Friday, October 29, 2010

I went into the woods because I wished to live with dachshunds...

So these are the famous New England woods, so lovely, dark, and deep, way out past where Jesus left his sandals on the road less travelled...

When it's sunny, I feel the urge to live deliberately, like Thoreau, but with dachshunds instead of ants. When the clouds and drizzle come, I instead feel the urge to write about shoggoths shambling about in pet semetaries.

Looking back over the history of American literature, I have to reach the conclusion that if you can't write out here, you can't write.

22 comments:

TJIC said...

Not sure where in New England you are, but if you're anywhere near Boston and have a free hour, drop a line and I'll buy you a drink.

Ed Rasimus said...

I reread three times to see if I was getting all of the literary allusions in that lash-up.

Of course if you want to live like Thoreau, you would do it in the back pasture of your father's farm. There you can pontificate on the simple life without being unduly inconvenienced.

Dachshunds in the Deep Woods...comedy or terror genre?

Ken said...

Little of both, kind of like Arachnophobia or The Lost Boys.

I was on my way out of Savannah, the day of the 2008 Wiener Dog races.

Anonymous said...

Are they the teutonic wire-haired dachunds or the sleazy blood sausages with short black hairs on legs?

Steve Skubinna said...

Garrison Keillor, before he decided he wanted to be a full time asshole instead of a humorist, once made a remark about the Western Washington woods. He said he walked into them to answer the call of nature and made the mistake of looking up. You could forget two thirds of what you believed in doing that.

Then you'd be a Unitarian. With messy shoes.

LabRat said...

The Southwest has a similar effect on writers. Something about the cliffs and gigantic skies full of thunderheads.

Stick a writer in the Midwest, and apparently what you get is Jane Smiley...

DirtCrashr said...

Yeh but you might wind-up writing like Pynchon. One of my friend's ancestors sold one of his ancestors a watermelon.

Borepatch said...

I'm always amazed that when you walk way, way back into the New England woods, you find stone walls.

People used to farm this land, a century ago. Back then, you wouldn't see much beautiful fall foliage, as only around 20% of New England was forested.

I'm sure that letting all the trees grow back causes Global Warming or something, but it sure is pretty this time of year.

og said...

Problem is, it takes about a hunnert dox to keep you warmish during a NE winter. And one of them ALWAYS has to pee. So you're forever getting up and going out. Bassets are better foot-warmers, but they tend to be less enjoyable than a brace of dox.

Anonymous said...

Tam,
I wonder if a back woods Red Tail can tell the difference between a beloved Dachshund and a Cottontail?

Tam said...

The dachsie is the twenty-pound one full of fangs. ;)

wolfwalker said...

So these are the famous New England woods, so lovely, dark, and deep, way out past where Jesus left his sandals on the road less travelled...

Otherwise known as "moose country". AKA so far out in the back end of beyond that it's nothing unusual to see a moose appear out of the trees and amble across the road in front of you.

Christina LMT said...

Two Italian Greyhounds suffice to keep one warm. I speak from experience. :)

Anonymous said...

"Two Italian Greyhounds suffice to keep one warm"

But their constant shivering is annoying.

On the other and you can stuff a couple of dachunds in your pockets and not only stay warm but terrify everyone you meet.

Ed Foster said...

"I wandered lonely as a cloud
that floats on high o'er dale and hill"...

Actually, a lot of what was written in those Yankee backwoods was piddling crap (see above, I had to memorise it for a show in 5th grade), and if you haven't seen the place in mud season, you haven't known true misery.

Still can't figure out why it pulls at me so.

And the Dachsies are prime yum-yum material for coyotes, which often run the size of a middlin' German Shepard around those parts.

Check your e-mail.

Ancient Woodsman said...

If only we knew you were coming...the Department I work for manages the Robert Frost farm.

But they sent me to the Brookhaven Lab on LI, NY instead.

Enjoy your trip. It's beautiful here any time of year.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Yeah, those lovely New England Woods.... After spending 2 years on the New Hampshire/ Maine border, I know why Stephen King didn't write many Horror stories about the California Desert, Florida Swamps, the Rockies, American Samoa....it's Frackin' Scary up there!

Seen the Headless Horseman yet?

og said...

"The dachsie is the twenty-pound one full of fangs. ;)"

"Dachshund" means, literally, "Badger dog". Dox wer bred and trained to go down badger holes and drag badgers out by their hind legs.

A badger will back down a bear, but a dox will run down the hole like there's a fresh white castle down there, wagging it's tail and yapping gleefully.

Matthew said...

From my lifetime of experience with backyard moose and dachshunds I believe dachshunds have a racial memory, only shallowly buried, of their paleolithic giant sabre-toothed ancestors who ran yapping across the Arctic savannah chasing mammoths out of their territory.

Tam said...

Og,

""Dachshund" means, literally, "Badger dog". Dox wer bred and trained to go down badger holes and drag badgers out by their hind legs."

Perzackly.

And people should also think about the meaning behind the name "Fox Terrier" when wondering why their neighbor's little dog is so kamikaze feisty.

Those beagles look pretty coursing ahead of the horses, but once they'd cornered the quarry in its den, it wasn't any hound that had the task of going down and putting the hit on the victim...

og said...

The small dogs are often pretty amazing- the Chihuahua was once the most feared dog on the north American continent. Aztecs, who worshipped the little buggers, would train them to latch on (and not let go) of the ankles of their enemies. The chihuahuas (or dogs very similar to them) were trained to avoid the tribe's own, identified by the feathers tied to their ankles. The Aztec glyph for "RUN AWAY!" is a man with a dog latched onto his ankle.

(from the Daily Life of the Aztecs, by Jacques Soustelle. An awesome read!)

Amazing how they can be such cuddly attention hounds and also be such vicious beasts.

dff said...

My New England Badger Dog is actually from a breeder in Louisiana, so he drops his R's in German with a Cajun accent.