Hobo with a shotgun. And then, a cottage

By Penny Caldwell »Penny Caldwell

August 31st, 2011


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At the cottage, some people are afraid of bears. I’m afraid of hobos. Guest post by Jackie Davis, assistant editor.

We’ve covered some scary things in this magazine—for example, bears, in our latest issue. Still, whenever I go to my cottage in Algonquin Park, I don’t generally get frightened. Except at night. When I have to go outside, alone, in the dark. And I’m not afraid of bears; I’m afraid of deranged hobos hiding in the woods. (Also, serial killers, undead children, and dolls that have come to life, through a curse or spell.)

My sister’s afraid, too. Last weekend, she didn’t want to go into the outhouse before bed. “What if the hobo’s in there?” Wait, a hobo in the outhouse? Actually, she made a good point. For one thing, it was raining, and the hobo would obviously want shelter while he plotted our cottage break-in. Also, the outhouse is newly-built, so it’s a pretty nice place to hang out.

I don’t know why I’m so afraid of a deranged hobo coming into the cottage. After all, it’s never happened (to us or anyone I know, at least). A bear, however, did come into our cottage once. But that kind of proves my point: The bear walked in like he owned the joint. Why wouldn’t a hobo do the same? For some reason, my mother—who is diligent about bear-proofing—refuses to lock the cottage doors at night, which, to me, is ignoring a key part of the also-important hobo-proofing. Who cares if you clean the grill and put away the dog food? That doesn’t deter the hobo.

If a deranged hobo breaks into the cottage, a bear better break in, too. That way, they can fight each other, and I can escape.

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Penny Caldwell