Camping Trip (Balloon Boy)

We were camping, my family and I, and I was still a kid, a teenager maybe. I was busy going around setting up various things for the campsite, unpacking my backpack and making sure I had batteries in my flashlight, that sort of thing. My brother (who is older than me) was sitting at a picnic table whittling a forked stick. It was clear he was sulking and unhappy about being there. I went over to him and tried to show him this odd all-in-one camping tool I just took from my backpack, but he turned away and eventually tried to hit me with the stick. I grabbed the stick from him and threw it into the woods, but it landed like a spear, with the forked end sticking up. My brother gasped and started trying to scare me by telling me that because the stick had landed with the “horns” sticking up I had actually summoned a demon, and now a demon was going to come for me and there was nothing I could do. But instead of being afraid, I was determined to show him up. I went and got this big coil of rope/strap from the back of the station wagon. I hammered a wooden stake into the ground and tied the rope to it, and the other end to my ankle. Then somehow I floated above the tent, above the trees, to the limit of the cord. I gently bounced around up there like I was a balloon. My brother was upset, yelling at me “that’s not fair” and to get back down. My mother was upset too, but not about me – she said I was going to ruin the special cord and that I better put it back in place before dad found out. Neither of them was surprised by the fact that I could float away.

(Paul included the text above with the object. It describes the dream he had, which the scrimshaw illustrates. For more details about Paul, these objects, and how they ended up with me, click here!)

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