Scintilla 2013 – Day 1 – Burning Down the Guide Tent

Day 1. Tell a story about your first job.

*This poem is based on actual events when I worked as a camp cook in a hunting camp in Montana many moons ago. This was written a looong time ago. But I thought it appropriate for today’s prompt. It’s not a perfect poem by far and I realize that. I believe it is a first draft from 1993 and this is the first time it is seeing the “light of day” so I am a little nervous about putting it out there. I do hope you enjoy it though. No one was hurt in the fire and while no fire is fun or funny, it was quite humorous after the fact. *For the humor part you have to understand my “history” with fire. Β I will say that the reason the tent started on fire was that one of the guides DUCT TAPED the stove pipe up – which I did not know at the time. You can guess what happened to the stove pipe and the tape when I built their fire on this particularly COLD morning. I didn’t usually build a fire in the guide’s tent. Of course the ONE time I did, THIS happened. I still maintain it was NOT my fault! πŸ™‚

Burning Down the Guide Tent

It happened in October, Halloween to be exact, I went out to the guide tent and struck that fateful match.

The morning was a cold one, so I gathered lots of wood, with kindling and a piece of pitch, I built their fire good.

The stove got red and hot, the heat became intense, I said good morning to the guys and went back to my tent.

I was busy frying bacon, and doing my morning chores, when the guides came trickling in through the walltent door.

They were still quite sleepy, as they yawned and rubbed their eyes, I asked them how the fire was, they said it sure felt nice.

One went to wake the hunters, some saddled horses up, the coffee finished perking, so I poured myself a cup.

We only had two hunters, so there wasn’t much to do, they came in and sat down and drank some coffee too.

The guides returned, washed their hands and took their usual spots, I stood at the griddle flipping pancakes, fresh and hot.

I handed out their lunches, as they finished up their plates, the boss stood up and wiped his mouth and said, “It’s getting late.”

The guides went up to the corral, hunters thanked me for the food, I cleared off the table, Β the boss stayed to change his boots.

I stopped working when I heard it, were the horses all turned out? It sounded like a stampede, until we heard the shouts.

Someone was yelling FIRE, so we quickly ran outside, there we stood in shock and horror, we couldn’t believe our eyes.

That noise we heard wasn’t horses, or even cattle running ’round, but a towering inferno from the guide tent burning down!

We hauled all of the buckets and shovels to the site, but it wasn’t long until we knew it was a losing fight.

We watched in pain as the tent choked with flames, and then something began to POP! Someone cried, “Watch out! It’s my ammo going off!”

We managed to save some of their things before it burnt to ash but before long all was gone.Β  Boy, it sure went fast.

All I did was light the match that lit the kindling wood, of all the things that went so bad I sure built that fire good!


I hope you’ll join us for the Scintilla Project 2013! It’s two weeks of fun, spanking new prompts!

The Scintilla Project

0 thoughts on “Scintilla 2013 – Day 1 – Burning Down the Guide Tent

  1. LOL. Ohmigawsh. What a hilarious experience. I think your poem is sweet, too – so sincere and so darn hilarious! Ohmigawsh. What a great story. Have you considered performing this piece. It would be awesome!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *