Knife Lake Two Step
The evening progressed after a fine dinner of lake trout and walleye. The dishes were washed, hung to dry in a lingerie bag on a Norway Pine branch. Firewood gathered, bourbon poured, time to relax around the evening fire. Something we look forward to each night; sitting around the fire, chatting, drinking bourbon and smoking cigars. Usually a snack of some sort is involved. This night was no different, except for a treat of peanuts in the shell. And a “floor show”.
The sun was sinking fast as the bag of shelled peanuts dwindled. Our empty peanut shells were erratically tossed into the fire. Most of the shells made it into the fire. Many littered the ground around the fire grate. The orange glow from the campfire took over as our main source of light as we sat on log benches. Each of us was cast in the warm tones from the fire. Stars popped out from the heavens through the canopy of pines. A loon sang nearby. An answering call sounded from across the lake.
Our conversations dwindled as the night grew long and the bourbon in our tin cups emptied. We sat in silence for a few moments enjoying the crackle of the fire. The lake lazily lapped on the rocky shoreline. I pointed out a satellite crossing the night sky on its endless orbit across the zenith. I began to feel the sleepy affects from the bourbon and cigar, fighting the urge to fall asleep.
Without warning our floor show was about to begin. Bob jumped up in a torrent of “Yee, haw hoowie!” Our serenity was shattered. Up he jumped hopping on one foot then the other. He began slapping his lap. I looked at the faces of Ron and Pop in the dim light of the fire. We looked at each other in utter bewilderment, not quite comprehending what was taking place in front of us. Bob danced, darted and jumped around the campfire whooping and hollering.
As suddenly as Bob’s two – step routine started, it stopped. Moments passed as the three of us tried to comprehend the origin of this impromptu display. Perplexed, Pop asked Bob what was the matter. Bob, still shuddering, half giggling, explained the situation. He felt something. He felt something furry on his leg. He felt this furry thing scramble further up his leg reaching his swim suit area. As he jumped up, the furry thing crossed his nether region and scooted down his other pant leg. A mouse! In unison, the three of us clicked on our flashlights illuminating the ground surrounding the campfire. Four of those little buggers were scurrying about with the peanut shells we haphazardly threw toward the fire.