The Saga of Scout Ken and Trapper Mike

Submitted into Contest #143 in response to: Set your story in the woods or on a campground. ... view prompt


Funny Fiction

The bushes rustled. The taunting hoot of an owl sent shivers through him. Trapper Mike heard soft, hesitant footfalls. Someone was watching him, sneaking up on him.

All he had wanted to do was find Frankie Cincinnati’s party. Now he was lost in a pitch-black forest and was about to be eaten.

How did his life come to this?

The saga of Scout Ken and Trapper Mike began one August night in the early 1980s. Before then, they were simply Ken Radford and Mike Harrison. Their friends tagged them with their nicknames because they had an amusing talent for getting very lost.

“Frankie Cincinnati is having a party. You know what that means,” a jubilant Trapper Mike said.

“Free beer,” Scout Ken answered. “I thought his folks said he couldn’t have any more parties at their house?  Last time the yard was trashed, their deck collapsed, and their dog nearly OD’ed on scotch.”

“Serious collateral damage,” Trapper Mike replied. “Frankie’s learned from his mistakes. He’s rented a couple of shelters at the Pound Ridge Reservation. No damage to the house and the police aren’t likely to patrol the woods.”

Scout Ken stopped his car short of the Reservation’s entrance.

“What’s up? We’re here,” Trapper Mike pointed out.

“I don’t want to pay to get in.”

“It’s only five bucks.”

“I’ve got my principals,” Scout Ken said.

“Yeah, but I’ve got the five bucks and a thirst. And Laurie Anderson’s going to be there.”

“We can park up the road and walk in. There’s bound to be a path that’ll take us to Frankie’s party. Let’s enjoy a taste of Mother Nature.”

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Trapper Mike asked.

Scout Ken was not known to be a fan of physical exercise. The blonde-haired, fair-skinned twenty-six-year-old was overweight and clumsy, but he was intelligent and famously stubborn.

At twenty-two, Trapper Mike was in the best physical shape of his life, but he wasn’t dressed for hiking. Hoping to impress Laurie Anderson, he’d put on an expensive, black-striped, white shirt, white pants, and brand his new white boots.

Scout Ken and Trapper Mike

Went off into the forest on a little hike.

They went to the left and to the right,

They walked in circles for most of the night.

The pair started down a well-groomed dirt path. A few minutes later, they heard the celebratory sounds of music and laughter.

“They’re up on that hill,” Scout Ken concluded.

“I hope so, it’s getting dark,” Trapper Mike replied. “I don’t see a path leading up that hill, do you?”

“No problem,” Scout Ken replied. “We’ll make our own.”

The two intrepid partiers cut across a field, getting close enough to hear Frankie yell, “Who wants to do some shots?”

The pair followed the sounds of the party. They soon found themselves fighting through the brush, weeds, and bushes taller than they were.

“Where’d the path go?” Trapper Mike asked.

Scout Ken’s head swiveled around on his shoulders. “This way!” he declared, veering left.

They stumbled around in circles for an hour, going through swamps, fields, and the forest.

“My feet are killing me,” Trapper Mike complained.

“I’d worry more about the condition of your expensive boots,” Scout Ken replied.

Trapper Mike looked down at his boots. Even in the encroaching darkness, he could see they were scratched and dirty. The cuffs of his pants had been dyed brown by the mud they’d traipsed through.

“I hope Laurie likes you for your personality and not your appearance,” Ken said, snickering.

They pushed on through a forest of pine trees, finding a path.

“We’re almost there. I can feel it,” Scout Ken declared triumphantly.

Reaching a clearing, they took a breather. Trapper Mike looked across the darkening horizon, scanning what he thought was another field of small pine trees.

He took two steps forward.

“STOP!” Scout Ken shouted, latching onto his arm.

“What? Why?”

“Look down.”

Trapper Mike was perched on the edge of a thirty-foot high cliff. One more step and Trapper Mike would have dropped to his death. The field of small pine trees Trapper Mike had been looking at were really the tops of tall trees miles away.

“…Sweet Mother Nature,” Trapper Mike muttered

Retracing their steps, the pair of explorers found themselves standing at a crossroads. There were four paths to choose from.

“Hear that?” Trapper Mike asked.

