This weekend’s post comes to us from Port Huron Steve.
I used to own a cabin on Roman’s Point, which is a peninsula sticking into Lake Superior from its Wisconsin shoreline. There are about twenty cabins on the point. While a few were owned by Wisconsin residents, most belonged to people who live in the Twin Cities or Milwaukee and came to the shore of Superior to relax. The cabin folks were mostly professionals: teachers, writers, social workers and so forth. The people who used those cabins on the point formed a loose community. Everyone got along.
The cabin owners on Roman’s Point were a mellow group. They were highly educated and keen on protecting the natural environment. They were nature lovers. Indeed, they paid a lot of money for the privilege of enjoying one of the loveliest natural areas in the US. The people with cabins on the point were relaxed about security issues. The point was a friendly place where nobody expected crime.
We were amused, then, when somebody reported an odd theft. A young woman returned from a walk, kicking off her running shoes as she entered her family’s cabin. When she went out again, one running shoe was missing. That seemed strange. Who would steal a running shoe?
Not long afterward, another woman lost a sneaker from the back step of her cabin. People began to talk about this. Days later, another shoe went missing. And then another. What the heck was going on?
Now people were scared. Four shoes had disappeared. Something weird was going on. The shoes had no value, so the thief couldn’t be selling them. And “he” only took one shoe each time. Was lovely Roman’s Point haunted by a one-legged criminal?
Somebody finally said out loud what we had all been thinking: the only imaginable reason for stealing women’s shoes was some obscure sexual fetish. People began talking about the “Roman’s Point Pervert.” Cabin owners began locking their doors at night. For the gentle souls of Roman’s Point, this was our Boo Radley moment. Fear was in the air.
While Roman’s Point is “air conditioned” naturally by chilly lake breezes, now and then the weather can be hot and sticky. On one of those rare sultry nights, a few young folks chose to sleep in pup tents behind their parents’ cabin. Although they had sleeping bags, it was so hot they slept on top of the bags as if they were mattresses.
Just at dawn one of the girls woke up with a strange feeling. She gradually realized something was happening to her feet. She sat up. There, at the open end of her pup tent, was a red fox that was licking her bare feet. When the girl sat up, the fox was startled. It snatched one of her shoes and disappeared in the leafy underbrush.
Hours later, the Roman’s Point cabin owners mustered up a search team. After tramping around a bit, they discovered the fox’s cache of shoes in a little hollow surrounded by brush. They returned all the shoes to their owners.
Have you ever worried about something that turned out to be silly?