"The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found."--Calvin Trillin

Unsuccessful Mission Recipe

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Cousins

 

This recipe for Unsuccessful Mission, by , is from Cooking With The Cousins, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Contributor:  
Contributor:  
Mollee R. Bundy
Added: Friday, November 7, 2008

Category:
Category:

Ingredients:  
Ingredients:  
"Every stray limb from the foliage seemed to me a pair of arms, reaching and stretching to snatch me away. . ."

Directions:
Directions:
The cold damp air bit at my nose and fingertips as I made my way quietly out of the tent. I zipped the flap, making an effort to do it painfully slow to eliminate as much noise as possible. As I began my journey, I paused to listen for the groggy sounds of someone being roused from sleep. Everyone was still asleep and I had successfully made my escape. Realizing Id been holding my breath, a sigh of relief escaped my chest Unfortunately, my relief was short lived because, in these wee hours of the morning, I knew the end of my adventure lay far ahead. The moon was full and bright and it provided enough light for me to find the small path that would lead to my destination and I walked away from the tent, the moonlight reassuring me.

I reached the small cluster of trees past Ellis and Gladys' camp, and the friendly light began to hit the backs of the gray, ghost-like trees casting sinister shadows across the trail in front of me. Fear set in immediately, but I continued. Sticks and leaves crunched beneath my feet as I journeyed on as quickly as I dared. I was going to have to make good time if this mission was to be a successful one. I jumped at every rustle, hoot, every snap of a twig beneath my feet. Every stray limb from the foliage seemed to me a pair of arms, reaching and stretching to snatch me away. I was growing both more frightened and more desperate by the minute.

My heart was racing as I moved deeper into the shadows. I was beginning to regret my initial decision to make this trek on my own. I could hear the blood pounding in my ears, my hands became sweaty in spite of the cool air. The few minutes Id spent navigating my way through the woods seemed an eternity. Days could have come and gone and I never would have known, except for the fact that I was still shrouded in the nights darkness. My breaths were coming short and fast making me wonder if I was hearing my own breathing or if something was lurking behind me. Whipping my head around, I checked to see if I was still alone. I was, but my mutinous terror was screaming at me to turn around and wake everyone back at the camp. Much too prideful for that, I decided that these last few steps would be the easiest. I could finally see my destination, the small square building lurking in the distance.

In the dark, the structure itself would be enough to give anyone a slight chill. Time and Mother Nature had taken their toll on the building leaving the paint hanging in strips in several places. Weeds sprouted out from all sides and a thick cluster of trees grew directly behind, hiding whatever could be prowling there. I walked closer, pride circulating through me, because at the ripe old age of eight, I had decided I was too old to wake my Uncle Keith and tell him I needed to go to the bathroom. Not a moment too soon, I reached for the door handle of the outhouse and the door swung open on its rusty hinges with an eerie wail. Words cannot describe the happiness I felt at the thought of finally reaching the bathroom, like in those cheesy movies when the spotlight comes down and an offstage choir begins the hallelujah chorus. My happiness was short lived.

In my haste, I failed to notice one important thing; there was a string at the top of the door. As I took my first step into the outhouse a huge black spider dropped straight down and dangled right in front of my nose! I am especially terrified of spiders, and this one happened to be particularly large, almost the size of a baseball. My fright at seeing the spider made me forget something very crucial. I had been working hard all this time at holding a ridiculously full bladder and, as warm liquid trickled down my leg, I felt my cheeks grow hot with embarrassment.
Not a minute passed before I noticed something very important. This spider had plastic google eyes and pipe cleaner legs. I had been tricked! I wanted to laugh because I was so relieved that I was in no real danger, but then I was also embarrassed at my childishness. All of my courage, wasted in the dark, had been in vain. For quite some time my uncle had been known for his practical jokes, but this one was superior to all the rest. My head sank low between my shoulders, and I turned and retraced the path I had traveled. There was no getting around it this time, I had to go wake my Uncle Keith.

 

 

 

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