Working in the woods before the coming of all these expensive mechanical harvesters was quite dangerous. What made it a bit more challenging was when your brother (that would be me), worked the piece close to yours. One never knew what to expect from people like that.  But there were many dangerous events that you never told the family. If they knew how close we came to being severely injured, they would worry for sure. But then, there were some quite humorous stories.

There were some days it was just downright boring. This day in Parmachenee started out as one of those days. Everything was going as it should. You would cut a hitch and haul it out. Go back into the woods, cut another hitch and drag it out. This was just another of those days until I saw the rabbits.
I was in the process of cutting another hitch and I spied the mother and her little ones. If I had cut the trees, they would have landed on her nest. So, being one of those rare times I felt a little kindness, I went over to convince her to move for now. She left the nest and went deeper into the woods. But there were still two young ones left in the nest.  Again, with that ounce of kindness, I moved the little critters out of harm’s way. I went back to cut the rest of the hitch.  No sooner had I started my chain saw, and they were back in the nest again. Mother had taught them to stay and that is what they were doing. Ok, this next time I took them in a different direction and a bit further away. Again, they beat me back to their nest. Now, this did not fit in my plans for the day. I had to put these young fellas out of danger. So, I got the bright idea of putting them in the pickup truck. That way they would be out of the way until lunchtime. When I opened the truck door, I noticed my brother’s huge wicker picnic basket. Wow, what a nice place to put these two for the time being. This meant I had to be the first there for lunch though. I just had to see what happened when he reached for his lunch. Sure enough, lunch came, and I was there first, and sat calmly eating my lunch. Well, brother was not in a good mood when he arrived for lunch. He was having a bad day. Things just were not going good for him.  He sat down and reached into that big basket for a sandwich. When he did that, those two little furry buggers ran right up his sleeve. They were in a hurry and went right around his neck and down the other side. They just wanted to be out of there. It didn’t take brother long to be out of that truck using a lot of dad’s words. There I sat almost in tears from so much laughter. It took a lot of effort to explain why they were in that basket. It was indeed the safest place for them. After a while, he calmed down and we finished our lunch and went back to work.

Stephanie Dellavalle

Part two of the Bunny Saga

The day was ending, and we went back to the trailer. We shared this trailer with two other cutters. They were both related to us and so it was a nice gathering. We usually brought our own meals. We stayed only one night at a time in the trailer. It was nice to go out the next night to be with the family. As we sat there eating, the conversation came around about the two bunnies. One of the other cutters suggested we should have brought them back for pets. I explained this was not a good idea because they probably had fleas. A lot of wild animals that year were covered with fleas. If the trailer got infected with fleas, it would be difficult to get rid of them. The more we talked about fleas, cutter number three started squirming and complaining, he could almost feel them crawling all over him. He suggested we change the subject. Well now, not wanting to pass up a great chance for more fun, when he wasn’t looking, I tossed some cake crumbs down the front of his shirt. That was it, he went into such a squirming fit complaining he now had fleas. I suggested quite strongly he should go outside to take his clothes off.  We did not want those fleas in the camp. They would surely cause more problems. Now, this was indeed black fly season, and he went to strip his clothes off.  The flies just swarmed upon all that flesh. It looked like the fella was trying to take off flapping his arms so much.  When he came back in, I just had to tell him, it was only crumb cake fleas I threw down his shirt. This was the only way he would calm down.  I had a hard time to sleep that night. The thought of him out there flapping his arms caused me to chuckle even more.
Now, you may think I am a troublemaker, but no, I just tend to take advantage of silly situations.  A little bit of fun and laughter makes the world go round and offset those times we escaped serious injuries.  But you know, come to think of it, I was usually the one starting all this fun.      Ken White COB  mountain man

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