Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fort Peck and Teddy's Tale, June 3, 2012

Hi, kids!
 
Am getting ready for a series of yard sales.  The time has come for me to let most of my amazing collection of treasures go.   I'm thinking Friday, next week at the Homestead storage unit, east end.  Will update later in the week. 
 
In other news, the Fort Peck Summer Theatre is up and running.  I have books, art cards, art card gift packs, one canvas and a couple of framed prints in their gift shop.  If you attend a show, take a look!
 
The Fort Peck Hotel now has a gift shop as well.  River Valley Traders is open Friday through Sunday, 10am-6pm.  Vintage gifts  are among their offerings, so that caught MY attention! 
 
This is the 75th anniversary of the Fort Peck Dam and festivities are planned for June 23rd and 24th for those who are interested. 
 
And now, the REALLY BIG NEWS!  My bullsnake report has inspired Teddy Wells, a writer from Iowa, to draft a tale about a snake. 
(Teddy is 8 and 1/2 and I expect great things from him in the years to come.)
 
Here is his tale, enjoy!
 
 
How Snake Learned to Smile
By Teddy Wells, assisted by Grace Wells
 
    Once upon a time there was a snake who never smiled. He didn’t have any reason to smile. He always felt glum. He spent most of his time hiding under rocks or in a borrow. Sometimes he heard voices outside and came out to be friendly. But children poked him with sticks or threw rocks at him. Ladies would scream and run away. Men would say, “I hate snakes. Snakes are so ugly and awful.” So Snake started to feel ugly and awful.
 
    One morning, very early on the prairie, he heard men’s voices. They were talking about finding snakes. Snake hoped that here were some people who liked snakes. So he poked his head out, but what he heard next did not make him feel better.
 
    A tall man said, “We need just one more snake for our experiments. We can even make a hat band of its skin.” That was when Snake saw the cage the men were holding. He hurried back into his hiding place and didn’t come out again for a whole day. Snake still felt ugly and awful and now he was scared, too.
 
    When he did come out again things got worse. This time it was different men looking for snakes. Snake was a little more careful now. He watched from behind a rock to see if these men were good. The older man began to explain to the younger man why they needed to catch a snake.
 
    “We need a nice, big bull snake for the museum. If we could catch one today, I can get it stuffed for the museum over the weekend.” said the older man to the younger one. “Plus we can assemble the bones for a museum display as well.” Now Snake felt sad, scared, ugly and awful.
 
    Snake crawled deeper into his hiding place. This time he didn’t come out again for two whole days. When he came out, thankfully he saw no one. He hunted for awhile, warmed himself on top of a rock in the sun shine , watched clouds in the sky, listened to song birds on the prairie, smelled the lovely prairie flowers all around him, but he now felt lonely, sad, scared , ugly and awful.
 
    Just when he thought things could not get even worse, they did. While he slept peacefully in his borrow, something grabbed hold of him. It was a long stick with pinchers on the end. It pulled him from his hole. It held him fast. On the other end of the stick was a mean looking man. The man was laughing cruelly.
“This ugly beast should get us some good money. We’ll sell him to a zoo where he can live in a cage behind a glass window where he can’t scare decent people,” said the mean man.
 
    “Ah, its just an old bull snake. Who’d want that? We should just squash it right here,” said the skinnier man.
 
    “No, don’t do it. That dumb guy at the zoo will pay money even for bull snakes.” said the bigger, mean man.
 
    With a quick flip and a twist of his body Snake managed to free himself . He landed near his borrow and slinked into it and hid for three whole days. He got hungry again though and had to go out to hunt once more. He crawled along as quietly as he could and tried to stay hidden among the grasses. Because he was so hungry and so intent on finding food he didn’t hear footsteps approaching. By the time he heard them a woman was so near he could see his own refection in the camera she was holding. He froze from fear. Before he could get up the courage to slither away, she was pointing her camera at him and talking to him in a sweet voice.
 
    “Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you,” she promised. “You are such a fine snake. I just want to take some pictures of you. “
 
    Snake now tried to crawl away when she said in her kind voice, “Please come back. I won’t hurt you. You are such a beauty! Such pretty colors on your back! I will show your picture to all my friends. They will like you.”
 
    When he heard her words, he felt very happy--for the first time in a long time. Then something happened. He felt a smile starting on his face. He turned and looked right at the lady and really smiled at her just as her camera clicked. He no longer felt sad, lonely, scared, ugly or awful. He felt good about himself and felt like he really was beautiful. Someone liked him. Now he had a reason to smile.
 
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There is no telling how many miles you will have to run, while chasing a dream.  - author unknown