Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN (04/13/17)
- TITLE: Sydney Keith Dean - Barbecue Legend
By Noel Mitaxa
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
And all the wilder with the telling. And retelling. For his stories were his claim to fame.
No walk on the mild side for Sydney, or “SK,” as he liked to be called - at first.
Not when the wild outdoors beckoned. He could hold men and boys spellbound with fireside tales of his exploits. Of living miles and months away from any creature comforts; following mountain trails through thick forests where bracken undergrowth gave way to moss-enclosed rocks and mud, as trickles took their own time to evolve into gurgling steams which paused for breath in wide lagoons.
Here his hearers could almost sit silently with him, waiting for timid deer – ears and nostrils twitching to sense any approaching, yet-unseen predators – to tiptoe to the water’s edge to drink. Ready at any time to hurtle back into the safety of the woods if any unpredictable bears padded up a little too close for comfort.
His audience could imagine themselves trekking on with him, leaving the lagoons behind and catching the thrill as the stream gathered momentum; becoming a raging torrent that was throwing itself towards – and then over – a huge cliff. They could almost feel the spray as the wind caught it and infused the air with fine, never-ending mist that could trap a rainbow below them if the sun was shining from the right angle. All while gravity sucked it to its crashing, deafening impact on the rocks beneath. Rocks that had one time tried to defy its power while they still belonged to the cold precipice far above them…
SK always had food aplenty; be it fish, venison, rabbit, bear, moose―or seals further north where the snowline met the sea. All surrendering to his skills with an open fire, for SK was a barbecue legend.
It was his tales of life in the tundra that built his legend; hunting polar bears, seals and even whales with a harpoon - and living in igloos he’d fashioned from solid blocks of snow. “How did you keep those snow houses warm, SK?” some newcomer would ask – to receive a wry smile and the answer that everyone else knew―and repeated with him―by heart, “At first I didn’t have igloo how to – but I learned.”
He had spent so much time with the Inuit people that he almost considered himself one of them. A local wag joked that he should switch from “SK” to “Esky,” as a shortened form of “Eskimo.” But, not seeing the joke, SK was flattered to accept.
“Esky” was a local legend, and while many folks felt that he never let the truth impede the flow of a good story, there was no disputing his ability as a barbecue chef. No secret eleven herbs and spices like Harlan Sanders of KFC fame, but he could load his thick metal spit with the meat so it captured the heat from the fire and transferred it directly into the flesh, cooking it from within, as well as through the external heat of the flaming logs underneath.
"Esky" jealously guarded his metal spit, with its handle at one end and a series of sharp barbs tapering to a point at the other. It not only provided him with a fail-safe cooking tool, it was also a key to many of his stories.
For this spit was―as this week’s topic demands…
“'Esky' Dean’s Whale Harpoon”
Author’s note: It may help to read the last line aloud – maybe several times. Then – perhaps - it accidentally whale harpoon for you…
Author’s PS: Thank you for reading this far.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.