Burlap

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Burlap: (n) coarse canvas woven from jute or hemp, used especially for sacking.

I once was young enough that a hostess offered me accommodations in a barn. (You have to look like you’re brave and strong, able to survive the elements and sleep on hay.)

I was grateful. She explained that she had so many guests in the house that she had run out of blankets and pillows, but I was more than welcome to draw from a huge stack of burlap bags in the corner of the barn to use for such purposes.

Upon entering the barn, I first found a collection of hay that was dry enough, without suspicious damp portions. That was pretty successful, although I will tell you, a bed of hay gets thinner and thinner as the night goes on and you crush the straws.

As she noted, there were innumerable burlap bags, which I grabbed and pieced together to form a blanket and a pillow. I would not consider myself to be a woodsman or an individual given to outdoorsy experiences, but I’ve had my share. Yet on this particular night, it was impossible for me to sleep.

The burlap was so coarse, so itchy, that I was convinced I had thousands of ants crawling all over my body, which was further reinforced by the knowledge that I was lying on a bed of straw.

I tried to throw the makeshift burlap blanket off, but then I got too cold–but every time I covered with it, I got too itchy.

So I faced a perplexing situation in the morning when I stumbled out of the barn and headed to the house for breakfast.

I knew my hostess was going to ask me how I fared amongst the animals, so I quickly grabbed two biscuits, stuffed them in my mouth, took a big swig of milk, and kept my orifice filled the entire meal– so I was only able to communicate with nods and grunts.

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