Tales of the Dark Side (gurdondark) wrote,
Tales of the Dark Side

The Tale of the Slaughter of the Innocents

I never made it past Tenderfoot level in the Boy Scouts, perhaps because our Scout Troop never really clued in much on merit badges and the like. We had a wonderful fellow who served as our troop leader, and we met in this really cool wooden house on the outskirts of town, right by Gurdon pond. We'd have evening meetings in which we played games in which we played an odd form of rugby involving rolling a giant log past a goal line, or this game called "grab the bacon", a sort of "grab the ball" game (also with rugby references, though far less violent) involving a tied up sports sock.

Our troop went on a campout in the deep pine woods, near a little pond. I had my Scout uniform on, and an official Scout backpack, Scout compass, and Scout knife, in a hip leather holster.

During our hike around the area, someone happened upon a wild turkey with a clutch of turkey eggs. Wild turkeys were quite rare then, as hunters had all but hunted them out. The game and fish people were in the process of restoring them. We all kept hiking, and walked on to pitch tents and make camp.

The next day, I was walking down the trail when I happened upon several of my fellow scouts near the turkey eggs. It turned out that they had decided, in an act of sheer malice, to destroy the eggs. I was a timid, rules-obsessed kid, so I started to walk away. One of the guys, a cool guy named Mike (needless to say, now a preacher), said "oh, no, Bob, you're going to join in, too". I had all the spine of a jellyfish among these more popular, more worthwhile in every way kids. They handed me the pointy stick they were using. I raised the stick high, and imagined I could feel a powerful evil take hold of me as I rammed the point home among the eggs. The eggs were destroyed.

I felt guilty for years about this. I spent my junior high years literally in tears on a frequent basis.
I am a person who feels guilt easily, and it never relented. As I sit here now, it is welling up in me again. I did not tell my parents about this for a year or two, until I broke down in tears one night at home, just after a Scout meeting in which a new team leader had said "this must not have been very good scouts" when being told about the problem.

I have no excuse for what I did. I just went along, and destroyed those eggs. I hesitate to say I learned anything from it all, other than perhaps that I was not a good person.
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