A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My name is Buck T. Woodland, but you can call me Captain White Tail. 

I am the proud leader of the Algonquin Park Justice League. Our mission: to protect the forest from humans, by any means necessary. 

Too long have we animals suffered. We've been hit by their cars. Shot by their hunters. Our heads have been mounted on their walls. 

Today, I am waiting by the gravel road leading from the campground. There is a sharp bend up ahead that the humans are ignorant of. Using my antlers, I have knocked down the speed limit sign. Without that sign, they will inevitably take the road too fast and see the curve too late. 

I have been training my whole life for this moment. But there is just one problem...

The humans have a boy unlike any child I've ever seen. On stakeout, I've watched him for three days. He doesn't shout, or complain, or brutalize ants. He's not asked for television once. He seems to have no interest in ripping bark from birch trees or trampling saplings. 

Yesterday, he came upon me in my hiding spot. I raised my tail in alarm and froze. I expected him to rush at me, or run away. But he hunkered in the leaves and watched me with big curious eyes that reminded me of my own son. Later, I saw him drawing pictures of me in his sketchbook. 

From the bushes, I can see their SUV coming down the road. The boy's father looks for the speed limit and doesn't see one. He accelerates.  

Victory is at hand. But instead of sweet anticipation, I feel something else.

I think of the boy. I imagine the car spinning off the road and his face at the window. And his beautiful eyes, wide with animal panic. 

I know then that I have to stop them. I rush onto the road, directly in front of the speeding car. The next few moments are a blur.

My heart thunders. Tires squeal. Pieces of gravel rain on me and I smell rubber and exhaust. 

I open my eyes to find that the SUV has managed to stop a few feet away from where I stand. 

The boy climbs out of the car. Our eyes meet. Then, he smiles.


  1. Wow! This one is fantastic, and funny and good. Almost brought tears to my eyes.

  2. This one reminded me of a Far side comic. Great work Britt!

  3. Yes, I can see the Far Side connection. When I was writing it, I did pause for a moment in the middle and think: "wait a minute...is this too weird?"
    Ah, weird is good sometimes. Thanks for commenting.