Coming up the gravel road around dark-thirty, we saw a glow in our field. The field where Hick has his two freight containers that are one day going to be joined in unholy trussimony to put under roof a garage/shed with fillable metal sides.
"What in the--PONY! What IS that?"
"It looks like a fire. Dying down."
"I KNOW that. Why is there an untended bed of coals smoldering in our field? LOOK! Did you SEE that?"
"That blew right toward that downed tree! Hick is going to catch the woods on fire! Where is HE?"
"Probably in the house. Or the BARn."
"He can't leave that burning! The wind must be 50 miles an hour!"
We got T-Hoe in the garage and clambered across the sidewalk to the porch. The wind whistled through the breezeway, whipping my lovely lady mullet to and fro. Well, not so much whipping it to and fro as almost blinding me with the gust-driven tendrils. Only Hick would have chosen to do some open burning on a day like this. I had scolded him only the week before for setting fire to a fallen tree in the goat pen, with wind pushing ashes and smoke toward the house.
Of course Hick confessed right away to the burned hot dogs he made himself for supper. Better to be thought a horrible cook, I presume, than an unrepentant arsonist. Surely he's old enough to have grown up with those Smokey the Bear commercials. "Only YOU can prevent forest fires!" I saw them. And Hick is older that me!
“Oh, and while you’re sitting there feasting on your charred hot dogs, your field is on fire. We saw it on the way home. I thought that was the smoke inside the house at first.”
“I’ll go check on it when I finish my hot dogs.”
"Seriously. Why would you start a fire with the wind blowing so hard?"
"It wasn't windy when I started the fire. I was just trying to clean up those trees we had down."
Let the photographic record from the next day show that this is the scene of the crime, AFTER Hick went over and shoveled dirt to smother the still-glowing embers that were being fanned by the wind and blown towards all manner of bone-dry combustible tinder.
Yep. The burning embers were right there under the little pile of dirt, which Hick shoveled from the big pile of dirt that he'd accumulated while trying to dig out room for some giant concrete squares he's going to use as a foundation for his freight container garage.
Notice the dry cedar laying in the path of the wind-blown burning embers, and the wispy dead weeds that make good tinder, and the row of cedar trees at the edge of what we call THE WOODS, which are trees, you know, made of wood, which is the main fuel for FIRE.
That man needs to go back to burning hot dogs.