Day of the Fire 

Monday, September 12, 2005

Mid-afternoon I ran down the stairs and out the door and something stank as I opened the front door.

Damn sawmill, I thought.

The smoke felt like a medium-weight coat of barbecue-puff. My eyes became and still are red and sore.

I looked up toward my home on the mountain - I live a lonely mountain hermit existence in the woods - and my mountain wore a furry grey cap of smoke.

I went back inside and decided to work another hour and a half of unpaid overtime. Page layout for the bimonthly newsletter is a pleasure I wouldn't pass up - not when I can decorate the pages with clipart bats and eyeballs. Yet, the room filled with the outdoor smell and I wondered if it was not the Museum itself that was on fire.

Then, beside me-


Something was in the wall, just beyond me in the attic.

A ghost!

No, no, I said to myself, it must be a crow.

I said goodbye to my unfinished page layout (still needs one or two more elegantly fluttering bats) and ran out for good.

Outside I walked around the Museum to make sure it wasn't on fire. On the roof there was a crow.

On my way home I remembered that Burns Bog, just less than twenty kilometres from me, was burning. I could probably go to higher up parts to see it burning but my own inner turmoil ordered me instead to do the laundry. I left it up to others to witness the spectacle.

My hardly altruistic act tonight is to encourage you to explore the Burns Bog Conservation Society's gift catalogue. The Family Favorites & Wild Gourmet Cookbook has a recipe for cooking skunk. I won't say much more. I feel the daggers of hate surging towards me from the spectres of the forgotten skunks of Burns Bog.

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