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Life Arts    H4'ed 1/31/18

The Deep Prairie Pool and the Man

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"The coke bottle blue water didn't cascade, it nonchalantly coasted into the deep limestone hole in the sleepy, spring fed prairie creek. Many times the travertine creek bed on either side of the hole would be raw and dry. Yet, the hole would always hold cool, gem-like water, a watery sapphire set in a millennium made, fossilized band.

The slightly undulating prairie on either side of the creek was rich with dense nutritious grasses that had fed buffalo and antelope and now provided for hamburger and ribeye. A thin stand of Bois d'arc and Possumhaw and Hackberry flanked the creek for about a quarter of a mile on either side of the constant pool.

There lived in the town, not far from the creek, a man that read books and sang and carved the life of the prairie into the dense, yam colored wood of the Bois d'arc tree that he collected from around the tranquil, soothing creek bed pool. As the little town became ever larger and ever more hustley and bustley the Man started to yearn for the tranquility of the little water hole in the prairie creek.

One day the Man's neighbors confusedly watched as he carefully removed the board and batten siding from the back of his house, loaded it into the back of his truck and drove west out of town. His neighbors watched him each day remove bits and parts of his small home, load it on his truck and drive towards the creek, whistling.

Then, suddenly, when about half of his house was gone the man didn't return. He didn't return for a week. Then he didn't return for a month. Finally the townspeople came to understand that he wasn't going to return to his undressed little home. The Mayor declared his lonely, dismantled house condemned and bid the neighbors to take of it what they wanted. Within a couple of days all signs of the Man's existence in the now, not-so-little town were hauled off, put to other uses or burned.

Many years went by and a distant relative of the Man came in search of him. The town had gotten so large that very few citizens even remembered the Man or much about him. However, the town Druggist, upon discovering that someone had come in search of the man, sought the Relative out, for he had been a friend to the Man as a child -- spending hours with him on his little porch as he carved and sang and read. The Druggist had never spoken with anyone in town about the Man.

The Druggist asked the Distant Relative of the Man to get in his Chevrolet and drove him out across the prairie to the little water hole in the creek. As they came upon the grove of Bois d'arc and Possumhaw and Hackberry the Distant Relative of the man could see a very small little shack situated just above the clear, blue hole in the, now dry, creek bed.

The Druggist took the Man's Distant Relative by the hand and walked him through the Bois d'arc and Possumhaw and Hackberry, to the little cabin decorated with all manner of prairie life carved out of the yam colored Bois d'arc. Off to the side of the little cabin was a small fenced in area that looked to be a garden.

The Distant Relative of the Man went to knock on the cabin door, the Druggist caught him by the arm and said, "No, I'm afraid he has been gone for quite awhile now. I come out here often with my children and we sit on this little porch and sing and whittle and read. Yes, that was his garden. He raised potatoes, onions. peas and corn. He roasted the potatoes, ate the onions raw, dried the peas and fed the corn to the perch, catfish and bass that live in the sparkling water hole. Then, on Sundays he would take his fishing pole, thank them and catch a few of the fish for the week. He got very old, but never stopped carving or gardening, it appeared he passed away while weeding his potatoes; I could make out the place where he had fallen. I found wolf tracks all around the little garden. They must have taken him out into the prairie."

"Oh God!" cried the Distant Relative of the Man.

"No, no my friend, he was a friend to the wolves," said the Druggist.

"This is such a tragic tale," said the Distant Relative of the Man, "who else knows of this?"

"Only three Wise Men that I brought out here after his passing," said the Druggist, "an Evangelical Preacher, A Catholic Priest and a Zen Master."

"My goodness, what did they say about my distant relative?" asked the Distant Relative of the Man.

"The Evangelical Preacher said, "He sure was lazy."

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Kevin is an Artist, Writer, Carpenter and Gallerist in Texas.

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