Skip to comments.Sundown At Coffin Rock
Posted on 10/20/2002 10:22:31 PM PDT by Bella_Bru
This article was originally posted to the Internet by "Anonymous".
This story originally appeared in "The Blue Press" (a catalog/magazine put out by Dillon Precision Products, Inc., 7442 Butherus Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, phone 602-948-8009.) The editor, Mark Pixler, was kind enough to allow distribution on the Internet.
This story may be reprinted as long as due credit is given to the author and publisher.
Sundown at Coffin Rock
by Raymond K. Paden
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The old man walked slowly through the dry, fallen leaves of autumn, his practiced eye automatically choosing the bare and stony places in the trail for his feet. There was scarcely a sound as he passed, though his left knee was stiff with scar tissue. He grunted occasionally as the tight sinews pulled. Damn chainsaw, he thought. Behind him, the boy shuffled along, trying to imitate his grandfather, but unable to mimic the silent motion that the old man had learned during countless winter days upon this wooded mountain in pursuit of game. He's fifteen years old, the old man thought. Plenty old enough to be learning. But that was another time, another America. His mind drifted, and he saw himself, a fifteen-year-old boy following in the footsteps of his own grandfather, clutching a twelve gauge in his trembling hands as they tracked a wounded whitetail.
The leg was hurting worse now, and he slowed his pace a bit. Plenty of time. It should have been my own son here with me now, the old man thought sadly. But Jason had no interest, no understanding. He cared for nothing but pounding on the keys of that damned computer terminal. He knew nothing about the woods, or where food came from...or freedom. And that's my fault, isn't it?
The old man stopped and held up his hand, motioning for the boy to look. In the small clearing ahead, the deer stood motionless, watching them. It was a scraggly buck, underfed and sickly, but the boy's eyes lit up with excitement. It had been many years since they had seen even a single whitetail here on the mountain. After the hunting had stopped, the population had exploded. The deer had eaten the mountain almost bare until erosion had become a serious problem in some places. That following winter, three starving does had wandered into the old man's yard, trying to eat the bark off of his pecan trees, and he had wished the "animal rights" fanatics could have been there then. It was against the law, but old man knew a higher law, and he took an axe into the yard and killed the starving beasts. They did not have the strength to run.
The buck finally turned and loped away, and they continued down the trail to the river. When they came to the "Big Oak," the old man turned and pushed through the heavy brush beside the trail and the boy followed, wordlessly. The old man knew that Thomas was curious about their leaving the trail, but the boy had learned to move silently (well, almost) and that meant no talking. When they came to "Coffin Rock," the old man sat down upon it and motioned for the boy to join him.
"You see this rock, shaped like a casket?" the old man asked. "Yes sir." The old man smiled. The boy was respectful and polite. He loved the outdoors, too. Everything a man could ask in a grandson ....or a son.
"I want you to remember this place, and what I'm about to tell you. A lot of it isn't going to make any sense to you, but it's important and one day you'll understand it well enough. The old man paused. Now that he was here, he didn't really know where to start.
"Before you were born," he began at last, "this country was different. I've told you about hunting, about how everybody who obeyed the law could own guns. A man could speak out, anywhere, without worrying about whether he'd get back home or not. School was different, too. A man could send his kids to a church school, or a private school, or even teach them at home. But even in the public schools, they didn't spend all their time trying to brainwash you like they do at yours now." The old man paused, and was silent for many minutes. The boy was still, watching a chipmunk scavenging beside a fallen tree below them.
"Things don't ever happen all at once, boy. They just sort of sneak up on you. Sure, we knew guns were important; we just didn't think it would ever happen in America. But we had to do something about crime, they said. It was a crisis. Everything was a crisis! It was a drug crisis, or a terrorism crisis, or street crime, or gang crime. Even a 'health care' crisis was an excuse to take away a little more of our rights." The old man turned to look at his grandson.
"They ever let you read a thing called the Constitution down there at your school?" The boy solemnly shook his head. "Well, the Fourth Amendment's still in there. It says there won't be any unreasonable searches and seizures. It says you're safe in your own home." The old man shrugged. "That had to go. It was a crisis! They could kick your door open any time, day or night, and come in with guns blazing if they thought you had drugs ...or later, guns. Oh, at first it was just registration -- to keep the guns out of the hands of criminals! But that didn't work, of course, and then later when they wanted to take 'em they knew where to look. They banned 'assault rifles', and then 'sniper rifles', and 'Saturday night specials.' Everything you saw on the TV or in the movies was against us. God knows the news people were! And the schools were teaching our kids that nobody needed guns anymore. We tried to take a stand, but we felt like the whole face of our country had changed and we were left outside."
"Me and a friend of mine, when we saw what was happening, we came and built a secret place up here on the mountain. A place where we could put our guns until we needed them. We figured some day Americans would remember what it was like to be free, and what kind of price we had to pay for that freedom. So we hid our guns instead of losing them."
