Many years ago Stevie and Randy had a close encounter of the Bigfoot kind. That's right, an encounter close enough to smell.
I've often wondered who outsmarted whom that night. Was it Tommy in the gorilla suit? Or was it Randy, who put Tommy up to the trick? Or was it Stevie, the only one who didn't get sprayed by the Skunk Ape—and the one who proved to his own satisfaction that Bigfoot really does exist.
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The Night I Almost Saw Bigfoot
Most kids in my class believed in ghosts, but only one believed in Bigfoot. I never could figure that out. I’ve never seen any evidence for ghosts, but I’ve seen actual evidence for Bigfoot. Well, maybe not seen, but smelled.
Yep, I was the only kid who believed in Bigfoot. When I brought up the subject of Bigfoot at recess one day, Randy laughed. “You must be crazy! Bigfoot is just an old made-up legend!”
“A legend, huh?” I knew the only way to win an argument with a smarter kid was to bury him in facts. “Do you even know what a legend is? Just because something’s a legend doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Ever hear of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow? The headless horseman and all? There’s an official book about it. Babe Ruth was a legend, and he was real. And what about Tarzan? He has a TV show. Pretty soon he’ll probably meet a Bigfoot swingin’ on a vine in his jungle. Bigfoots live all over the world. People have seen ’em in Pennsylvania too—right here in Rust County!”
“Besides, the Indians believed in Bigfoot, and you keep telling me how smart the Indians were about nature. You see, Randy, there’s plenty to read about Bigfoot and if you’d read more, you’d know more!” Randy read a lot, but I knew he hadn’t read everything. And even if I hadn’t read something, I could shut him right up by claiming I did.
On Friday night Randy and I planned to camp out in the old rusty school bus parked in the woods behind our house. We’d usually get in the camping mood by watching “The Twilight Zone” on TV before leaving the house. That night we watched my favorite episode, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” It’s the one about the Bigfoot riding on the wing of an airplane. He looked through the window and scared a passenger who was on his way home from a mental hospital.
After the Twilight Zone was over, we grabbed some snacks and headed for the old bus. Randy said, “What should we do if we see Bigfoot?”
I started thinking the TV show must have convinced Randy. “As a matter of fact,” I said, “I do expect we’ll see one tonight. I’ll bet there’s one living in the big swamp down in the valley. The ones living in swamps are called Skunk Apes. Maybe we can get him to roam up our way. I read you can call in a Bigfoot by whooping real loud and knocking on trees with big sticks. Gimme a minute to get my Louieville Slugger.”
After we put our stuff in the bus, we whooped and knocked on trees. Nothing happened except we got tired and hungry, so we settled into our sleeping bags and started eating our snacks. That’s when rocks started hitting the school bus. I looked through one of the windows and saw a big creature about 20 feet away. I tried to shine my flashlight through the window, but the glass was so dirty all the light reflected back at me. Then a rock smashed through the window beside me. “It’s that Bigfoot Skunk Ape I told you about!” I yelled.
Randy had a reputation for bravery he had to keep up, so he said, “That’s no Bigfoot! I’ll prove it!” He ran out the door of the school bus. The Bigfoot turned to run, but Randy was quick. He grabbed the monster’s head and off came the mask. “Ha-ha! It’s just Tommy in a gorilla suit!”
Randy was right, and Tommy started laughing. I was still in the bus guarding it in case Bigfoot got aggressive and tried to get inside. I recognized that laugh ’cause Tommy was always laughing at everyone. I felt like a fool, but then I smelled it and realized something they didn’t.
Bigfoot was smart enough to avoid our flashlights so nobody actually saw him, but when he saw Tommy’s face he figured out the guy in the gorilla suit wasn’t a real Bigfoot. That’s when he sprayed both Tommy and Randy with his nasty Skunk Ape scent! They started coughing and choking and their eyes were watering.
The joke turned out to be on Randy and Tommy, but I didn’t laugh because Tommy beats up kids who laugh at him. They had made a plan, but they didn’t take into account a real Bigfoot showing up right when Randy ripped Tommy’s mask off. And that Bigfoot stunk as bad as the skunk that lived under our school bus.
When “The Everyday Hunter” isn’t hunting, he’s thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting. If you want to tell Steve exactly where your favorite hunting spot is, contact him through his website, www.EverydayHunter.com.