“Let’s tell ghost stories,” Lil Pearl said.
“Yeah,” Daryl shouted, “I’ll go first. It’s a story about Boogly T. Boogly. It goes like this…”
Dirty Dingy Daryl weaved the whole tale exactly as his dad had told, until he got to the end. Daryl then added a little extra...
“Boogly T. Boogly never got out of the coal mine that day, but he did get out that night. He likes to haunt the Mayhill Campground and scare campers by putting snakes in their sleeping bags and throwing sparks into their campfire.”
With that, a big POP shot out of a burning log. A spark landed at Daryl’s feet.
“Oooh, it’s Booby T. Boogly at your service, Daryl,” Uncle Walter chuckled.
“Ha ha, I made that part up,” Daryl said. “That spark was just by chance.”
“Chance or no chance, I’m checking my sleeping bag for snakes before I crawl in,” Lil Pearl declared. Aunt Pearl and Mrs. Dalton agreed.
That night it was a bit chilly in the cabin, but everyone slept soundly knowing that ghost stories are only stories and nothing to be afraid of. Everyone slept soundly, that is, except Dirty Dingy Daryl and Ollie Dog. They kept hearing creepy noises outside. They couldn't sleep a wink. Daryl didn’t move a muscle all night long and neither did Ollie because they were scared. I mean...they heard noises...they weren’t scared at all!
At sunrise, Daryl was the first one out of bed. He tippy toed quietly across the wooden floor with Ollie close behind him. Slowly they slipped outside. Daryl looked all around but could not see anything strange.
“Aw, it was nothing, Ollie. Besides, I wasn’t scared any ole way…”
“BOO!” shouted Lil Pearl who had snuck up behind Daryl. She nearly caused him to jump out of his skin.
Daryl quickly found a spot to sit down near the burning campfire.
"To this day, some folks claim that Boogley T. Boogly and his snake still wander around the Mayhill Mountain caverns, appearing and disappearing.”
“Hey, we’re going to the Mayhill Mountains!” Daryl shouted. “Do you think we’ll get to see him?”
“Don’t be silly, Daryl. That is only a made up story that Grandpa told Daddy,” Mrs. Dalton explained. “Boogly T. Boogly is not real.”
Just then the Dalton family truck pulled into the entrance of the Mayhill Mountain Campground.
Soon they arrived at their log cabin camp site #13. Daryl and Bridget were so happy to meet up with their cousin, Lil Pearl, and Aunt Pearl and Uncle Walter too.
Daryl and Ollie Dog enjoyed an afternoon hike with the family. They ate dinner cooked over a campfire late that evening. Soon it was time to roast marshmellows.
“Wait a minute,” Daryl paused. “How come that fire is still burning? Dad made sure it was out before we went to bed. I’ve been up all night and nobody came out of the cabin to light that fire.”
“Hey, that is not a buring log, that is a l-l-lump of burning coal!” Lil Pearl stammered.
“BOOGY! BOOGLY T. BOOGLY!” the children yelled. Ollie Dog barked. And with that they ran into the cabin.
By the time Dirty Dingy Daryl and Lil Pearl managed to get their parents out of bed to go outside, the fire was out and the coal had turned to ashes. Try as they might, the cousins could not get their parents to believe that there had been a lump of coal burning in the fire pit. But at least there was something they all agreed upon...no one had found a snake in their sleeping bag. Without a doubt, that is a good thing!
Dirty Dingy Daryl could hardly wait to get to the Mayhill Mountain Campground. Heading down the country roads, far far from all the familiar surroundings of Hendyville, made Daryl Dalton very excited. He just knew this camping trip would be the best.
“Are we there yet?” Daryl asked for the hundredth time.
“Not yet, Daryl. We still have quite a ways to go,” his mother replied.
“Just sit back and I’ll tell you a story about Boogly T. Boogly,” Daryl’s dad said. “It was one of Grandpa Dizzy’s favorites.”
Daryl loved stories, especially on long road trips. He patted Ollie Dog who was lying across his lap. Baby Bridget giggled, although she was fast asleep in her car seat.
“Once upon a time there was an old coal mining town in the Mayhill Mountains. Lots of hard working men mined for coal there, especially one named Boogly T. Boogly. "Nobody knew much about Boogly. He didn’t have family, he didn’t live in town, he was very quiet, he kept to himself. Boogly was an odd fellow who had coal black hair with streaks of white, a long wirey beard, pointy nose, beady blue eyes, a wrinkly face that was always dirty from coal dust. His back was bent and he was as skinny as can be. He had a pet snake who lived in his sack that he carried on his back.
"Boogly and the all the hard working coal miners spent long hours in those dark cavernous shafts that chiseled deep into the earth. Miners kept watch over each other and that is what made it extra hard when the mountain rumbled one day.
"At the first creak, the men ran to get out. Boogly T. Boogly was bringing up the rear when–BOOM!!!! A pile of rocks fell at the exit before Boogly could escape. Everyone pitched in to clear the shaft, but Boogly was nowhere to be found. They never quite saw Boogly again...” Mr. Dalton paused.
“Is that that the end, Dad?”
“Not exactly, but I don’t want to scare you.”
“Tell me, Dad, I won’t be scared!” Daryl begged.
“Well...after that cave-in,” Mr. Dalton went on, “they decided to close down the coal mine for good, but that didn't stop the mysterious tales.
BOOGLY T. BOOGLY