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THEY TOOK UP ARMS FOR A REASON

A patriot in 1770 was no different than a modern man in 2012. He was a man who had a home, a family, and a job to go to every day. He was as comfortable in his home and his life as men are today. He loved his wife and children and wanted nothing more than for them to be happy, safe, and well-fed. He had problems in his life just as men have today. There were bills to pay, illnesses, and personal struggles to overcome. His government endlessly desired more money to spend on the things they thought necessary. They financed this desire by steadily creating more taxes upon the things he needed and enjoyed. They then created more laws and regulations to ensure that he paid these taxes.

American Patriots who fought for our country knew that, left unchanged, their own government's greed and corruption would continue until their descendants were reduced to living as slaves instead of citizens. When these men took up arms and walked out through the doors of their homes they did not know what the future would hold. There was no guarantee of victory. They were willing to give up all that they held dear, including their very lives, so that future generations might be free from government oppression.

Philip Katon

OUR NATURAL WORLD

This letter is in response to Jim Anderson's Natural World column. I went up to Elk Lake on Christmas Eve, and had just had an amazing experience that I need to share.

I snowmobiled in with my nephew from New Hampshire under sunny skies and temps just below freezing. After a filling lunch at the resort, we set out to snowshoe around to check on the cabin. It has been storming up there for a week straight, with probably four feet of snow falling in the past six or seven days. It only stopped snowing around 4 a.m. The folks at the resort said that the ice full formed only five days ago or so. There was six or eight inches of snow over six inches of slush, over a thin layer of ice, with some water and another thin layer of ice at the bottom; well over a foot in all.

We got around to where the resort "chapel" is, and I saw a fresh hole in the snow 10 yards or so off shore and couldn't quite figure out how someone had made it and still covered their tracks so well.

A few minutes later, the second hole still had me scratching my head, but the third hole had the answer: crawfish bits and otter poo! They were swimming up to 100 yards off shore, hunting crawfish and surfacing through all of that ice and snow to feed. A few of the holes had trails and track connecting them, but the vast majority were isolated. They were very active, as there were at least 40 holes around the perimeter between the resort and my cabin, several right next to our iced-in docks that they are evidently using for some sort of shelter. And all of this activity happening since the snow stopped falling, as all of the tracks were fresh and none of the holes were snowed in.

Our furry friends are evidently happy and well-fed despite the deep snow, darkness, frigid temperatures and relative isolation. Here's to hoping they all survive another season. I hope you all are well and wish you a Happy New Year.

Scott Letourneau

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