If You Give a Hiker a Cookie
This is a parody of the children’s classic (and one of my favorite books) “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Joffe Numeroff.
If you give a hiker a cookie, she’s going to ask for something to wash it down with.
Since the last NOBO bubble drank all of your sodas and bottled water, you’re going to have to bring her back to your house for some refreshments.
Once you give her some milk to wash down the cookie, she’ll ask for a shower. You’ll want to find the old towels (hiker stench lingers).
After showering, she’ll want a look in the mirror to make sure she doesn’t have a dirt mustache.
When she looks in the mirror, she may notice her hair (all of it) needs a trim. She’ll probably ask for some scissors. (You may want to consider the pruning sheers in the garage.)
When she’s finished giving herself a haircut, (throw away the sheers and towels) she’ll probably be ready for lunch. Take her out to the local AYCE and sit back while she devours everything in sight.
By this time her friends have probably shown up, looking for that trail magic you’d written about in the shelter log the day before. She’ll convince you to wait another hour while she has second lunch with her friends.
On the drive back to your house, they’ll probably spot the local ice cream parlor. They’ll beg you to stop so they can all get triple scoops on waffle cones with sprinkles, syrup and nuts. You’ll probably want them to eat their ice cream before getting back in your car.
On the sidewalk outside, they’ll spy the convenience store across the street and figure they might as well grab some candy bars for the ride since they’re already hungry again.
Back at your house, most of them will be ready for showers (got some more old towels?), and the rest will be ready for a nap. You’ll have to clear out the living room to fit all of their sleeping pads.
After getting comfortable, a few will probably realize it’s 4:00 already and time for an early dinner.
When you get out the phone book to look up the number for the local pizza place, the rest will get so excited for pizza they’ll all want one of their own. They’ll ask to use the phone, too.
They’ll each order a pizza. When the pizza arrives, they’ll realize they need something to drink. After a quick run to the convenience store, they’ll devour their pizzas and crash on your living room floor.
A few hours later, they’ll wake up ready for real dinner. You’ll take them back to the AYCE (by this time it’s probably recovered from their lunch trip).
They’ll probably want ice cream on the way home, and that convenience store probably carries the night time refreshments they’re craving.
Back at your house, since it’s already hiker midnight (8:00), they’ll immediately fall asleep on your floor.
The next morning, being the good trail angel you are, you’ll have have the car warmed up ready to take them to the diner for breakfast.
Chances are they’ll need to grocery shop. And if they need to grocery shop, they’ll need to do laundry, too.
Once they do laundry, it’ll be time for lunch and ice cream desert.
Ice cream will remind them of how comfy your floor was, and they’ll probably want a nap.
Upon waking up from the nap, they’ll be ready for first dinner.
On the way back from the AYCE (for the fifth time?), they’ll probably remember those candy bars from the convenience store and beg to swing by.
By the time you get them back to the house to grab their packs, they’ll spy your phone book and probably ask to order pizza again…
As the boy in the story learned, it’s best not to give a hiker (or a mouse) a cookie. That being said, we appreciate you trail angels more than you could know! Thank you for giving us cookies and the trail magic we need to succeed on our thru-hikes!
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