David Rhoden

We played Fox and Hounds at Scout meeting and never found the fox.

by David Rhoden. Day .

I was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, at least until I got old enough to drive. Being a Scout was a mixed bag; sometimes I hated it and someimes it was just boring. We met on Wednesday nights if I recall correctly, in the "Scout cabin" which was a pretty neat cabin on the hill behind our church, Brainerd Methodist. I can barely remember what the point of the meetings were. We stood in columns and recited the oath. We went over Scout business, and discussed upcoming camping trips and other stuff we had to do, like help Eagle Scout candidates with their Eagle projects, which usually involved us all getting rained on. Come to think of it, the camping trips also involved us getting rained on. Anyway.

I do remember one particular Scout meeting. It was a nice night out, probably toward fall or winter, as it was dark out. Mr Wright, the scout master seemed to have no plan so it was kind of up to us to pick something to do. Someone suggested we play "Fox and Hounds"...in the graveyard. You see, right behind the cabin, further up the hill, was our church's medium-sized graveyard.

If you don't know the game, one person is the Fox, the rest are Hounds. You give the Fox a minute or two to hide, then the Hounds go hunt for him. It shouldn't be scary. the Hounds can go in a big bunch if they want to. But, in a graveyard it's different.

Fredrico Dixon was chosen to be the Fox. I think he chose himself actually. we gave him a few minutes to hide, then the rest of us spread out into the graveyard. And it took us about a minute to scare ourselves. Somebody said, "You know, there's an open grave up here, be careful you don't fall in." The graveyard had no lights, all we had was whatever the moon and the nearby grocery store parking lot could provide. but off we went to look for Fredrico.

Except nobody wanted to do it. We knew where the open grave was but we wouldn't go near it. We were sure Fredrico was in it and he would grab a straggler by the ankle and pull him in.

So we walked around the graveyard, sticking to the paths, perfectly happy not to find the Fox. Well, we weren't perfectly happy, in fact we weren't happy at all. We thought we needed to succeed at this task, as much of the Scout ethos involved just that: performing tasks. But we wouldn't go near that grave. I think in the end we just retreated to the cabin.

And thinking about it now, I'm pretty sure Fredrico, and probably some of the other older Scouts, weren't anywhere near that graveyard. If one of them had a car to drive, they were probably driving it while us younger guys stumbled around in the dark.
That makes the most sense to me. In any case, we never found him.

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