Prairie Dogs, Pronghorns & Penis Sheaths

by Biff Spork

Chapter 10

An Embarrassment of Riches

Floods are the most common (and among the most deadly) natural disasters in the United States. They have brought destruction to every state and nearly every county, and in many areas they are getting worse. As global warming continues to exacerbate sea level rise and extreme weather, our nation's floodplains are expected to grow by approximately 45 percent by century's end.


After lunch, we ran to Marcus' bedroom. He logged in to his favorite online merchant so we could get the camping equipment and supplies we needed. It was a lot of fun to go on a buying spree with no thought of how much anything cost. Within an hour our shopping cart was loaded with dozens of items that would enable us to create a home away from home. There were solar panels to power the lights in the two-room tent and the mini-fridge, and a butane stove as well as a solar cooker, camp beds, sleeping bags, air mattresses, a compost potty, down pillows, a battery-operated hair dryer, deck chairs, portable dvd player, a towel rack, and hatchets, knives and pots, pans, plates and cups. Suddenly I felt tired.

"Marcus," I said, "this is all wrong."

"What?" he said, his finger poised over the Confirm Purchase button.

"I'm sorry. I got carried away," I said.

"What's to be sorry?" he said. "This is great. We'll get all this stuff sent by express and should be able to take off tomorrow. I'll get Jason to put a trailer on the back of an ATV to carry it all."

"Marcus, camping is not about sitting outdoors surrounded by all this stuff. It's about getting away from all this stuff. So don't buy any of that. Cancel it all and we'll just get what we absolutely need, what we can carry. No trailer. No ATV."

"No ATV? How are we gonna get there?"

"We'll walk."


"Yeah!" I jumped on him and pushed him over onto his bed. "We'll get up on our hind legs and walk. We'll carry what we need on our backs. You'll hate it. It'll be good for you." While I spoke I dug my fingers into his ribs until he screamed and begged.

"Okay, okay, okay, Mr. Back-to-Nature. But we do need something. We can't just walk off into the bush with our kotekas on and nothing else. We at least need a knife and a pot or something."

Anna and Jason were in the kitchen, having just finished their lunch. We sat down at the table with them.

"We need your help," I said.

Both of them raised their eyebrows.

"Good!" said Anna.

"What?" said Jason.

So we told them we wanted to go camping down along the river for maybe a week, and we wanted to take just the bare essentials that we could carry in two packs. Jason was enthusiastic and said he could help us order the minimum equipment we needed, on the kitchen computer. Anna said she had often been backpacking when she was a girl and knew what food we should take. I spent the afternoon with her, putting together packages of dry soup and bean stew mixes. Online, we ordered camp cutlery and pots. We stopped for a snack in mid-afternoon. Our packs and the online stuff Jason and Marcus had ordered would not arrive til the following day but everything else was ready. Marcus and I decided to run down to the workshop and then have a swim to finish the day.

We had been thinking and talking all afternoon and it was a relief to simply run along the forest trail playing tag with each other. I'd slap his bum and race ahead of him until he caught up and slapped my bum. Then he accelerated away as I lunged after him. There was no thought for the morrow or for the past, and my mind was empty but for Marcus' slim form darting through the dappled shade beneath the trees. At the swimmin' hole, we paused only long enough to doff our kotekas and then threw ourselves into the river.

From underwater, I could see Marcus treading water and swam up to him. He wrapped his arms around me and we each put our heads on the other's shoulder while our hearts slowed.

"You've changed my life, Bumper," said Marcus softly. "I don't know who I am anymore."

"Me too," I said. "I used to know a lot of stuff. Now I only know one thing for sure. I love you Marcus. I absolutely, totally love you, everything about you, from your beautiful little toes up to those hairs that always stick up at the back of your head."

"Are you gonna be strict with me when we go camping?" he said.

"Yep. I'm gonna tell you what to do and order you around. I can hardly wait."

"Me too," he said.

We hugged and kissed until it was time to get out of the water and lie in the afternoon sun.

I drifted into a drowse. When I woke I put my hands under my head and looked down my belly. The view was obstructed by my boner reaching for the sky, straining upwards in the sunlight like it was possessed. I knew if I reached down and gave it a single fondle I would be lost, so I pushed my head back and looked up into the blue. As if my penis knew I was not going to stroke it, it slowly went limp. I closed my eyes again and bit by bit, I became aware of a subtle pleasure in all my body that I had not felt before. It was like the intense longing for an orgasm had melted down into a milder but more widespread pleasure that lingered, so that merely moving felt good. I sat up, stretched luxuriously and felt happy.

"Marcus?" I said as I leaned over and kissed one of his nipples.


"Let's just walk back to the house, not take any vehicles. It'll be good training for our trek tomorrow."

So we walked through the woods, arm in arm, and talked about important things, like what we wanted to do when we grew up and whether there was a God or not and about UFOs and ESP and how we felt about babies and maybe having kids. We had to stop and kiss from time to time so it was nearly supper time when we got back to the house. Anna met us at the door and said she wanted to inform us of a new rule.