Scout Ken listened closely. “Hear what?”

“Exactly. I don’t hear anybody yelling or laughing anymore. We’re lost.”

“No problem. We know the path we were on is bogus, so we can eliminate it. You take one path and I’ll take the other.”

“That still leaves one path.”

Scout Ken surveyed the three remaining paths. One was wet, muddy, and promised to get even more so.

“You wanna take that one?”

Trapper Mike looked down at his ruined clothes. “I think we can eliminate that one too.”

“Okay. Let’s meet back here in an hour. I don’t think my lighter will last much longer than that. One more thing,” Scout Ken added, “Watch out for the Wolversons.”

“Who are the Wolversons?”

“They live in a remote part of the forest. Most likely they live near the swampy path we’re not gonna follow, but just in case, keep your eyes open for them.”

“What are they, hippies? Hillbillies?”

“Inbreeds,” Scout Ken answered. “People who come in contact with the Wolversons get beaten up, stabbed, shot, or worse.”

“You’re pulling my leg, man.”

“No. They eat people.”

Trapper Mike laughed. “Cannibals? In the forests of tawny Westchester County? C’mon, Susan Dey, Fred Gwynne, and Vanessa Williams live here.”

“We’re civilized,” Scout Ken said, “The Wolversons aren’t.”

Trapper Mike had been walking for half an hour. It was time to head back.

The bushes rustled. The taunting hoot of an owl sent shivers through him. Trapper Mike heard soft, hesitant footfalls. Someone was watching him, sneaking up on him.

Crunching. Like someone was chewing on bones.

Maybe Scout Ken was right after all. The Wolversons were sizing him up as an entrée.

The crunching grew louder, faster. Whoever was eating was hungry.

Trapper Mike thought it was in his best interest to run like hell. 

Taking a step forward, he felt his boots sink in muck up to his ankles.

His boots made a loud sucking sound when he pulled them out.

The rustling grew louder, closer.

Hoping not to be detected, Trapper Mike crumpled up into a ball.

A deer bounced out onto the path, contentedly chewing on acorns. It gave Trapper Mike a curious look.

“If you tell anyone about this, Bambi, I swear I’ll turn you into jerky.”

As if hurt by his insult, the doe turned away, bounding down the path.

It occurred to Trapper Mike that he should follow Bambi.

At one point, Bambi turned to see if he was still following her.

She bounced off into the trees when the path widened. Trapper Mike found himself standing on a small bridge overlooking a stream.

Someone was wading in the stream. Trapper Mike could clearly discern it was a naked woman.

“I owe you, Bambi,” Trapper Mike said to himself.

The woman knelt in the stream, gleefully splashing herself like an innocent child.

She shook the water from her long mane of blonde hair. That was when she noticed Trapper Mike.

“Are you a pervert?”

“No, I’m lost.”

“I guess so. That used to be a sharp-looking outfit,” she said.

Realizing he was staring at her, he turned his head.

“You don’t have to look away. I’m sure it’s nothing you haven’t seen before.”

“That’s true, but it’s never looked so good.”

Her bright blue eyes and vibrant smile seemed to twinkle. “Thanks. I appreciate the compliment.”

“I expect I’ll be giving you a few more.”

She slowly walked out of the water and onto the grass.

This time Trapper Mike didn’t look away. She was every carnal act he could imagine on steroids, shapely, long-legged, and completely without shame.

Trapper Mike tried to keep his composure, convinced what he was seeing was too good to be true. He figured any woman who looked and acted so casually had a jealous boyfriend or was going to rob him – despite a lack of concealed weapons. .

“So, where were you heading before you got lost,” she asked in a sultry voice.

“A party at the Pound Ridge Reservation.”

Her blue eyes bore in on him. “Boy, you are lost. Lucky for you, I found you.”

She twirled around in front of him. “You know, I used to be ashamed of my body. But my mother told me I’m not going to look like this forever, so I might as well enjoy myself.”

“Your mother was very wise.”

“Well, alcohol also helps if you’re going to be naked in front of a stranger,” she replied. Turning, she practically danced to a nearby tree where she picked up a bottle of vodka.

“There’s still half left. It’s a little rough straight, but you’ll be surprised how your inhibitions will just melt away.”

