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The Jacksons – for Mar. 5, 2009

The sun shone brightly in through the windows of the shop on the Jackson’s yard, inside which Andrew and Randy stood together, staring at the old Case 5240 tractor that stood somewhat forlornly in the middle of the floor. A small oil smudge on the ground underneath the engine indicated that the tractor might need a seal or two somewhere or other.

“It’s got to be the injectors,” said Randy. “The filters are clear and everything else checks out fine and the dang thing just hasn’t got any power. What else would it be?”

“You’re probably right,” said Andrew with a sigh. “Where’s Brady when you need him?”

“Oh don’t worry.” Randy sounded cheerful enough. “I can fix injectors. It ain’t rocket surgery.”

The sound of a vehicle approaching on the driveway drifted in from outside. Andrew peered out of the window.

“It’s Grant,” he said. “Any coffee left in the thermos there?” he asked as he headed for the door. He swung the door open and waved as the vehicle entered the yard. The truck pulled up to the door and a minute later Grant and Andrew were seating themselves on the old dining room chairs that stood in the corner of the shop for just such a purpose.

“Coffee’s still hot,” said Randy handing Grant the now steaming cup.

“Thanks,” said Grant. “I’m still a little short of my daily limit.”

“What brings you by?” Andrew wanted to know as Grant took a first sip.

“Nothing,” said Grant. “Just heading back from town, thought I’d see what you were up to.”

Andrew shrugged. “We were just contemplating fixing the old girl,” he said, indicating the tractor. ‘We’re thinking the injectors might be plugged or something.”

Grant nodded. “Happens,” he said. “Not real hard to fix.”

“I can do it,” said Randy.

There was a moment of silence while the three of them sipped their coffee.

“What’s new by your place?” asked Andrew.

“Not a heck of a lot,” said Grant. “Oh hey,” he added suddenly, “I had an interesting call from Hank Enns yesterday. You remember Hank right? Lives up by Arden?”

“Sure,” said Andrew. “We curled against him a couple of years ago in Foxwarren right?” Grant nodded. “So what did Hank have to say?” Andrew wanted to know.

“Get this,” said Grant. “Hank says he saw a sasquatch.”

Andrew paused with his cup halfway to his mouth. “No kidding?” he said. “That is interesting.” He cocked his head sideways. “Hank seemed pretty normal when we curled against him.”

“That’s the thing,” said Grant. “Hank is about as normal as they come.”

“Where did he see this thing?” asked Randy.

“About five miles north of Arden,” said Grant. “At night. He says it was walking on the road towards him but when he hit the brakes it took off through the ditch and into the woods.”

“Wow,” said Randy. “Pretty cool.”

“What did this thing look like?” Andrew sounded skeptical.

“Black,” said Grant. “Seven feet tall.

Huge feet. Hairy with longish arms. Oh, and apparently the first thing Hank saw was just the eyes glowing red in the dark.”

“Sounds exactly like Rose’s cousin Doug,” said Andrew.

Randy laughed. “So true,” he said. “Doug would have hitched a ride though,” he added, “so it can’t have been him.”

“Good point,” said Andrew. “So what did Hank do?” he wanted to know. “Did he get a picture or what?”

Grant shook his head. “Hank was not about to get out of the vehicle with an abominable snowman wandering around in the dark so he went to the nearest farm, which was someone he knew anyway, and told them what he’d seen and they said they’d seen the same thing a week earlier but hadn’t told anyone because they didn’t want people to think they were crazy. Then they called the cops.”

“What did the cops say?” Randy asked. “Apparently,” said Grant, “the cop they

talked to just said ‘oh yeah, the sasquatch.’ As if it was no big surprise to him.”

“Hmmm.” Andrew was thoughtful. “This could be very good news,” he said.

“For whom?” Grant wanted to know. “For Arden,” said Andrew. “Hey,

Glenboro’s got the camels, Gladstone’s got the Happy Rock, Altona’s got the Van Gogh. Nobody’s got a sasquatch.”

There was a brief silence while the others considered this.

“Nothing says ‘Spirited Energy’ like a 20-foot sasquatch,” said Grant.

“Go Arden,” said Randy.

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