jack, “They don’t have much to perch on anymore.”

David, “Yah, too bad.”

Jack, “Login’ and fishin’ is all we do here, or drink.” He brushed the sawdust off his pants and continued, “Then I fish, when the login’ stops, I take my truck out to my fishing shack and hole up.”

A middle-aged man in fishing gear was fiddling in a bag; then he found it, a bottle. Suddenly, he looked up, saying, “I come up here every year to fish, I also get here for the rodeo; it is hard to get around for that, no place to stay. I have to sleep in back of my truck; there are so many horses for the rodeo, the streets become plastered with horse ****.”

David laughed at that thought.

A tall nervous man sat on the biggest log, wearing jack boots, and a beat up leather flying jacket, finally spoke, “Well, good night.”

Everyone said some version of good night as he left.

The fire was burning out; the flames twinkled with the wind, the small circle of friends talked about tomorrow, an extended holiday. They did not have plans; they would get together,  and throw on some more wood. Collectively they shuffled to their rooms.

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