THE BACON TREE

THE BACON TREE

It was the early 1800’s in the days of the wild west in the United States of America, there was a lot of trouble between the white settlers and the true Americans – the Native Indians! The U.S. army were patrolling the countryside in small units trying to keep the Indians in their reservations. The Indians on the other hand didn’t want to be confined and as they were masters in the natural way of living, ran rings around the soldiers.

One unit, comprising of a captain, a sergeant, twenty soldiers and a friendly Indian scout, were lost in hostile territory, out of food and buffeted by a fierce thunder storm. They bedded down for the night, hoping for better weather and a chance to find their way back the next day.

The next day’s weather was worse and things were looking grim, staying put seemed to be the best option, the hungry men were getting desperate. By the third day the Captain had to take some action, so he sent the scout out to survey the area and report back to him after a couple of hours the scout returned. With his basic command of the English language he was able to convey with many gestures that over the top of the ridge there was a bacon tree.

Puzzled the Captain and the sergeant got together to discuss their plight and what to do about it. “What the hell is a bacon tree Sergeant?” the sergeant thought for a moment then said “You know sir there are many things about this country that we have yet to learn. The Indians have been here a long time and they know their own land. I remember hearing a story of something called a breadfruit being discovered on a voyage of discovery and the lives of the crew were saved by this unknown food stuff.” This seemed like a likely solution to the scout’s information so the Captain despatched the sergeant and three men to go over the top of the ridge, find the bacon tree and bring back sufficient foodstuff to feed the men. They were gone for a long time and it was beginning to get dark, when the sentry called out that somebody was approaching.

The sergeant was the lone person staggering back into camp. The Captain and a couple of men rushed to his aid. He was in a bad way, covered in blood with an arrow sticking out of his back. He collapsed and was carried the rest of the way. “What happened Sergeant where are your men?” said the Captain. “All dead sir, where’s that no good scout?” They brought the scout to the dying man. “What did you see over that ridge?” he asked. The scout shouted and gesticulated wildly at the Captain, who finally came back to the sergeant. “It seems that we lost something in the translation, he never said that there was a bacon tree over the ridge, he was trying to tell us it was an AMBUSH!!”

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