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 © 2017
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