(1946 / Arkansas)

*the Old Man And The Boy

The old man and the boy
Loved to go out to the woods
Collect rich pine and broken limbs
And assorted chunks of wood
They’d pile ‘em up and light a fire
And sit on rocks or stumps
And talk about the good old days
And good days yet to come
The old man had such stories
Of back when he was young
And hunted with his brother
Here in these very woods
The boy listened closely
To all the old man said
He loved to hear the stories
And he’d “take in” every word
My “bud” and me used to hunt
All around these hills
Rabbits, squirrels or “possums”
Anything, just to be out here
My grandpap always had some dogs
They grew up chasing squirrels
All were hounds ‘cept Bullet
And “who knows what he was”
The hounds would trail and bellow
Every time they caught a scent
Old Bullet kept up with ‘em
But he wouldn’t make a sound
When Bullet barked you always knew
He was looking at the prey
And you’d better get a move on
Or the squirrel would get away
Many’s the time we cut and run
For what seemed like half a mile
Because we’d heard Old Bullet bark
And knew to waste no time
By the time that we would get there
We’d both be out of breath
Couldn’t even sight the.22
Till we’d took a minute to rest
One of us would skirt the tree
While the other watched the limbs
When the bushytail moved around the tree
One of us would see him

I miss those days when I was young
I could keep going all day long
Now, my legs don’t work like they used to
I can’t even see to sight my gun
There’s nothing now that I like more
Than coming out to these woods
Telling stories ‘round the campfire
And sitting here with you
You see, each time I tell one
My memory takes me back
You might see me close my eyes
‘Cause, then when things get quiet
I swear I can hear Old Bullet
Calling me and “bud’ to come
My memory makes it seem so real
‘Cause, one time, it really was
I can live these hunts all over
As I tell these tales to you
Like when you dream it seems so real
Well, in my memory it’s real too
Memories can be powerful things
When you’ve gone “way down the road”
They can warm your soul, or chill your blood
Just depends on what you allow
So, cultivate the good ones, Son
Don’t waste time with the bad
Those I’ve made here, in “God’s back yard”
Are the best I’ve ever had

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Comments (1)

A wonderful story and a pleasure to read. Well done.