Day’s Verse:
But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.
Acts 6:10 (context)

Red Tree SunsetWalking through the woods near the resrvoir on Labor Day, Darren and I heard faint, elusive music whispering through the trees. The sound of wind in the leaves? No; more mystical. The sound of an ivory-billed woodpecker? No; even rarer. We heard the musical call of a wild ice cream truck, a highly endangered species found only in New England.

Domesticated ice cream trucks have appeared all over the world, but the original stock was bred from a population of wild ice cream trucks the Pilgrims found roaming free when they arrived in America. Native Americans had for many generations interacted peacefully with the ice cream trucks, harvesting only what ice cream they needed and releasing the trucks after a harvest. The Pilgrims, however, saw the ice cream trucks as only a resource to be exploited; they caught or killed ice cream trucks and ultimately reduced the ice cream truck population to a few hundred wild trucks hiding in the back woods of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Wild ice cream trucks tend to require a large, moderately forested range, and with an increasing human population, they found their habitat rapidly shrinking. Thus, while active hunting contributed to a drastic plummet in the ice cream truck population, range restriction cut into their numbers dramatically as well as humans took over. Wild ice cream trucks by nature tend to be extremely shy, hiding from loud noises or any possible threats; over the years, the learned that humans especially will mercilessly harvest their ice cream bars. This has led to an extremely small number of wild ice cream truck sightings in the last century, so that some experts have even suggested that true wild ice cream trucks have vanished, and those we hear in the woods are actually feral ice cream truck escapees.

In the wild, male trucks, leading their females and offspring, patrol their territory and keep it free from other rogue males. Females of the species tend to be very protective of their young up to a year or a year and a half old; after that, the offspring’s father chases away any developing young males who might threaten his hold on the group. The adult female ice cream trucks are especially noted for their rich, chocolaty Dove and Haagen-Dazs bars, while the males produce a wide variety of ice creams to attract more females. Young ice cream trucks, up to 1.5 years old, produce soft serve in vanilla, chocolate, or swirl. An ice cream truck is considered mature when it produces only hard ice cream and has ceased totally to produce soft serve.

Catching and milking ice cream trucks has long been considered a lost art, so the rumors that ice cream bars from wild ice cream trucks taste richer and more milky than those produced by domesticated stock cannot be confirmed.

5 thoughts on “Music in the Woods: A Brief Ice Cream Truck History

  1. Katie, you need to turn these little personified machinery tales into children’s stories. I’m not kidding. Thomas the Tank engine is still going strong! Kids love this sort of thing.

  2. This was hilarious and completely brightened my morning.

    Do male ice cream trucks have a decidedly different mating call than the females? Say, Do Your Ears Hang Low versus Mary had a Little Lamb?

  3. What a wonderfully evocative tale… if it weren’t 49F and raining, I’d be on my way to searhc for one of these trucks right now!

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