by J. Knife
Eleven years old and caught in my own trap, miles from the road.
Randy and I were getting to where we had out grown the little patch of wood around our houses and were wanting to spread out to some new territory.
It was about 1959-60, we had my dad take us to Cedar hill
which back then was uninhabited.
There were no houses and miles of wooded and steep hills.
Lake Joe Pool was built and when I take my old boat out to the lake,
I go right by this old place where we used to get dropped off,
right where one turns left to go to the boat ramp.
I caught my first fox there and it was to us,
a wild and unbroken wilderness!
One Saturday Randy and I were headed out to check our traps,
hunt, and extend our trap lines.
We walked way back from the road along a fence line that crossed ridge after ridge.
It went forever and I never did know how far it went, miles!
We had traps set all along this old fence line and did the usual although I don’t remember much about this particular day till we got to one brush pile.
It was a big pile of old trees and brush,
I climbed into the center of it and started clearing out a place to set a trap. The weather was cold!
There was snow on the ground and it had been there for days.
It was not so cold if we kept our hands in our pockets and kept walking.
I cleared out a place for a big #4 long spring I had as this was a place where I imagined I could catch something big!
And as it turned out I did!
I wired the trap to a limb,
smeared mud all over the chain and limb,
and was setting the trap when it backed up and closed on my thumbs!
It did not hurt because it did not snap,
as I was opening it the old trap, which was a little big for me to be using at eleven years old, just would not open 100%.
I was not quite strong enough to open it all the way.
It backed up and closed on my two thumbs.
I was not alarmed as Randy was there and came over to try and get it off of me. However Randy was not heavy enough or strong enough to open the muddy old #4.
We tried this and that,
I had both thumbs in it and I was basically helpless.
We couldn’t find the wire to unwire it from the old dead limb that I had it wired to, as I had covered with mud and it was invisible! There wasn’t much room to work either.
I was in the middle of a big brush pile,
and I was caught!
We kept trying everything we could think of and we began to see it was useless!
Randy was not heavy enough to depress the springs,
and I couldn’t break it over as my thumbs were in it and was wired into a big log in the bottom of the giant brush pile!
And we couldn’t find the wire that held the tap in there because I had hidden it so good and covered with mud.
We tried and tried,
and the harder we tried the muddier our hands got,
and now it was beginning to really snow.
It was cold now that I was not walking or being able to keep my hands in my pockets, my hands were getting numb and I saw Randy with his hands in his pockets and this worried look,
and he was cold too!
And began to fight the trap!
And pull like a coyote or a coon would!
I was not thinking, I just wanted out!
and I couldn’t get out!
I saw no way to do it!
I couldn’t wait till Randy went back to where my dad was due to pick us up later in the day as it was getting cold and we were miles from the road!
I started flopping around just like I was…
well I was…
a trapped and caught critter!
I was looking just like it,
yelling and that was doing no good.
I was not being reasonable I was scared
and just thrashing around in my death throws.
We eventually got me out I know!
Because I am home writing this 42 years later!
But honestly I don’t remember how we did it.
Boys never wire your trap solid till it is set and ready.
Or at least carry a pair of pliers,
or wire cutters to cut your trap wire if your trap gets you!
Sure would have been a long night if old Randy
had not gotten me out.
The big old #4 long spring had me,
and it is a good trap,
I can attest to that!