Laughing, she put the bottle to his lips. He gulped down what remained.  

“Feel warm and uninhibited yet?” she asked.


“So why are you still wearing your clothes?”

Trapper Mike complied, stripping. She grabbed his hand, leading him toward the stream. She suddenly stopped, as if something important had dawned on her.

“For the record books, what’s your name?”


“You can call me whatever you like.”

“The Lady of the Lake!” Trapper Mike said drunkenly, the vodka having numbed his senses.

“Very poetic and romantic, even if this is only a stream. You should know something about me. My boyfriend and I had a bad argument. He ditched me here and went off to a bar to get drunk. It happens so often these days that I travel with my own bottle just so I can have a fun time. It helps me make friends and do impulsive things like skinny dipping.”

“So, what you’re saying is you’re drunk.”

“Blind. And I probably won’t remember this.”

“I’m going to try and do my best to make sure you do.”

“He’ll be back to apologize.”

“But in the meantime?” Trapper Mike asked.


Trapper Mike and the Lady of the Lake rolled over in the grass, looking up at the night sky.

“Cuddle time,” she said, moving closer.

“So, the next time you have an argument with your boyfriend…”

“I’ll look you up,” she replied, laughing.

“Or you could just get a new one.”

“You don’t want to get involved with me, Mike. I’ve got more issues than Vogue.”

The sound of a car speeding toward them stole their attention.

“Grab your clothes and hide!” the Lady of the Lake commanded.

Trapper Mike gathered up his clothes, diving behind a cluster of large rocks.

There was plenty of shouting, screaming, and thankfully, laughter between the Lady of the Lake and her boyfriend. Before she left, she briefly looked back at where Trapper Mike was hiding.

Trapper Mike was very lost, he’d had all he could take,

That was when he ran into the Lady of the Lake.

She was a fantasy come true, beautiful, adventurous, and tall,

And if she was what being lost was about, he didn’t mind at all.

With each step he took, Trapper Mike’s lighter gave off less light. Finally, he could flick his Bic no more.

He managed to find his way back to the crossroads where he was supposed to meet Scout Ken.

Minutes later, Scout Ken stumbled into view.

“Dr. Livingston, I presume. So much for meeting back here in an hour,” Trapper Mike said. “Did you find the party?”

“No. You?”

“I ended up near a bridge by a stream. It’s the wrong direction but at least it's near civilization.”

Scout Ken gave him a quizzical look. “Why are you wearing your shirt inside out?”

“I met this girl, and…”

“Never mind.”

“My lighter has just about had it,” Scout Ken declared as they began to climb the crest of yet another hill.

An engine roared ahead. A pair of headlights bounded over the hill, bearing down on them.

Scout Ken and Trapper Mike dove for the weeds.

A Ford Bronco slammed to a halt. A door opened, and distinct, loony laughter followed.

There was no mistaking that laugh.

“Johnny!” Trapper Mike shouted, rushing to his side.

John Concannon was a sinewy, seemingly indestructible, and beloved party animal known for his boundless energy and infectious, nutty laugh. He was adventurous, irreverent, and slightly insane. Johnny would do anything to amaze and amuse his friends. His actions this night would earn him the nickname “Bronco Johnny.”

“What’s the matter? You guys lost? You’re goin’ in the wrong direction! The party’s this way!”

The three of them piled into the Bronco.

“I thought you told me you didn’t have a license, Johnny,” Tapper Mike said.

“Don’t worry, there aren’t any forest police.”

“Whose truck is this?” Trapper Mike asked.

“Belongs to my boss,” Bronco Johnny replied. “It’s great for exploring!”

“This isn’t a road, John. It’s just a path,” Scout Ken pointed out.

Bronco Johnny pressed the gas pedal to the floor. The truck bounded over several large rocks. Bronco Johnny avoided the next one by driving through the forest, nearly hitting a substantially sized pine tree before skirting back onto the path.

“Slow down, John!” Scout Ken pleaded.

Bronco Johnny let out a series of mad cackles. “We’re free wheelin’!”

Bronco Johnny had barely finished his sentence when the truck dipped in a rut and was propelled in the air, flying toward a stream.

