I woke up to the sounds of the bubbling creek singing in my ears. I looked over at Jandoram who was sleeping peacefully and decided to let him sleep a little longer while I prepared breakfast.
Fortunately there was lots of wood for a fire around our camping ground, and the presence of some wild apple trees made the gathering of some fruit quite easy. After starting the fire I took out some slithers of salted kangaroo meat a plopped them into the pan greased with pig fat. While that was sizzling noisily I deftly sliced some of the apples and threw them in with the roo meat, keeping the rest for later.
Just before breakfast was ready I started to whistle loudly, hoping that the tune “When the Saints Come Marching In” would wake Jandoram. To my reckoning, waking up to my lousy whistling was a whole lot better than being slapped around the face, something my dad was prone to do.
To my surprise he got up instantly, most likely hoping I would stop my infernal whistling. I stopped long enough to tell him to wash up at the creek, and then continued whistling aimlessly out of tune as he set off. I was just spooning my concoction into the plates as Jandoram sat down, all the while toweling his face dry. It was pleasant watching him shoving the food greedily into his face, and I thought to myself how nice it would be to have some company for a change.
After breakfast I showed him how to wash up and pack our bags so that they were evenly balanced which would make traveling that much easier. We then set of for Bloggersville, at town some 14 days away. We walked almost in silence as he was probably still brooding over what happened with the other day when I beat his stepfather senseless. I decided to get the ball rolling by kicking a lump of dried turd.
“Did you know that there are men, famous trackers, who could look at this bit of animal dung, and after examining it they would be able to tell you lots of information about the animal that left it. Things like the type of animal, how long it’s been sitting there and even the sort of food the animal ate. But in the end no matter what they are able to tell you about it, it’s still just a lump of shit.”
Jandoram walks silently by my side for awhile and then says, “Why are you telling me this Sire? Is it important in some way?”
“OK, let’s look at this in another way. There is many a man who does nothing more than boast of his great achievements; This could be the men he’s killed, the women he’s taken to bed or even the money he’s allegedly made. But when it all comes down to it, he’s usually just full of shit. The true hero does not need to shout his accomplishments for all to hear. He normally does not want his escapades to be known as it will draw unwanted attention to him.”
“But what has this to do with that lump of shit we left behind” says the exasperated young boy.
“Nothing much”, I replied, “just that one lump of shit is pretty much the same as the other. You know Jamdoram, not every story has to have a meaning, sometimes they’re good to just pass the time of day.” As I burst out laughing, thinking that after 600 odd years I would have stopped laughing at my own stupid jokes, he threw me a puzzled look and then said, “Where are we going Sire?”
“Why, to Bloggersville of course.”
“Really? I didn’t think I would ever get to go to Bloggersville. What will we find there?”
“Ah yes, Bloggersville is filled with many wonders and delightful people. Why, I remember hearing a story of a woman who resides there, I believe her name is Louise, who has in her possession the magical and much coveted Lottie Moon Cook Book, the recipes of which has brought some of the strongest of men to their knees as they begged to savor some of the delicacies it’s produced. Then there is Holly who just happens to be the most ethical person in Bloggersville. Few will dare to cross her path while throwing ethics to the wind, as it has often been told that Holly can flay the skin off anyone who came within twenty feet of her limber tongue. Why there is not a word in existence that Holly can not put to good use when castigating those who get on her wrong side.
Then there is Heather the fumbling one who once put a magical potion in a cupboard that almost blew four homes into oblivion. Now let’s not forget Anne, formerly of Buttsville, who has devoted her life to finding a toilet seat that is warm to sit on. There are rumors that once she solves this problem she will devise one that lowers automatically once it has been raise.”
“But Sire, surely Bloggersville is not filled with women. Are there no men of valor there?”
“Surley Jandoram, but did no-one ever tell you that behind every great man there is a great woman? One should never discount the importance of a woman when it comes to shaping the world. But you ask of the men of Bloggersville. Let me see…..ah yes! There is the very hardy Jim,whom many have said has traveled far and wide just to see how far in the known universe a blog will reach. Of course there is Zorlone who is well known for his wondrous cures as the city’s doctor, but I have heard that he would rather be a bard and poet, and that he frequents the bars telling far fetched stories of alien worlds where there exists the mystical Avatar.
But enough talking, lunch draws near and we need to catch some food.
Other posts in the Sire, The Wandering Bard series.