"I think it's okay if you boys want to run around all day naked except for those gourd things. But I don't want you to get too wild, so I would like to see you wearing at least shirts and shorts for supper, just so you don't get too forgetful about what the outside world expects. Okay?"

We went to Marcus' room, laid our kotekas aside and put on some shorts and T-shirts. We were rewarded with a big smile from Anna and a fabulous supper that left us nearly immobile, once we had cleaned our plates. After supper, I checked in by phone with my parents. Then, since we would soon be spending the night out under the stars we decided to watch something in the home theater. We agreed that Raiders of the Lost Ark was the perfect preparation for our upcoming expedition.

In bed once again, the night was one long cuddle, with our tangled arms and legs finding ever fresh ways of embracing, while our stainless steel boner covers prevented too much knobular stimulation.

We woke up early, excited that we were soon to set off on our camping trip. While we breakfasted, our camping supplies were delivered by an express courier. When we had eaten, Jason helped us to fit everything into the packs. In mid-morning we waved goodbye and set off toward the back forty.

We had decided to trek without shoes. We had been running around barefoot for a couple of days and the grassland wasn't rocky or prickly. Had we been in a hurry, shoes would have been wise. But we were in no rush and were only going to trek as far on this first day as was comfortable.

We were soon out of sight of the house and stopped briefly to remove our kotekas . We agreed that since we didn't expect to see anybody we would leave the kotekas off and just be naked as long as we were camping. Since we had no intention of leaving the property, we had no fear of meeting strangers. It was well-posted to discourage trespassers and, though I had yet to see them, there were security staff who regularly patrolled the perimeter of the property.

Two hours walk brought us near the woods that lined the river bank and we took a break there. It was a relief to set the packs on the ground.

"Wow," I said. I felt light enough to float. "This is what it must be like to walk on the moon."

"Yeah," agreed Marcus. "Let's break out the lunch Anna packed."

We sat cross-legged in the grass, munched sandwiches and emptied a canteen. I looked over at Marcus and smiled. I was full of happiness and I wanted to say something, but I had nothing to say. He looked at me and we started to laugh, just for joy. We wrapped our arms around each other and rolled over and over in the grass, then lay still.

Marcus estimated we might be as much as four hours' walk from the swimmin' hole campsite we had visited the previous day. We both felt capable of doing it, so we shouldered our packs and set off again. I was glad we were hiking to our campsite. Walking across the grassland made me feel like we were performing an ancient ritual, something our minds and bodies recognized from thousands of years ago. There was a whisper of a breeze but it was quiet except for the occasional bird song, a lark or sometimes a killdeer. The cloudless sky seemed immense, an unimaginably vast blue vault. With every step, we seemed to move further away from the problems of the world, all the wars, pandemics and looming environmental crises.

It was late afternoon when we finally broke through the trees to our campsite on the river and took the packs off again.

"We don't have to cook tonight," I said. "Let's just eat those veggie dogs and buns. You find us some dry firewood and I'll try to set the tent up. Okay?"

Our tent was a two-person pup tent, one of those that was supported by flexible, telescoping metal rods. I was thankful that the instructions were clear and accurate. As soon as the tent was up, I inflated the air mattress. We had only brought one sleeping bag, but it was a generous size. The two of us together were about as big as a single large adult, so it was perfect.

Meanwhile, Marcus had hacked branches off a dead tree and built a campfire. He had also cut and sharpened two sticks to use to roast the vegetarian wieners. Anna had packed a half-dozen buns already cut and spread with mustard and relish. Those hot dogs slid down like food from heaven. We topped them off with some nuts and raisins. Though twilight was advancing, we took a quick swim before bed to wash away the dust and sweat of the day's hike. The evening was cool but we soon dried, standing naked in front of the campfire embers.

After digging through his pack for a few minutes, Marcus came back to the fire and said, "I don't know where those chastity things are. I packed them but they're not where I thought I put them."

"I'm sorry, Marcus," I said. "They just seemed to be wrong things to bring out here. So I took them out of your pack and left them in your room, in your desk. I hope you don't mind too much. I was gonna talk to you about it but you were busy with Jason and then I forgot it."

Marcus didn't say anything so I continued, "I was a little doubtful at first when you talked to me about not having sex, but now I know you were right. It's better like we've been doing it. And I'm sure if we're both determined to be together without doing sex, we can do it. I want us to be like you said. Every day I'm together with you I love you more, even though it never seems like it's possible."

"That's beautiful, Bumper." said Marcus. "You're right. We shouldn't have to depend on some steel cock-traps. Let's go to bed. I'm so tired I'll soon fall asleep standing up. All I want now is to put my arms around you and go to sleep."

Though our bodies wrapped themselves in each other in ever-new combinations through the night, fatigue kept us chaste. At one point I had to get up to urinate. As I stood in the moonlight, peeing under the brilliant stars, a surge of joy swept over me and I felt like I wanted to sing, to let the world know how wonderful everything was and how happy I felt. When I folded myself back into Marcus' warm embrace in our little tent, I slept immediately.

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