By Gregg Craig
(substituting for Carl King)
Having been greatly impressed with Thoreau's life as studied under Dr.
Howell, I recently undertook a field trip in which I resolved to imitate
that great philosopher—Thoreau, I mean—and observe nature. After much
debate I selected the College Pond for my place of study; not that I
intended to build a shack and live there for several years, of course,
but it Md seem to be the ideal location. Besides, it is almost the
only open country around here in which people have not planted corn,
tobacco, or their ancestors. However, the best laid plans oft go astray
an mine proved no exception. Therefore, I am writing this piece not
to relate my observations of Mother Nature but rather to tell how that
old woman nearly finished me off, and to warn away all other naturalists.
First, as I approached the tranquil pond, I was attacked by a swarm of
particularly undernourished mosquitoes which seemed to be out for blood.
aving my hunting knife in the air failed to discourage them, so I drew
my revolver and shot two of the monsters before the others would leave.
o doubt I should have quit after that episode, but dogged determina
tion (or just plain stupidity) kept me going.
Next, I sat down beside the pond to rest, when out of the water shot a
gigantic head on a long neck, making horrible sounds like Scottish bag
pipes. The creature glanced down at me and said: "Hello, there I Hope
didn't disturb you!" At that moment my hair had turned white and I
a shaken myself two feet into the ground, but I pretended that nothing
unusual had happened and asked whom I was addressing.
I'm called the Loch Ness Monster," it answered, "but not anymore. I
moved out of there because of the tourists, the reporters, the scien-
tiscs, etc. That place has really gone commercial! Do you think I'll
be all right here?"
"You'll have lots of privacy at Elon," I said. "Nobody's ever heard of
the place! Having been thus assured, he disappeared beneath the sur
face and remained there. I chose that same moment to make a hasty de
parture through the nearest field and stumbled onto a moonshine still
A gun-bearing old farmer suddenly approached me and asked, "You know
what this is, sonny?"
Duh duh a time machine?" I answered, hoping to fake him out.
"Hmmm...and I s'pose you don't know nuthin' about rev'noo agents, either."
"Oh no sir " I replied. "I don't know anything. I'm a studtrnL at Elon
College. Fortunately for me, this man was an alumnus of Elon and re
alized that I was harmless. VJithout asking any more questions, he let
As I made my way back from the pond, I felt reasonably safe after having
already gone through more in one day than a Green Beret recruit. But
my luck deserted me again: as I dragged myself up the stairs, I slipped
on a Sprite can, fell backward through the window, and was run over bv
a garbage truck. Thus I have taken up residence in the county hospital
where I won t have to face anything more harrowing than a medical bill.'