Wilbur Snoddgrass and Petey Boy Dejoy Abscond With Moon - By Dan'l MclLhenny

That’s exactly what the front page read... 

Wilbur Snoddgrass and Petey Boy Dejoy Abscond With Moon 

October 31st, 1951 Mount Beesly, Vermont ~ 

Home of the Mount Beesly Decrepit Press Newspaper 

Happy Halloween you houligans! 


Most of us who hail from northern Vermont 

Know this trouble seeking duo 

As a couple of juvenile aches in the county’s side 

Not to forget all their out and about after school antics 

Around our otherwise peaceful town 

Sure some of the elders laugh at their 

Right of passage tomfoolery vicariously revisiting 

Their own unsettled youth lived many decades ago But… 

The vast majority Beeslites remain discombobulated and downright annoyed 

Wondering why don’t their parents reel these pranksters in 

A few nights in the hoosegow should loosen the devil's grip 

And steady sunday attendance... buckled into a pew wouldn’t hurt either 

at a local house for wholesome heaven sake worship  

To their high school chums they were known as Burr and P.boy 

Farmboys who grew up together just beyond the town limits 

Where rolling hills stretch out as green pastures that 

Eventually linger with woods thicked of mature maple and conifer trees 

Excellent cow country where kids learn the value of hands to work chores 

That sort of dogged daily due diligence would ruffle any family kept kid to 

Wonder what freedom might feel and taste like 

School and learning from teachers and books was a given and they complied with that too but… 

Both boys were wound up tighter than a wasps nest lacking in the subtleties of acceptable behavior 

For an average vermontonian in a township like Mount Beesly 

There were fist fights and adolescent scraps galore 

These out of towners seldom abstained from call outs from beesly Brats to… 

Put up your dukes you doofus bumpkins 

Not dissimilar to enraged alley cats challenged by rabid yard dogs 

These scuffles nearly were legendary amongst their peers 

Carefully broken-up by teachers or janitorial staff always on the lookout for the latest hubbub 

At the aftermath meeting of the minds 

Principal Armstrong would demand - these needless ruckus’s will cease, gentlemen! 

And then thought provoking threatening words were flung loudly into the air such as; 

  Detention, suspension, expulsion and juvenile hall 

Or these wannabe pugilists could pick an appropriate bendable green switch and take 

an agreeable batch of Lashes upon their respective posteriors 

 before the entire student body for their indiscretions and reckless misdeeds 

Rather than suffer the civil humiliation of an old fashioned public spanking 

  Detention, suspension, expulsion and juvenile hall became their go to solutions 

Fortunately for everyone’s benefit the extreme conclusion of sending them to juvie never happened 

Nor did the other hauntingly horrific resolution of terminal expulsion 

Come to rest within their student records ...after all boys will be boys! 

So Halloween arrived as it always did but this night was regaled by 

Not only a full moon but also a blue one 

And to purify this day and night as if it were not enough… 

The entire spooky ordeal fell on Saturday and although it was vermont cool and crispy cold 

The sky was clear for all goblins and ghouls to be out for the trifecta of haunted happenings 

Even in small town America Vermont this would be worth its salt and syrup 

Considering how fraught with variables October could be - it just aligned like some cosmic cluster 

Burr and P. boy hassled some younger kids in Beesly and were unceremoniously rewarded with a few 

Choice pickin’s from their treat bags but those encounters came and went as a sting operation 

Soon the dressed up youngsters would be headed back home to drool over the porch loot 

For now our street bandit bad boys were headed out of town for a rocky peak locals knew as coogan’s 

The Blue moon was easing down on the horizon while looming large as an orbiting beacon 

Inside Burr’s dad’s ‘39 studebaker pick-up they laughed and sipped on bottles of beer 

Within mere weeks each would turn eighteen uncertain about their future although 

Contented in the moment of long lived friendship 

Up at Coogan’s peak where the gravel road ends there’s an outcropping of rugged granite rock 

Rimming the viewpoint like a natural stronghold sporting near 360 degree views of the countryside 

Day or night it was a magical place for necking, stargazing when things were clear as this night happened to be and lucky for them for the moment it was theirs to behold 

From this vantage place the moon seemed closer than ever 

Almost as though two light headed lads could touch the lunar orb 

Burr cut the engine and chuckled as it sputtered and desieilled to a gashpy stop 

As their doors squeaked then thumped open they dismounted beer’s in hand 

Astonished by the night sky 

P. boy grabbed a fishing net he found in the back of the pick-up 

Remarking how sout the seven foot handle was as he foolheartedly fished at the low hanging moon    

And then it happened the net fell seamlessly around it 

And p.boy tugged the lite ball closer but it was not easy so he said Burr how about some help here! 

Burr responded in disbelief though curious enough to join in the tug o war 

With the two tugging the moon came without much resistance 

To the farmboys earnest efforts and they were baffled by the almost weightlessness of the symbolic 

Heavenly body ornament… so they hauled it in and set it to rest in the back of the trucks bed 

Holy moly Burr exclaimed what have we done, do you believe this? 