"One fellow I knew disagreed. He said we ought to use our guns now and stand up to the government. Said that the colonists had fought for their freedom when the British tried to disarm them at Lexington and Concord. Well, he and a lot of others died in what your history books call the 'Tax Revolt of 1998,' but son, it wasn't the revolt that caused the repeal of the Second Amendment like your history book says. The Second Amendment was already gone long before they ever repealed it. The rest of us thought we were doing the right thing by waiting. I hope to God we were right."
"You see, Thomas. It isn't government that makes a man free. In the end, governments always do just the opposite. They gobble up freedom like hungry pigs. You have to have laws to keep the worst in men under control, but at the same time the people have to have guns, too, in order to keep the government itself under control. In our country, the people were supposed to be the final authority of the law, but that was a long time ago. Once the guns were gone, there was no reason for those who run the government to give a damn about laws and constitutional rights and such. They just did what they pleased and anyone who spoke out...well, I'm getting ahead of myself."
"It took a long time to collect up all the millions of firearms that were in private hands. The government created a whole new agency to see to it. There were rewards for turning your friends in, too. Drug dealers and murderers were set free after two or three years in prison, but possession of a gun would get you mandatory life behind bars with no parole.
"I don't know how they found out about me, probably knew I'd been a hunter all those years, or maybe somebody turned me in. They picked me up on suspicion and took me down to the federal building."
"Son, those guys did everything they could think of to me. Kept me locked up in this little room for hours, no food, no water. They kept coming in, asking me where the guns were. 'What guns?' I said. Whenever I'd doze off, they'd come crashing in, yelling and hollering. I got to where I didn't know which end was up. I'd say I wanted my lawyer and they'd laugh. 'Lawyers are for criminals', they said. 'You'll get a lawyer after we get the guns.' What's so funny is, I know they thought they were doing the right thing. They were fighting crime!"
"When I got home I found Ruth sitting in the middle of the living room floor, crying her eyes out. The house was a shambles. While I was down there, they'd come out and took our house apart. Didn't need a search warrant, they said. National emergency! Gun crisis! Your grandma tried to call our preacher and they ripped the phone off the wall. Told her that they'd go easy on me if she just told them where I kept my guns." The old man laughed. "She told them to go to hell." He stared into the distance for a moment as his laughter faded.
"They wouldn't tell her about me, where I was or anything, that whole time. She said that she'd thought I was dead. She never got over that day, and she died the next December."
"They've been watching me ever since, off and on. I guess there's not much for them to do anymore, now that all the guns are gone. Plenty of time to watch one foolish old man." He paused. Beside him, the boy stared at the stone beneath his feet.
"Anyway, I figure that, one day, America will come to her senses. Our men will need those guns and they'll be ready. We cleaned them and sealed them up good; they'll last for years. Maybe it won't be in your lifetime, Thomas. Maybe one day you'll be sitting here with your son or grandson. Tell him about me, boy. Tell him about the way I said America used to be." The old man stood, his bad leg shaking unsteadily beneath him.
"You see the way this stone points? You follow that line one hundred feet down the hill and you'll find a big round rock. It looks like it's buried solid, but one man with a good prybar can lift it, and there's a concrete tunnel right under there that goes back into the hill."
The old man stood, watching as the sun eased toward the ridge, coloring the sky and the world red. Below them, the river still splashed among the stones, as it had for a million years. It's still going, the old man thought. There'll be someone left to carry on for me when I'm gone. It was harder to walk back. He felt old and purposeless now, and it would be easier, he knew, to give in to that aching heaviness in his left lung that had begun to trouble him more and more. Damn cigarettes, he thought. His leg hurt, and the boy silently came up beside him and supported him as they started down the last mile toward the house. How quiet he walks, the old man thought. He's learned well.
It was almost dark when the boy walked in. His father looked up from his paper. "Did you and your granddad have a nice walk?"
"Yes," the boy answered, opening the refrigerator. "You can call Agent Goodwin tomorrow. Gramps finally showed me where it is."
Editor's note: "Sundown at Coffin Rock" is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual events or to actual people, living or dead, remains to be seen. - Mark Pixler, Editor
(The Wild and Free Pigs of the Okefenokee Swamp)
Some years ago, about 1900, an old trapper from North Dakota hitched up some horses to his Studebaker wagon, packed a few possessions -- especially his traps -- and drove south. Several weeks later he stopped in a small town just north of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.
It was a Saturday morning -- a lazy day -- when he walked into the general store. Sitting around the pot-bellied stove were seven or eight of the town's local citizens.
The traveler spoke. "Gentlemen, could you direct me to the Okefenokee Swamp?"
Some of the oldtimers looked at him like he was crazy. "You must be a stranger in these parts," they said.
"I am. I'm from North Dakota," said the stranger.
"In the Okefenokee Swamp are thousands of wild hogs." one old man explained. "A man who goes into the swamp by himself asks to die!" He lifted up his leg. "I lost half my leg here, to the pigs of the swamp."
Another old fellow said, "Look at the cuts on me; look at my arm bit off!
