Back when we was young in Minnesota, life was was in every which way bigger. To the west, North and South Dakota was just One Goddamned Dakota and Canada had several orbital moons. There wasn’t a size long-john any less than an XXL and they came pre-stained with the blood of mammoths. We drank milk from rain gutters since our cows stood at ‘low cloud height’  and sure enough we was all giants and when we was bad we hadda go pull a Tappin’ Tree for our mommas to beat us with. Shucks, the beatin’ wasn’t all that bad really. But pickin’ your Tappin’ Tree was awful. I of course always tried to pick the skinniest tree and it wasn’t until I was older that I figured out that a skinny tree only hurts all the more. I went through lotsa birch to learn that. When we’d plucked all the trees outta the land our elders took to using Beatin’ Lakes where they’d make us pick a lake and they’d scoop it up and slap the water across our bare bellies. Nowadays our kids might be a little bit smaller but they ain’t one whit better behaved and the like might be said about those two Dakotas.

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