007 Old Trapper and The Perfect Walking Stick

Tales of the Old Trapper

18-01-2022 • 7 mins

This week’s Tale of the Old Trapper is titled "Old Trapper and The Perfect Walking Stick" by Shawn Henninger.

About Tales of the Old Trapper:

When I was a young boy maybe 5 6 or 7 My Grandfather would sit me down and tell me Tales of The Old Trapper.  The Old Trapper was a man who lived many years before my grandfather was even born.  The Old Trapper lived on the Land my grandfather had owned that we called the Old Place.

But, Before it was the Old Place it was called Home by the Old Trapper.  This land is where he went on many adventures.  Working with the woods for all the things he needed to food, clothing and shelter.  The Old Trapper was not one for lavish things as he only lived in a single room log cabin he built himself.  Through his adventures he learned many values that he passed on to the community and anyone who crossed his path through his journeys.

So join me as I re-tell the Tales of the Old Trapper just as my Grandfather told them when I was just a child.

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This Weeks Tale:

There are a few things in the Old Trapper's life that he just can not go without.  His Trusty fishing pole that he uses when he needs some time to think or some fish for dinner.  The Cast Iron skillet he uses to make most of his meals in.  And a Walking stick.  Now the Old Trapper had a reliable walking stick that he had used for years.  He always made sure to put it back in its proper place when finished walking.

On his last hike he noticed that the middle was beginning to feel weak.  As the old trapper investigated he felt his favorite walking Stick break in two and in the middle of the walking stick he saw a bunch of Termites eating away. The Old Trapper felt a rush of sadness as this walking stick had been with him on numerous mushroom hunts, hikes, and from time to time helped to stoke his bonfires.

The Old Trapper gave his walking stick a worthy farwell.  After removing all the termites he put the pieces in his fire and watched reminiscing on all the memories from the Walking Stick.  Now it’s always sad to lose something that you love, but with a walking stick this presented a great opportunity.  Now was the time for The Old Trapper to set out and find the Perfect Walking Stick.

As most of the Old Trappers tales began he woke up early in the morning and had a large breakfast.  He packed a Lunch and some water as finding the perfect Walking Stick would take more than just a few hours.  The Old Trapper Stepped outside the Cabin and headed into the Timber.

The trick with Finding the Perfect Walking Stick is that there are a lot of potential finds on the ground.  When walking you may find one that is the perfect length, but when you pick it up you find that it has sat on the timber floor for way too long and has rotted.  Or you’ll find the end of a walking stick you think would be perfect, but as you pick it up you discover it is much too short.  There’s always the problem when you try to adjust a walking stick that needs a few pieces cut off or some bark removed.  In the work put into making the perfect walking stick sometimes accidents happen and the perfect walking stick wasn’t perfect after all.

The Old Trapper on a number of occasions had accidently broken or messed up what he thought would be his perfect walking stick.  This could get very frustrating for the Old Trapper, but he always remembered that just because this wasn’t his perfect Walking Stick didn’t mean that the perfect walking stick didn’t exist, it just meant he had not found it yet.

The Old Trapper was hiking through the timber and found a lot of potential walking sticks, but none of them were perfect.  The Old Trapper felt as though all the sticks began to merge together as he was now having trouble telling a good walking stick from the perfect walking stick.  So the Old Trapper decieded that he was putting too much thought into his search so it was time for a break, which lucky for him it was Lunch Time.

The Old Trapper walked out of the Timber and found a nice spot in the middle of the field to sit and eat the lunch he had packed.  He had some Jerky, the homemade bread he had made the previous week, and an apple.

After finishing the last of his jerky and bread he took a few bites from his apple. Just then at the edge of the timber he spotted a fat Racoon.  Now the Old Trapper was full so he thought maybe the Racoon would like the rest of his apple.

The Old Trapper was one of if not the best animal caller in all the mid-west.  He could call in deer, squirrells, and sometimes even have a full conversation with Owls…Talking just like an owl.  So he called out to the raccoon and slowly but surely that Racoon walked up to where the Old Trapper Was sitting.

Holding out the Apple the Racoon sniffed and pawed at it for a moment, but the backed away.  The Old Trapper thought this was odd, but before The Old Trapper could react the Racoon grabbed his satchel and took off back toward the timber.  The Old Trapper was stunned and got to his feet as quickly as he could to run after the Old Trapper.

The Racoon dove down under a log and was sprinting fast through the brush. The Old Trapper had a tough time getting through all the brush and was getting caught up in sticker bushes and wacked in the face by limbs on the trees.

The Old Trapper jumped over a log but misjudged the height and fell flat on his face. He looked up and the Racoon was staring back at him with his head cocked. The Old Trapper in his best Racoon sound made it clear that he wanted his satchel back. The Racoon held out the satchel just out of reach from the Old Trapper as the Old Trapper lifted his hand to it the Racoon took off again deeper into the woods.

The Old Trapper had lost the Racoon and was now deep in the Timber. He began to walk towards the creek where he knew he could make his way back to the Cabin.  Following the sound of the running water the Old Trapper began to get very upset.  Not only had he not found the Perfect Walking Stick but he also lost his favorite satchel.

As he reached the edge of the creek he jumped down into the ankle deep water.  He slipped and fell but caught himself on a limb hanging from an old Oak tree. As he pulled himself up he was grateful for the luck from the Limb, but as he looked closer he noticed that the limb was the perfect length and was solid enough to hold him.  Could this be the Perfect Walking stick?

The Old Trapper began to saw the limb and before he knew it the limb was free.  He investigated each part of the stick and it satisfied all the credentials needed for the Perfect Walking stick.  He Trimmed off a few extra pieces and smoothed it as best he could. Now was the true test.  He would use his new walking stick to get back to his cabin.

Being in the creek was a challenge with the slick rocks and mud, but the Walking stick held up and he made it all the way back to his cabin. Now he had lost his favorite satchel, but this was indeed a perfect Walking Stick.  As he walked to the door he looked up and hanging from the door was something in a million summers he’d never guess. It was his satchel.  The Old Trapper looked all over and saw just at the edge of the Timer the Same Racoon looking his way. Now the Old Trapper’s Racoon isnt’ the best but before the Racoon went in to the timber he swore he heard it say “Now That’s the Perfect Walking Stick”

The End