Those pigs have been free since the Revolution, eating snakes and rooting out roots and fending for themselves for over a hundred years. They're wild and they're dangerous. You can't trap them. No man dare go into the swamp by himself." Every man nodded his head in agreement.
The old trapper said, "Thank you so much for the warning. Now could you direct me to the swamp?"
They said, "Well, yeah, it's due south -- straight down the road." But they begged the stranger not to go, because they knew he'd meet a terrible fate.
He said, "Sell me ten sacks of corn, and help me load it in the wagon." And they did. Then the old trapper bid them farewell and drove on down the road. The townsfolk thought they'd never see him again. Two weeks later the man came back. He pulled up to the general store, got down off the wagon, walked in and bought ten more sacks of corn. After loading it up he went back down the road toward the swamp.
Two weeks later he returned and again bought ten sacks of corn. This went on for a month. And then two months, and three. Every week or two the old trapper would come into town on a Saturday morning, load up ten sacks of corn, and drive off south into the swamp.
The stranger soon became a legend in the little village and the subject of much speculation. People wondered what kind of devil had possessed this man, that he could go into the Okefenokee by himself and not be consumed by the wild and free hogs.
One morning the man came into town as usual. Everyone thought he wanted more corn. He got off the wagon and went into the store where the usual group of men were gathered around the stove. He took off his gloves.
"Gentlemen," he said, "I need to hire about ten or fifteen wagons. I need twenty or thirty men. I have six thousand hogs out in the swamp, penned up, and they're all hungry. I've got to get them to market right away."
"You've WHAT in the swamp?" asked the storekeeper, incredulously.
"I have six thousand hogs penned up. They haven't eaten for two or three days, and they'll starve if I don't get back there to feed and take care of t hem."
One of the oldtimers said, "You mean you've captured the wild hogs of the Okefenokee?"
"How did you do that? What did you do?" the men urged, breathlessly.
One of them exclaimed, "But I lost my arm!"
"I lost my brother!" cried another.
"I lost my leg to those wild boars!" chimed a third.
The trapper said, "Well, the first week I went in there they were wild all right. They hid in the undergrowth and wouldn't come out. I dared not get off the wagon. So I spread corn along behind the wagon. Every day I'd spread a sack of corn. The old pigs would have nothing to do with it."
"But the younger pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn than it was to root out roots and catch snakes. So the very young began to eat the corn first. I did this every day. Pretty soon, even the old pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn. After all, they were all free; they were not penned up. They could run off in any direction they wanted at any time."
"The next thing was to get them used to eating in the same place all the time. So I selected a clearing, and I started putting the corn in the clearing. At first they wouldn't come to the clearing. It was too far. It was too open. It was a nuisance to them."
"But the very young decided that it was easier to take the corn in the clearing than it was to root out roots and catch their own snakes. And not long thereafter, the older pigs also decided that it was easier to come to the clearing every day."
"And so the pigs learned to come to the clearing every day to get their free corn. They could still subsidize their diet with roots and snakes and whatever else they wanted. After all, they were all free. They could run in any direction at any time. There were no bounds upon them."
"The next step was to get them used to fence posts. So I put fence posts all the way around the clearing. I put them in the underbrush so that they wouldn't get suspicious or upset. After all, they were just sticks sticking up out of the ground, like the trees and the brush. The corn was there every day. It was easy to walk in between the posts, get the corn, and walk back out."
"This went on for a week or two. Shortly they became very used to walking into the clearing, getting the free corn, and walking back out through the fence posts."
"The next step was to put one rail down at the bottom. I also left a few openings, so that the older, fatter pigs could walk through the openings and the younger pigs could easily jump over just one rail. After all, it was no real threat to their freedom or independence. They could always jump over the rail and flee in any direction at any time."
"Now I decided that I wouldn't feed them every day. I began to feed them every other day. On the days I didn't feed them the pigs still gathered in the clearing. They squealed, and they grunted, and they begged and pleaded with me to feed them. But I only fed them every other day. And I put a second rail around the posts."
"Now the pigs became more and more desperate for food. Because now they were no longer used to going out and digging their own roots and finding their own food. They now needed me. They needed my corn every other day. So I trained them that I would feed them every day if they came in through a gate. And I put up a third rail around the fence. But it was still no great threat to their freedom, because there were several gates and they could run in and out at will."
"Finally I put up the fourth rail. Then I closed all the gates but one, and I fed them very, very well. Yesterday I closed the last gate. And today I need you to help me take these pigs to market."
-- end of story --
The price of free corn The allegory of the pigs has a serious moral lesson. This story is about federal money being used to bait, trap and enslave a once free and independent people.
Federal welfare, in its myriad forms, has reduced not only individuals to A state of dependency. State and local governments are also on the fast Track to elimination, due to their functions being subverted by the command and control structures of federal "revenue sharing" programs. Please copy this flyer and send it to all your state and local elected leaders and other concerned citizens. Tell them: "Just say NO to federal corn."
The bacon you save may be your own.
Fredericksburg, VA -----------------------
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