The Day I Almost Died.

Jeff Scurlock —  February 16, 2013 — Leave a comment

As the sun began to set and the temperature began to drop  somehow I felt like  darkness would finally bring some peace and much needed rest.  I pulled my coat around my neck to try and make myself warmer.  My makeshift shelter had just enough room for me to squeeze in. I leaned against the tree. So tired! tired from the stress of the gunfight from earlier in the day.

It was do or die.  I’m not a violent man but back me up against a wall and I’m coming out, gun’s blazing.  The man who was trying to kill me proved to be no threat and no contest for my gun..  With adrenalin pumping my draw was faster than ever. Faster than his.

Now the intenseness of that moment is gone and my eyes are heavy. I pull my hat down over my eyes and wrap my jacket even closer to my body.  I need to get some shut-eye. I need to be on the move at first light.

Suddenly I could hear the beat of their drums echoing through the valley.  It was so spooky. Chills from the cold and the sound of the drums covered my neck. It was the drums of the Blackfeet Indians, the most furious of all of the Indian tribes. What did the drums mean? Were they making the sound of celebration, or could it be music for a war dance? I had faced death once already was I about to face it again? I didn’t know. I didn’t know that I was so close to one of their encampments. Earlier in the week my friend Daniel Boone warned me to watch out for them.

In spite of the sounds my eyes are getting heavier. Surely I will be safe at night. I purposely didn’t build a campfire. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself.  At first light I’ll move toward the east. Farther away from the trouble I had been in earlier and farther away from the sound of the drums.

I’ll go to sleep now. Wait! The drums have stopped.  The only sound is the trickling water in a nearby branch.  That sound after dark is a lullaby.  As my eyes get even heavier I begin to hear the chirps of crickets and the bellowing of bullfrogs. Its a definite sound that the sun has gone down.

As I drift even deeper into sleep I hear another sound. It’s from far away. “Supper’s ready, come home!” I waited, keeping quite. Was it a trap set by the Blackfeet?  Again I heard it. “Jeffrey! Come home, suppers ready!” How did they know my name? Surely it was some kind of a trap.

Again it came. Come home! Now the voice behind the sound is familiar.   It was a bitter-sweet sound. Bitter because I knew my adventure had come to an end. Sweet because it was the sound of my mamma and I knew there was some good grub waiting for this  this weary pioneer.

Crawling out of my make shift fort I began to make way from the woods to the dirt road that would lead me home. Still watching out for the Blackfeet I would make out a light in the distance. What was it? A campfire? The torch of a search party maybe? No, wait. It’s getting clearer. It’s the back porch light and there standing on the steps to the back porch is  my mama calling me to supper.

“Go wash your hands for supper.” She said. When I sat at the table I dug in. Fried chicken, peas, butter beans and mashed potatoes with gravy, um good.  The funny thing, it fit right into my story as a country lodge I happened upon while fleeing the Blackfeet Indians.

Once upon a time we played outside.

Jeff Scurlock


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