Howling at The Moon

When I was about younger around 12 or so my friends and I decided to camp out for the night at a private lake I lived by. The lake is 45 acres and is located in a rural area, with lots of trees and shoreline. We all packed up some gear and wanted to go out on our own and spent the night camping fishing. It was a cool summer night so we gathered fire wood to keep cool in the evening. We looked forward to a successful night of fishing so we brought a cast iron skillet to prepare the fish we caught as well as hotdogs just in case the fish did not cooperate.

We hiked to the back side of the lake near a large valley that was filled with some recent rain water; we caught some crawfish and small perch for bait. The water was also filled with frogs that began to sing with the evening growing near. As the sun began to set we prepared the fire and got our lines ready for an exciting evening on the water. We were all cracking jokes and bragging about our big fish to date and who would catch the biggest one tonight. There were six of us that night and this was the first time we had camped out together so there was bound to be some stories to tell. One of the guys was names Scott, he always thought he was 15 not 12 like the rest of us, so we expected something from him. So as the fishing began Scott pulled out a few beers he had taken from his dad, well we are only 12 so when a beer gets pulled out we were all excited at doing something we knew our parents would not approve of. Well Scott had bragged for some time about his past drinking experiences and all the parties he had attended, but for some strange reason he would not take the first swig. Well we all passed the beer around, drinking and wincing in disgust, we all laughed at one another as the faces that wee made were priceless. The beer was disgusting, but we felt like we were accomplishing a major feat.

I heard my drag screaming so I ran to the waters edge and battled a small catfish around 3lbs or so; I quickly cleaned it and began to prepare it on the skillet. I sprinkled some pepper and lemon juice on the fish; while this was cooking I baited up and looked for another fish to add to the fire. The other guys were laughing and joking around the fire waiting for the fish to be ready to eat. We struggled to do it, but the Schaefer light beers gradually disappeared and all that was left was a pile of cans. As the night grew later we enjoyed the fresh cooked fish and put a few more on the fire, a few hotdogs were also added to the fire as well.

We all had expectation of staying up all night fishing and telling jokes, but as the evening grew late a few people crashed out and cuddled up in their sleeping bags. The temperatures were getting a little colder so I added a few pieces of wood to the fire and kept at trying to keep the fish supply up. I was sitting near my rod and I glanced down at my watch it was 3:30am, man was I getting tired. I started to doze of here and there, my head was bobbing and my eyes were straining to stay open. Suddenly I heard a howling sound and snapped to my senses, I looked over and the other guys heard it too,

What was that we all stammered as we looked around at one another, was one of the guys playing a joke on us or was there something out there in the woods? The fire began to die down and the supply of wood was almost gone, so I told Scott to get some more wood for the fire. Scott walked towards the woods and the howl was heard again, Scott ran back and was as white as a sheet, there is something out there in the woods, I think itís a wolf or something. We were all looking at each other not wanting to believe what Scott had said, he had to be messing with us. The howling continues and eventually the lone howl became multiple howls, we were all starting to get a little bit uneasy. Was it the beer we had been drinking or was there really something out there.

The howls began to get closer to us; we wee up on the high side of the lake with a large valley below us. The tree-line was visible up close, but in the distance all you could see was darkness. The howling started again this time you could hear the trampling of feet, we knew something was coming but we could not see it. A few of the guys had gathered flashlights from their bags and started scanning the tree-line, what was out there?

We started to get closer to the fire as it dwindled down to burning embers; we only had a few flashlights to keep us from being in total darkness. The trampling of sounds grew closer and the howls grew louder, we were about ready to make a run for it. Scott said if you run they will come even faster, we have to be slow and deliberate. I was thinking to myself we canít even see how close they are or what it is that is coming closer. Suddenly Mike made a break for it and all you could see was a bobbing light grow distant, all of a sudden the howling was really close. We were all about ready to wet our pants when Scott scanned over the tree line, there were about 10 sets of eyes staring back at us.

If you have ever heard a bunch of 12 year olds screaming bloody murder and trying to run for their lives then you know what sounds filled the cool night air. We trampled each other as we ran for my house, we had traveled about a mile or so to get to our camping spot, but we were covering ground at a record pace. The howling could still be heard, we had left our gear and fishing tackle behind, whatever it was they could have it. We raced home and beat on the door, my dad came running out thinking someone was hurt, whatís wrong. We were all out of breath, unable to speak my dad grabbed me by the shoulders and told me to calm down and tell him what happened.

Scott who was the oldest of the group stammered and mumbled wolves, my dad just laughed wolves! there are no wolves in this part of the country. We all spoke at once, we heard howling and stomping feet, they were coming after us. My dad laughed so hard that he had to wipe away the tears; we didnít understand what was so funny. He grabbed his car keys and said letís go get your stuff. We did not want to go, but he wanted us to man up and face our fears. We got to the fence line and jumped over and headed towards our campsite, as we arrived my dad looked at the empty beer cans and just shook his head. So you boys had a little too much to drink and now you are hearing things, we were sticking by our story. As my dad was helping us pick up the campsite the howling returned, we were all frozen with fear the wolves were back. My dad laughed as he shined his light towards the tree-line; what we thought were wolves were a pack of coyotes, curious is all they are.

We were so embarrassed by this that we returned home with our tails between our legs, our adventure had turned out to be a night to remember. We arrived back at the house and dropped to the floor in exhaustion, we wanted to forget this nightmare. Suddenly the silence was broken by a loud noise outside my window, something was scratching at the window. Then a loud howl broke the silence, we all jumped to our feet and looked out the window, we feared what we would see. It was my dad who was laughing hysterically at us; he just had to get us one last time before we fell asleep.