Crawdad Sale – One Penny Each

Crawdad Sale – One Penny Each – When we are young we learn lessons along the trail of life and sometimes those lessons have consequences that in our childhood wonder we could never imagine. We can only hope we learn from the mistakes that we make in our youth and can apply them later as we grow into adults. Here is one of my lessons from days long passed.

Crawdad Sale – One Penny Each
In Sheridan, Colorado three blocks north of my childhood home,
On the banks of Bear Creek my childhood spirit and memories still roam.

So long ago – Bear Creek was my little slice of paradise from back in the day,
When school was out and my summers that started at the end of May.

Never knowing most people just drove or simply just walked on by my creek,
That in those summer waters was the voyages and journeys that I would seek.

It was my ritual to spend all of the sunny daylight hours there with my friends,
Up and down the creek where the mud, river rock, and the flowing water blends.

To float a lazy day sitting on a rubber inner tube, it was the way of my youth,
With wonder and amazement always deciphering the creek as a nature sleuth.

Summer adventure began with rainbow trout, catfish, guppies, frogs, and tadpoles,
There was something about those youthful recollections that have stayed in my soul.

The creek creature that always fascinated me the most – was the ever elusive crawdad,
Leaving a mud trail as they squirted backwards and raising their pinchers when prodded.

The little boy in me saw the crawdads as the mightiest warriors and monsters of the deep,
One day in July; deciding that all crawdads that had been trapped – I would keep.

It was decided I would make my fortune on that day with a bucket full of crawdads,
Lugging the bucket home and with some cardboard and red paint – I made two ads.

Proudly displaying my artwork and ads on each side of our family house on Grove,
“Crawdad Sale – One Penny Each” hoping to add copper pennies to my treasure trove.

As that hot July summer day grew long I realized some ideas were not meant to be,
As I sat all alone with my bucket of crawdads and table under our old elm tree.

As the day moved from morning to afternoon something happened to my crawdad crop,
Looking into my metal bucket, I noticed not one, but two crawdads had floated to the top.

Both of the crawdads souls had long departed – and feeling dismayed at what I had done,
Not realizing without cool flowing creek water they would die under the hot summer sun.

With the remaining crawdads lives now with me – off to Bear Creek at a hurried trot,
Knowing I must save the lives of the crawdads that with childhood innocence I had caught.

It seemed that metal bucket had gotten larger and heavier now with so many lives to save,
Sweat beading, rolling off of me as I lugged that bucket to the creek in that July heat wave.

Looking back, knowing it was only minutes, but it seemed like several hours had passed ,
Until I stumbled down the hill without spilling a drop to the bank of Bear Creek at last.

Pouring the bucket of crawdads back into the water, hoping the crawdads could be saved,
And to my relief they seemed to squirt backwards into the cool deep water they craved.

On that hot summer afternoon I sat on the banks of Bear Creek with a tear in my eye,
Learning about how life is fleeting when my “Crawdad Sale – One Penny Each” went awry.
Kurt James

Kurt James © 2017

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Kurt James

Kurt James was born and raised in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Kurt’s family roots were from western Kansas and having lived in South Dakota for 20 years, Kurt naturally had become an old western and nature enthusiast. Over the years Kurt has become one of Colorado’s prominent nature photographers through his brand name of Midnight Wind Photography. The Denver Post, PM Magazine, and 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado featured his poetry. Kurt is also a feature writer for HubPages and Creative Exiles with the article’s focused on Colorado history, ghost towns, outlaws, and poetry. Inspired at a young age by writers such as Jack London, Louis L’Amour, and Max Brand have formed Kurt’s natural ability as a storyteller. Kurt has published 16 books all based in and around the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Using the Midnight Wind Publishing brand, Kurt James novels, short stories, reference books, and poetry, are available in print or download on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and other fine bookstores. And a few shady bookstores as well. Kurt has 3 books that he is currently writing. The 8th book in his Rocky Mountain Series - Raphael Eye for an Eye. His third ghost town reference book, Kansas Ghost Towns, Hauntings, Treasure Tales, and Other BS. And a western/horror novel - Devil’s Tower Spirit of Chiha Tanka. Kurt is a proud member of Western Writers of America.

6 thoughts on “Crawdad Sale – One Penny Each

  • October 21, 2017 at 11:49 AM

    Such a harsh lesson for a young boy to learn. yet it is inspiring that even a youngster can realize the spiritual needs of a small creature. Great work, Kurt. Your poem is heartwarming.

  • October 21, 2017 at 12:02 PM

    Thank you Phyllis – it is the little things in life that can teach us the hard lessons if we just pay attention. Thank you for stopping by.

  • October 21, 2017 at 12:15 PM

    Your poem brought back similar memories for me Kurt. I caught Crawford at Garfield Park Lake in Denver. I love when I read some of your art and it brings back memories of childhood that were innocent and sweet. Thank you.

    • October 21, 2017 at 12:22 PM

      Thank you Marilyn for your wonderful comment and if I could trigger a memory from just one person such as yourself then my writing is well worth it. Hope all is well in your world. Kurt

  • October 21, 2017 at 9:07 PM

    Wonderful childhood memory that in many ways is similar to mine. I spent most of my childhood in a nearby bush gully, with creek and all manner of creatures. Heartwarming memories my friend.

    • October 21, 2017 at 9:12 PM

      That is way awesome Tony that you had a childhood filled with such wonders. Thanks for stopping by my friend.

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