When they were little my kids enjoyed being told stories. Some Lisa and I used to read to them and some I used to make up. They loved it when the stories were a little bit scary. We used to pitch the tent under the mountain ash and climb in under a mountain of covers. Kelsie Maddy and Hunter would ask for a story. . . a scary one! Being the youngest, Hunter would usually leave after the first sentence and go inside and watch TV with his Mom.
The stories were never really scary. It is only words. Lisa and I always knew children were smarter than everyone let on. They enjoyed stories for what they were – stories.
While at the river today I watched an osprey soar above the water. I kept my eye on him in case he dived. He will be heading south soon. I am always sad to see them go.
Here is a story I used to tell the kids. It isn’t exactly the way I told it. It is about overcoming fear with the help of an Osprey.
There is an Angel in the cottonwoods,
And a Devil in the Tin House.
The moon goes down in smoky song,
While I lay my head down tonight.
The men sit in the shade and drink the drink,
And fulfill the shadows quest.
I pick-up the spoils among fallen fellows,
And lay those bottles to rest.
A kite flyer falls among the clumps,
Where wild bunch grass grows.
I hold my own among the Birds
With quiet Tin House below.
Tiny Tim in a field of grass,
Laid down for the final time.
The Devil scrambled out the door,
Looking for souls to climb.
The Tin House shines in the summertime,
Through whitewood poplar leaves.
The trout in the lake know he is above
While they begin to grieve.
He suds his self in a darkened Lake,
And hangs his clothes to dry.
I jump for the line and steal his skins,
Under a watchful eye.
The rains gathered in the mottled sky,
While thunder and lightning played.
Raindrops clattered on the Tin House roof
A half a mile away.
The fog sank onto the lake today,
I could hear the fish jump.
The Osprey sees with keen eyes,
While waiting on a stump.
The night never rains without quiet refrain
Of spirits in houses above.
The cottonwoods sway, I’ll climb them today,
Looking for a sky gentle with love.
The lake has fallen the ice is near,
The cottonwoods leaves are shed,
The Angel holds a steady eye,
On other souls ahead.
On a dirty mattress of oil filters,
That had seen their share of sin.
The Devil dozed half awake,
With drool on stubbled chin.
There is no bend in the trees tonight,
The winters nearly here.
The Osprey soon will make his way,
To the southern hemisphere.
The sun went down along the ridge,
Leaving an alpine glow.
The snow fell slow among the firs,
The silence started to grow.
His shotgun holds one final blast,
He knows I know this well.
The Osprey rolls along the lake,
Without shadows to hide or dwell.
I walked along the snow-white path.
Where the cottonwoods canopy lies.
And there among the branches bare,
“The Ospreys gone,” I cried!
The leafless trees among black skies,
How I wished I were back inside.
But I pulled myself up again,
While a white-tail ran to hide.
The Devil’s house began to glow,
Under Moonlights fallen skies.
But I walked on yet, I knew at last,
That hell was sure to rise.
Voices then I began to hear,
My breathing became a chore.
Legs shaking I walked right up,
To the Devil’s darkened door.
No need to knock the door was swung,
And I stepped into the abyss.
The blackness held my heart in hand,
And I felt his shaking fist!
“The Angels gone,” he laughed at last,
“And now you must face the truth.”
The moon broke the mountains grasp,
And rose silver over Cougars Tooth.
In a corner in shadows final grasp,
The moon filled the house with light.
The Osprey looked to the Tin House roof,
Then flew through me into the night.
The coulees hide the bright sun light,
Where ancient cottonwoods grow.
But I’ll bet a dollar. . .
The Devil in the Tin House
Is moving mighty slow.
Cause the osprey dropped him ass-side up
Where winter wind warmly blows.