P.boy was just as dumbfounded 

The glow was mesmerizing so much so they reached for a rolled up canvas tarp to cover the moon 

The first one was not enough to mask the brightness 

So a second tarp was enlisted and although it was muting the light more 

They keenly decided a third tarp would be necessary and upon securing number 3 

The night was certifiably pitch black and darkness reigned supreme 

It was then the locals said that the boys made their second fatal mistake 

Burr and P.boy decided to keep the moon under wraps of course 

Youthful thinking can often be shortsighted and this plan was loosely bound 

Back in the studee they drove home and pulled into the barn 

Carefully unwrapped their successful catch after securing the barn doors 

Then hoisted the bright moonbeam via the netted grasp and secured the pole 

On some wall mounted fasteners used to hang farm implements 

While jockeying the spaceball into place the entire barn beamed brighter than daylight 

That illumination shot out the old barns cracks and although without the aid of sound 

Those brilliant points of random light splash caused Burr’s parents to notice the profound oddity 

As quick as the boys could...  realizing what this unveiling did worked feverishly retarding the light 

Once the tarps were resecurred the darkness of night held court again 

For a moment or two they felt victorious until the backdoor slammed shut and mister snoddgrass’s 

Quickened footsteps could be heard marching toward the barn 

The boys hid while ditching the beer bottles under a crate but the commotion was too much 

Farmer Snoddgrass was on them almost instantly after throwing the barn door wide open 

With flashlight in hand he found their not so well thought out hiding spots and said… 

Boys what the hell is going on in here? 

Tell me what that bright flashing was now, before I tear you both limb from limb! 

It’s a sobering effect when your innocent, childish actions swoosh you back to reality 

And the authority of parenthood causes kids to shake in their boots 

Burr had learned long ago to never cross his father 

So right there with their faces lit-up like jackolanterns the boys fessed up… 

their otherworldly tale sounded unhinged at best 

causing old man snoddgrass to doubt what he was being told 

However the boys untarped the captive moon 

Allowing the night’s darkness to vacate the keepings of the barn 

Fairly bowling over the farmers ability to reason anything swirled 

Finally he gathered his wits and said boys we have to fix this mishap tonight 

In other words right now! 

P.boy go call your dad and get him over here as soon as you can 

Burr and I will load the moon back into the pick-up and cover it up 

By now Mrs. snoddgrass was up along with Burr’s brother and sister all wondering 

What’s up out in the barn? 

Farmer Dejoy was sound asleep when the phone rang and he was not happy when P.boy spoke 

Within the course of twenty minutes both dad’s were steeped in talk 

Trying to figure out how to place moon back into orbit 

Growing up on the farm you learn how to repair and fix about everything in your stronghold 

It was an idea they agreed might work so behind the trusty studebaker the men hitched-up an 

Oversized homemade catapult they used typically after Halloween to hurl old pumpkins 

Hundreds of feet out into the pasture mostly for fall sport and laughs 

Naturally this middle of the night occurrence became an adventure unlike non other 

A few neighbors caught wind of the dark night caravan and followed along to 

see what they could see… would the task be bold enough to right the night? 

 Both farmer’s realized they may only have a single shot to put the moon back on track 

They consulted the farmers almanac and made reference to a handy window box barometer 

And even took a chance at asking a couple amature astronomers to join them at coogan’s peak 

By the time everyone arrived, the sheriff and his graveyard staff had pulled in along with a reporter from the Decrepit Press from Mout Beesly 

The catapult was lined up with the orbit path and secured and now the removal of the canvas covers came off one by one the moons brightening re-zoomed for all to witness 

The talk was two tiered innocent onlookers staring in awe and the words of confidence 

Amongst the farmers, backyard scientists and the sheriff’s team plus Burr and P.boy 

Both worried with teenage angst blushing their faces 

Some bystanders told others not to look directly at the moon since it was so blindingly close  

Mothers with younger ones held them close trying to hide their faces away 

The men made quick work of placing the moon into the fold of the catapults heaving saddleworks 

A last minute spert of calculations and the Moon was drawn back carefully as 

Masterfully as any pumpkin might be prior to launch 

And the countdown began from 10 down to 1- then liftoff  

Everyone joined in on the countdown children too 

When the high tiled release came the moon sailed like a bullet into the black sky 

Lighting its path almost comet like 

Everyone held their breath hoping for the best and the best happened in one perfect toss 

To cheers of joy and honking horns our fabled moon went back to work 

The next day the town awoke to the weird headline and the remarkable story 

Most of Mount Beesly’s citizenry thought the story was Halloween fiction 

But for the few who knew this tale of tales would rattle around northern Vermont 

For decades and decades to come 

Both Burr and P.boy now referred to as petey would eventually settle down, 

Get married, raise kids of their own and continue their family legacy as productive Farmers 

Maybe old George bailey really did lasso that moon after all! 

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