BOOGLY T. BOOGLY
by Dave & Patty Bowling
Dirty Dingy Daryl could hardly wait to get to the Mayhill Mountain Campground. Heading down the country roads, far from all the familiar surroundings of Hendyville, made Daryl very excited. He thought this camping trip would be the best.
“Are we almost there?” 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 nestled down with Ollie Dog lying across his lap. Baby Bridget 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 a family, he didn’t live in the town, and he kept to himself. He was an old fellow that had coal black hair with streaks of white, a pointy nose, beady blue eyes, and a wrinkly face that was always dirty from coal dust. He kept a pet snake in his sack that he carried on his back.
Boogly and the all the coal miners spent long hours in those deep dark dangerous shafts that led into the earth. They watched over each other and that’s what made it extra hard when the mountain rumbled one day. All 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 made it out. Everyone pitched in to clear the shaft, but they never quite found Boogly again...”
“Is that that the end, Dad?”
“Well, 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 continued, “they decided to close down the coal mine for whatever reason, but especially since the miners claimed Boogly T. Boogly turned into a ghost. To this day, people claim he still walks in and out of the Mayhill Mountain caves appearing and disappearing along with his snake.”
“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 Grandpa told Daddy,” Daryl’s mom 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 and Daryl was happy to find his cousin, Lil Pearl, Aunt Pearl and Uncle Walter too.
Daryl enjoyed an afternoon hiking with his family and then eating dinner cooked over a campfire late that evening. Soon it was time to roast marsh mellows.
“Let’s tell ghost stories,” Lil Pearl suggested.
“Yeah,” Daryl said, “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 and Daryl added a little extra...
“Boogly T. Boogly never got out of the coal mine that day, but he did that night. He likes to 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 and a spark landed at Daryl’s feet.
“Oh, it’s Booby T. Boogly at your service, Daryl,” Uncle Walter added.
“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 replied. 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 for Dirty Dingy Daryl and Ollie Dog. They kept hearing creepy noises outside the door. 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!
As soon as the sunrise came, 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 out 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.
“Wait a minute,” Daryl paused. “How come that fire is still burning? It was out when we went to bed. I’ve been up all night and nobody came out of the cabin to light that fire.”
“Is that a l-l-lump of coal burning?” Lil Pearl stammered.
“Boogly? Boogly T. Boogly?” the children questioned. 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 up to go outside, the coal had turned to ashes. Try as they might, the cousins could not get the grown-ups to believe that there had been a lump of coal burning in that fire pit. But at least there was one thing they could all agreed upon--nobody had had a snake in their sleeping bag that night. And that is a good thing!