“You’re not gonna try and jump the stream, are you?” Scout Ken asked.

“Why not?” Bronco Johnny replied.

Two-thirds of the truck made it. The back end came down on a boulder in the middle of the stream.

“That’s why,” Trapper Mike said.

They got out to survey the damage. Standing in the stream, Trapper Mike couldn’t bear to look at the toll the water was taking on his new boots.

The Bronco’s back wheels were splayed out like the legs of an Olympic gymnast.

Laughing, Bronco Johnny said, “I don’t think my boss is gonna like this!”

Hearing a splash, the trio looked upstream. Bambi was standing in a narrow and shallow part of the water, her head tilted to one side as if to say, “What the?”

“Maybe we should have crossed where that deer is standing,” Bronco Johnny surmised.

Scout Ken examined the Bronco, concluding they might be able to move it.

“Neat!” Bronco Johnny exclaimed. “Let’s give it a go!”

Looking at Trapper Mike, Bronco Johnny’s bemused expression turned to bewilderment.

“Why are you wearing your shirt inside out, Mike?”

“I met this girl, and…”

“Never mind,” Scout Ken cut in.

Scout Ken and Trapper Mike stationed themselves behind the truck.

“Hit the gas when I yell three,” Scout Ken yelled at Bronco Johnny.


The wheels spun, splattering Scout Ken from head to toe with mud. He looked at Trapper Mike, who was untouched.

“How did you know?”

“This is John we’re dealing with. Expect the unexpected.”

Bronco Johnny spun the wheels again, splattering Scout Ken with more mud.

“Enjoying your taste of Mother Nature?” Trapper Mike asked.

Exiting the truck, Bronco Johnny laughed like a tickled hyena.

“Guess we’ll have to walk.”

“Do you know where we are, John?” Scout Ken asked.

“Sure. The woods.”

“Never mind. Do you have a flashlight?”

“I’ve got somethin’ better!”

Rummaging through the back of the truck, Bronco Johnny pulled out a propane blowtorch.

Scout Ken and Trapper Mike were tired and lost,

They were nearly at wit’s end.

Bronco Johnny rescued them but crashed his truck,

And now they’re lost again.

“Flame on!” Bronco Johnny said, lighting the blow torch.

Bronco Johnny turned around, yelling “Follow me!” nearly incinerating Scout Ken. When he turned back, the surrounding brush and trees caught fire.

“At least we’re leaving a trail for the fire department to find us,” Trapper Mike said.

They followed Bronco Johnny as he burned a path through the forest.

“You sure you know where you’re going, John?” Scout Ken asked.

“I make my own way!” Bronco Johnny replied, letting out a stream of madcap laughs.

That was the moment Bronco Johnny tripped, rolling head over heels downhill.

Left in the dark again, Scout Ken and Trapper Mike followed Bronco Johnny’s Riddler-like bursts of laughter. They found him at the bottom of a hill, laying against a stone wall, minus the blow torch.

“Good thing this wall stopped me, otherwise I might have been hurt.”

As Scout Ken helped Bronco Johnny to his feet, Trapper Mike stepped on the other side of the wall.

“Be careful,” Scout Ken cautioned. “Remember the last time you took a blind step.”

Trapper Mike put one foot down, then the other. He was standing on solid, level ground.

Bronco Johnny lit his lighter. Scout Ken took it from him.

“No more fire for you tonight, John.”

“This is it!” Bronco Johnny exclaimed. “This is the path that leads to the shelters!”

Relieved, the trio followed the path to the top of a hill.

Torches and a raging fire illuminated the campsite.

“We’re here!” Bronco Johnny announced. “Let the party begin!”

The three men approached the first shelter, passing empty kegs, drained liquor bottles, and assorted trash.

“Where is everybody?” Scout Ken wondered aloud.

They soon found out. Inside the second shelter, a dozen partiers lay passed out on benches or slumped against a wall.

“Some party,” Bronco Johnny laughed.

Stepping out of the shelter, Trapper Mike noticed Bambi standing in the distance. She appeared to be laughing at him.

Scout Ken and Trapper Mike walked into the night,

Their sense of direction was just not right.

They searched for Frankie’s party far and near,

Turns out the only smart one was the deer.

April 25, 2022 16:55

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