One of the things I’m trying to do here at the Fiddle and Creel is feature good art, especially stuff that may be overlooked by the modern short attention span world we live in. Stuff that makes you pause and take notice of the little things, and reflect on the world we live in. We need a little more of that today. WIth all the noise and clutter in our lives today, meetings, email, cell phones, TXT messages, its all just clutter that gets in the way of doing the good work that we need to do. Below is a good example what the folks over at Field and Stream call The Greatest Outdoor Story Ever Written.
First published in an edited version by Field & Stream in October 1969. This is the original version, written in 1964 (returned in 1993 by Laurie Morrow from Corey Ford’s handwritten manuscript). Reprinted with permission of Dartmouth College.
The road was long, but he knew where he was going. He would follow the old road through the swamp and up over the ridge and down to a deep ravine, and cross the sagging timbers of the bridge, and on the other side would be the place called Tinkhamtown. He was going back to Tinkhamtown.
He walked slowly, for his legs were dragging, and he had not been walking for a long time. He had not walked for almost a year, and his flanks had shriveled and wasted away from lying in bed so long; he could fit his fingers around his thigh. Doc Towle had said he would never walk again, but that was Doc for you, always on the pessimistic side. Why, here he was walking quite easily, once he had started. The strength was coming back into his legs, and he did not have to stop for breath so often. He tried jogging a few steps, just to show he could, but he slowed again because he had a long way to go.
It was hard to make out the old road, choked with young alders and drifted over with matted leaves, and he shut his eyes so he could see it better. He could always see it whenever he shut his eyes. Yes, here was the beaver dam on the right, just as he remembered it, and the flooded stretch where he had to wade, picking his way from hummock to hummock while the dog splashed unconcernedly in front of him. The water had been over his boottops in one place, and sure enough as he waded it now, his left boot filled with water again, the same warm, squidgy feeling. Everything was the way it had been that afternoon. Nothing had changed. Here was the blowdown across the road that he had clambered over and here on a knoll was the clump of thornapples where Cider had put up a grouse – he remembered the sudden road as the grouse thundered out, and the easy shot that he missed – they had not taken time to go after it. Cider had wanted to look for it, but he had whistled him back. They were looking for Tinkhamtown. (Read More)