License to Craw

Alex Bone

Collapsing Shack, AZ—Family fun, isn’t that supposed to be American?  Nah. Helping the environment, what are you a pinko hippy type? As I attested in an earlier Discord article, the crayfish menace has reached apocalyptic proportions in Arizona. These evil, yet delicious, beasts are an invasive species bent on destroying all native aquatic life, including, yes…people!  OK, not people, but frogs!

So naturally, being the devoted man of Yig I am, I began to organize our yearly Crawdad Slaughter fest/Campout. I invite a few hundred people, but only a couple old friends and somehow Zano showed up. I knew that since the only food I have brought was for Crawfish bait, I needed to get busy, or starve. We had one trap, a couple of nets, and my favorite, meat on a stick. Zano’s little family was down at the middle pond with me.  Yeah the guy has a family, or at least pays these people to say they’re with him, so he’ll seem ‘normal.’ It really doesn’t work.

So things were going reasonably well. The bucket had a few choice satanic crustaceans in it and it is looking like I might not go hungry that night after all. Then I see him, the Forest Service Nazi, complete with flack jacket. Yep, that is important; those crawfish could go wild with them claws o’ theirs.

So this guys walks down to the pond like he owns the forest and starts by addressing Zano. Being from back east Zano had instantly slipped into “no matter what he is asked, he is going to lie on principle,’ or N.M.W.H.I.A.H. I.G.T.L.O.P.

F.S.N.: “Are you fishing or just showing your daughter how to cast?”

Zano: “I never touched it. She is fishing.  The legally allowed to fish, child.  There…with the pole in hand.”

F.S.N.: “YOU’RE A LAIR! I saw you hand it to her. And you, big guy, you have a license to catch those crawdads?”

Boneman: “Well, no… But I am here to protect the forest. As you must know, Crawdads are an invasive species. They are killing our native wildlife, especially frogs. I know I don’t have a license, but I am here for a greater cause.”

He just stared.

Boneman: “I’m here to protect the Lilly Ponds and try to put things right. Someone has to stand up for the frogs and that will be me. You see, I’m a warrior for the forest, a protector of frogs, Yig blesses us and all we do. I’m doing what the frogs what they can’t do for themselves and—”

F.S.N.: “Okay, you can stop.”

Boneman: “Why?”

F.S.N.: “I won’t give you a ticket, just so I don’t have to hear you rant anymore, but what is a Yig?”

Twenty minutes later I’m sure he wished he hadn’t asked that question.  And thirty minutes after that he wrote me a ticket (kidding!).

F.S.N.: “Besides, you’ve only got a couple of crawdads in that bucket.  What you really need is to get some traps.”

Little Zano:  (As if on cue) “Should I check the traps, dad?”

She really asked that, just then… when things were going sooo well.  We talked our way out of that part too.  Ironically, I wrote an article for Flagstaff’s The Noise, wherein I point out quite clearly that you need a license to craw.  I even told the ranger about the article in which I, ironically mention that particular piece of irony, heh, heh.   But I didn’t get a fine that day, which is fine by me, Groan, sputter (I thought that joke was going to be edited out).  The ranger did make me kill all the crawdads though. So I can save the frogs, but I just can’t nourish myself while doing so…ah sure, um, that makes sense.

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Alex Bone

Alex Bone

Alex Bone (Michael D. Griffiths) is a man who likes to keep busy, too bad it mostly involves cleaning squirrels. In the past, his writing has been published in numerous periodicals and anthologies sometimes even published by someone else. He was awarded first place in Withersin’s 666 contest, which he was told will later give him the Golden Ticket tour of the third plane of Hell. He is on the staff of The Daily Discord, Cyberwizard Productions, SFReader, and on the Board of Directors for the Society of Advanced Humans that Seek to Live as Viking Ninjas. His series The Chronicles of Jack Primus is available through Living Dead Press. After being bitten by a zombie, his attentions have turned toward the walking dead and he has begun a new Zombie Apocalypse series called the Eternal Aftermath. When he discovered that he was a cloned from Eric the Red’s DNA, he wrote the Science Fiction series Skinjumpers. Later while experimenting with strange fungus, he slipped into a Fantasy world ruled by the mad mage Dalsala Den.