Orvis Whistler's Teeth

Teeny Terwilliger, Manhattan Beach

Big twirling sawblades, trees falling, overloaded lumber wagons on ice-tracks…well, any yay-hoo can figure there’d be a cut finger now and again, maybe a bump on the head. “Go to the cook!” the Head Sawyer’d holler, cooks being well-versed in handling small cuts and headaches, as they were.

But being a camp foreman’s daughter and once cross-dressing as a Bull Cook, Miss Maggie Bunting set her sights on the camp-doctoring opportunities outside of cuts and headaches.

Stray bits of tools, chunks of sawdust, even near-petrified beard hairs were forever getting stuck in loggers’ teeth. From an early age, Miss Maggie took on digging dirt and debris out of teeth, like a young skunk takes on stink.  But Orvis Whistler was about to add a new chapter to Miss Maggie’s career in camp teeth.

Orvis had a moustache that upholstered his lips, shrouding his teeth from view, so when Miss Maggie propped open his mouth with her trusty sled block, she got the surprise of her life. Well, you know how cavities are usually holes in the teeth, but these cavities seemed to be striped and growing on top of his teeth. Miss Maggie took an ice pick and pried off several striped lumps, borrowing Paul’s reading glasses to us as a magnifying glass.

Now Orvis was a wonderful swimmer and swam for several hours a day in Whitefish Lake. His fine moustache hairs strained the water as he swam, stopping the zebra mussels right behind that thick face mane of his.

Now, Paul saw all this and knew it was a huge threat to the woods and waters.  So, he cut off a few years’ growth from his beard and stretched it over a frame of four mature white pine trees, using it as a sieve to filter all the zebra mussels out of Whitefish, thus averting the first infestation of zebra mussels in the Lake Country.