Walking With Jackie the Ripper

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Warm Fork and Two Mile creeks join together not far from our home and The Rip and I walk sometimes in the nice little park the folks have made. I wonder if they know that about a hundred years ago the area was a campground for travelers moving westward. With apologies to Longfellow and Hiawatha, I just had to write this story-poem.

By the shores of tiny Two Creeks, by the shining, perch-filled run-off

Ere it merges with Spring River on its journey to the ocean,

Stood the small camp of the Quapaw, travelers were they through the Ozarks,

Travelers were they, moving westward, ever westward they were moving.

Mingled in the camp were gypsies, camped with Quapaw were the gypsies,

And both traded with the townsfolk who inhabited Fair Haven,

Village by the banks of Two Creeks, built to help sustain a railroad.

In no high regard for travelers held by those Fair Haven people,

Save for Willy of the Cash clan, he who traded with the red man.

Traded dogs and other items with the red man, with the Quapaw.

Thus it was one early morning found Will skulking 'round the campground,

And his heart fair burst within him when a tiny, brindle puppy

Found him lying on the creek bank, found him by the shores of Two Creeks,

Licked his hand and found his master, found him by the shores of Two Creeks.

"I must have this pup," thought Willy, "I must have this brindle puppy

Which has sought me out at Two Creeks, else life holds no value for me.

Should I not obtain this puppy, I will die! I know I'll die!"

Tending toward exaggeration was inherent in the Cash clan

Though it must be said small Willy tended toward it with great vigor.

If you climbed the hill to his house, if you looked at Willy's backyard

Many dogs you would be viewing. Great the canine population

Held within the wire enclosure, held for purposes of trading.

Homeward bound we see wee Willy, up the hill he takes the Quapaw.

"Plan A" is to trade old Sailor, wonder dog of the whole Cash clan,

Trade this almost family member for the brindle pup he lusts for.

Mama comes into the backyard, shrieking "Never will you thus trade!"

Never will you trade old Sailor, he who guards with zeal my family!

He who keeps the snakes from coming in the yard to bite my babies!"

(As I said, exaggeration was inherent in the Cash clan. Some insist it

Lodges in me, though I know not why they say it.

So "Plan B" was implemented, greatly based upon a pistol.

Old and worn-out was this pistol. Old and worn-out and a peril

To the shooter was this pistol. Willy got it for a quarter from the

Local drunk, old Hayden, sore in need of drink at that time.

Upon casual perusal, just a quick glance at the pistol,

One did not discern the danger which could come should someone fire it.

Well, the red man took the pistol, took the old and worn-out pistol,

Left he with the boy the puppy which had licked his hand at Two Creeks.

And the children all decided that the pup should be called "Brindle."

Graced by creativity they were not. they were not one bit creative.

But they loved that dog to pieces, loved old Brindle all to pieces.

Glad the gun was gone was Mama who had ever feared her small ones

Someday might decide to shoot it, blowing one or more to heaven.

When the sun set, when the night came, when the night came so the red man

Limped back up the hill in anger, limping greatly in his anger.

Limping from the wounds occasioned by the firing of the pistol

Which so fiercely had exploded when he aimed and pulled the trigger.

In a small shack so he carried the minute parts of the pistol.

"Here," he cried with heartfelt passion, "Take this back and give me my dog!

You have cheated me, you rascal! Take this back and give me my dog!"

Willy, as you might imagine, paid no heed to such instructions.

And ere long the mighty red man, mighty red man with his small sack,

Could be seen in one great hurry, dodging stones of many sizes,

Stones cast by the little Cashes as they spurred him to his teepee,

Spurred him to his camp at Two Creeks, by the shining perch-filled run-off.

Lest you wonder, let me tell you, Willy lived his life by Two Creeks.

At Fair Haven raised a family. To this day clan members live there.

Sister Linda fishes Two Creeks, says it brings her soul much comfort

When she recalls young Willy and the stories that he told us

Of a precious time when puppies stole the hearts of little children.

Till the day he died our Willy had the love of canine members,

And gave love to all his family, never talking much about it.

Guess who has a little hound dog? Worthless totally this hound dog.

Save for loving she is worthless. Loving me consumes completely

All the time she has allotted. "God is love," the Bible tells us.

Love of any kind is worthy. "God is love," the Bible tells us.