The world is out there for you to discover on your own. There are wolves, yes, but there are also pastures full of spring grass and the chance that you will find a flock of your own.
It is your life and I can’t walk beside you. Think of what you’ve learned. Be careful, but do not forget to live. Be strong and be kind. Don’t be afraid to lose your heart.
I will come when you need me. When you need a place to lick your wounds and rest, you are welcome home. But it is time and you must go.
Please go now, before I lose my courage.
I wanted her to notice me. To see me for the first time and perhaps recognize that I was present. But in her world, I was less than a shadow. Less that the light breeze that teased her hair with the prospect of flight…of freedom.
It is, I suppose, my nature to imagine conversations between people that I can see, but can’t hear. And so…
Miss Susan: I want the musicians over here, near the hay. I also want the benches around the walls. You will also need to move the corn grinder out behind the barn.
Mr. Carr: Yes’m.
Miss Susan: And Mr. Carr, I hold you personally responsible to see that the fiddle player has no liquor tonight. I will not have him dancing a jig in his union suit as we did last month.
Mr. Carr: Yes’m!
Miss Susan: Not a single drop, Mr. Carr. If I smell any liquor on that man, you won’t see a single pie the rest of the summer.
Mr. Carr: But…
Miss Susan: Not a drop!
Mr. Carr: Yes’m.
In the silence…
The clock ticks on, without tiring, like the metronome to the tune of my life. Tick Tick Tick. A constant, dull beat.
I can hear the creak of my chair as I rock back and forth, sewing the button holes on my new dress.
An errant mouse scurries beneath the bed in the next room. Oblivious to the activity below, the cat sleeps quietly on the bed.
The kettle on the old wood stove steams away, letting me know the temperature of the oven by the sound of its whistling breath.
The house is quiet and in this moment, I can hear myself think. Good thoughts. Memories past and plans for the future.
The silence is good. It calms me and fortifies me for the day ahead. If I could, I would stay here…in this moment…in the silence.
Play me a song, she said.
I want to dance.
Daddy’s not here,
so let’s hear some jazz.
You know what I like.
The one with the horns.
Myrtle really has only a single dream…to be tall. Certainly to be taller than the grass. Just think what it would be like to look around and see the world that surrounds you. Right now, Myrtle can only see the green stalks of grass, the bugs that live on the grass, and an occasional mouse. If she strains her neck and looks up, she can see the sky with it's clouds and occasional bird.
Myrtle wants more. She wants to be able to see what ever it is that she can hear. Loud noises come from beyond the grass. What could make sounds that loud?
How tall would she need to be? Tall as the tree tops that tease her over the grass? Maybe the trees are just bigger grass? Could there be some other bigger cow looking down at her like she is a mouse in the grass. Myrtle involuntarily looked up at the thought of a giant cow. She didn't want to be stepped on.
To be tall…that is all that Myrtle wants. It's taking forever. She's already three weeks old and still not tall.
Myrtle dreams of being tall. That's all she can do for now.
Ya know, sewing these britches reminds me of a story. Back in the war, my buddy Crabby and I were quartermasters attached to the 10th Ohio. We had this Lieutenant that was kind of an ass. The Lieutenant left his coat on a wagon and Crabby got the brilliant idea of sewing this guy's coat sleeves closed about halfway down their length.
Crabby just sat on the tail of the wagon sewing away. The Lieutenant even came out several times and asked Crabby some questions. He never figured out what Crabby was doing.
A runner finally came with a request for the lieutenant to go see the Major. The guy runs out of his tent and grabs the coat that Crabby had finished sewing and returned to its place. The Lieutenant tried putting his arm in the first sleeve and couldn’t get it in. He pushed harder and harder until he started spinning in circles with one arm halfway in and the other flailing around.
Finally the idiot lieutenant pushed so hard that he lost his balance and fell into a pile of horse crap. Crabby started laughing so hard he had tears. I started laughing because Crabby was laughing so hard. His laugh was infectious. Other people were laughing as well.
The Lieutenant got up, madder than a wasp’s nest. When he looked around for someone to blame, Crabby just subtly pointed his finger at one of the other guys that were laughing. I think the poor innocent slob got latrine duty for a month.
I think that was Crabby’s best day of the war.
The gentleman pictured in this story is my friend from the farm, Rick Musselman. With only a little embellishment, this story was the actual tale that Rick was telling me while he hemmed the pants for one of the farm hands. Sometimes, real life is better than the story I would have made up. Thank you Rick.
Zach has always thought he was one of the horses on the farm. He was raised along side them and what they did, he did. If they were gamboling and playing in the pasture behind the barn, then Zach was right there with them. He ate the same hay from the same hay rack as them. He drank from the same water trough.
It is no wonder that Zach was surprised when the horses decided that today, he couldn't play in any of their draft horse games. You would think he was some kind of hog, sheep, or even worse, a goat. Poor Zach. Poor clueless Zach.
Ace reporter, Libby Crenshaw knew a good story when she saw one. She spied Jimmy in the paddock and knew by the way he just stood there every time she looked in his direction that something big was going on. Why would a horse try so hard not to be noticed if he wasn't trying to hide something.
Libby wasn't shy and walked straight up to Jimmy and asked him what he was up to. Point blank. Libby is not known for being subtle. The more that Jimmy stood there in silence, the more Libby knew that she was right. And so the staring contest began.
As far as we know, Libby and Jimmy are still standing there, staring in silence. Who will break first?