To: frog report
From:Zelda Queen of the Night<email@example.com>
Subject: Arkansas Travelers
Sunday June 14,1998
Well, one week since we left and I've been really bad about keeping this up.
Last night I didn't sleep all that well. We are staying at Village Creek State Park in Arkansas about 40 miles west of Memphis. This is a pretty nice state park. However across the way, (the sites are arranged in a circular thing ) there is a trailer with two yappy little dogs in it. Their owners apparently work at a carnival that's in town and are never there. These dogs bark constantly at everything and they did it all night long. Then about three or so I heard this funny rustling and some sneezing. I thought it was the neighbor's dog cruising around. Then I became aware of something at the entrance to the tent, something darker than the surrounding darkness, something that moved. It was smallish, about a foot high and swayed back and forth. All I could think of was that it was one of those puff adders the ranger told us about (for they had a very interesting snake presentation at the visitors center right when we arrived) and although she had told us they were non-poisonous I didn't want it in the tent with us. I scrabbled for the lantern and turned it on after some panic-stricken fumbling. It was a small weasel like creature and it wanted to come in. I yelled.
" Git!" (You can tell I've already been in the South too long) "Git!" I yelled again.But it didn't. It wanted in and clawed at the screen with its paws. I thought it must be rabid, it didn't seem scared at all. I hit at it with the lantern, still yelling. Chris was now awake of course. Finally it left. I was shaking from head to foot and covered with sweat, it was around 90. I was terrified and so was Chris.
This morning I went over to apologize to the neighbors for waking them up, because I had heard them talking in their tent after the weasel had left. There was my rabid weasel sipping a saucer of Coca-Cola on the picnic table. It turned out to be their pet ferret, Felix, who had escaped during the night and apparently mistaken our tent for theirs as it came home again. These people also have with them a dog, a pet dove in a cage which hangs from a tree, a kitten named Q-tip, and a boy of about six. Another man is traveling with them, he has a boy of nine . This boy does not speak, he does make noises, "Ah" for cat and so on. There's certainly nothing wrong with his brain, he makes himself understood perfectly well. He and Chris have really hit it off. They found a wonderful skeleton in the creek, I think it must be from a small lynx, or bobcat.
This is what these people have for vehicles. One Ford pick-up with board sides stuffed with what may be household furnishings or may be just yard sale items. The load includes several tires and some very ancient and rusty bedsprings so it's hard to tell. Then they have a very decrepit looking van which tows an even more decrepit car. She drives the Olds Delta 88 with the front bumper rusted off. She is small and blonde in a tricky little sundress and he wears cutoffs and a camo cowboy hat, nothing else at least nothing else so far. They are all from Georgia and on their way to Texas to find work, the guys are steelworkers, the kind that walk around on narrow beams hundreds of feet up. I didn't ask if their last name was Joad, it might as well have been, when we left them they were installing a new drive shaft in the truck.
Zelda and Chris