A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 124

Hiawatha's mudding

By the shores of the Cocheco,

By the gushing, foam-flecked water,

Where are met the dancing sisters,

Ela, Mad, and Pokeamoonshine,

Where all streamlets join together,

Wild Dick Dame and Kicking Horse brooks,

Wigwams of Chemung are clustered,

Gathering place of braves on Main Street,

Home of warrior Hiawatha,

Boldest of the springtime mudders.

Lived he there with old Nokomis,

Always on his case for something,

She did murmur to him softly,

"See the dewdrops on the clover,

See the yellow dandelions,

Mow the lawn, you lazy idler!"

Countered Hiawatha, "Grandma,

Voices from around my ankles

Fill my ears with begging whispers,

Still my hand upon the mower,

"Spare your friends, the little grass blades!

Do not kill us Hiawatha!"

Cast he, then, aside the mower,

Fled the wrath of old Nokomis,

Saw right through him, did Nokomis,

Disbelieved the cries of sorrow,

From the humble vegetation,

Called him Useless Good-for-nothing.


Hiawatha revved his pick-up,

God of Thunder in the engine,

Roared defiance at the neighbors,

Told Nokomis where to shove it,

Belching clouds rose from the tailpipe,

Smokey-blue against the sunlight,

Chirped the sparrow from the gutter,

In between its bouts of coughing,

"Hiawatha's going mudding."

See that sucker lay down rubber,

As he screeched off in the Chevy,

Throwing dust upon his grandma,

Drowning out her words of caution,

"Don't go booning, Hiawatha,

Lest the evil sprite will catch thee!"


Hiawatha cruising downtown,

Past the knots of tribal drop-outs,

Chewing gum near Vinnie's Pizza,

Hanging out by Varney's Market,

As his shadow fell upon them,

Eyes rose up in expectation,

"Take us with you, Hiawatha,

Go boondocking on the tote roads,

Where the mud is thick and oozing,

'neath the mantle of the forest,

'neath the dark and gloomy pine trees,

'neath the sunbeams' penetration."

Hiawatha heard their pleadings,

Hearkened to their exhortations,

How his heart within him fluttered,

When a case of Bud was mentioned,

"Pile in back and let's get going,"

Hiawatha told his brothers,

After all the booze was loaded.


Sped they southwards, then, on Main Street,

Spun a donut by the precinct,

For the sake of agitating

Those who'd besought tribal elders,

Begged a favor of the Wise Ones,

With regard to joyful mudders

Cranking up their tom-tom warbeat,

Thorogood and the Destroyers,

In the early hours of morning,

Honest Indians in their wigwams,

Wakened wide ere time to waken.

"Do a fishtail, Hiawatha,

Show it ain't worthwhile to grumble!"

Whooped the braves in-back the Chevy.


Then they journeyed very quickly,

Ever happy, ever laughing,

From the place of joining waters,

From Chemung, where wigwams cluster,

Onto tracks of shade and sunshine,

Running deep into the forest,

Over mountain, hill, and hollow,

'til the pine trees closed around them,

Far from any habitation,

Save the lonely scattered teepees

Of the mystics and the hermits,

And the Planning Council members,

Shunning tribal hurly-burly.

Hiawatha in his pick-up,

With an elbow out the window,

Saw the creatures of the woodland,

Heard the squirrel, Adjidaumo,

Chatter from the tote road branches,

"Do not slay me, Hiawatha,"

As it ducked an empty beer can,

Pitched out by a back seat Native,

Heard the deep croak of the bull frog,

Dahinda, the wood marsh bull frog,

Heart its piteous lamentation,

As a truck wheel squished its love-mate,

"Do not slay us, Hiawatha,

In your chariot of thunder,

You will rouse the awful mud-sprite,

Neebanawbaig will be angered."


Onward Hiawatha mudded,

Heeding not Dahinda's warning,

Past the roar of Small Niagara,

Through the swamp of Scruton's Field Road,

Churning, whooping, swilling, laughing,

With his friends, the Bud can young bucks,

Seeking still a greater challenge,

Heading ever nearer danger,

'neath the power lines off Ten Rod,

Where the mud-sprite, Neebanawbaig,

Lurked deep down in Foley's Wadi,

Lay in ambush, waiting for him,

Hiawatha in his Chevy,

With his jovial companions,

Leaving empty beer cans trailing,

Like the tail of night-sky comet,

Like the scent of lilac bushes

Wafting on the breeze of evening.


Scornful, they, of any peril,

Into Foley's Wadi ventured,

Confident of never stalling,

Deeper, deeper sank the axles,

Kahgahgee, the raven, warned them,

Calling out harsh notes of counsel,

As the angry, awful mud-sprite,

Dragged them ‘neath the brackish waters,

While above, one beer can floated,

Borne away by sad Nokomis,

Summoned thither by the raven.

"Wahonowin!" wailed Nokomis,

"He could never stand to listen,

Hiawatha, what a handful!

Always knew he'd 'mount to nothing."

Thus she mourned him in the twilight,

While the firefly Wahwahtaysee,

Lit her pathway through the forest,

To the shores of the Cocheco,

Where Chemung's wigwams are clustered,

Gathering place of braves on Main Street.


Non-mudding section – School

Mr. Beaupre, high school principal, has announced that he has now hung up his fishing rod and taken down his golf clubs. Should be worth seeing - Ken chasing a brown trout with a No. 6 iron across a pond. Good luck, sir!

Geologist Randy Bois has struck gold at last, by coaching girls' junior high softball to a 7-0 record. "Thanks for a great year!" is the message from his team.

Former high school teacher Gail Varney has just graduated from law school.

Woman's Club

Everyone loves a mystery, and who more than the Woman's Club of Farmington? On June 10, at noon, Mrs. McGhee and Mrs. Morphy will lead a procession of cars containing club members on a mystery tour. Only the two ladies know the final delightful destination, but perhaps the starting point provides a clue. They leave from the liquor store.

(Loud cry of "No we don't - it's from Bud's Star Market!")

Henry Wilson Grange

So much goes on at the Grange on Mechanic Street that they could surely hold a news conference after each meeting. Master Ralph Russell has been busy writing a number of skits that members performed recently at the Clipper Nursing Home, together with musical accompaniment from Betty Webster, Earl Doucette, and Woody and Laura Worster, bolstered by Ralph, himself, on washboard. And songs! "When I Grow Too Old to Dream," "Nearer My God, to Thee," "Down by the Old Mill Stream," and a dozen other favorites that leave crotchets and semi-quavers scattered all over Mechanic Street.

(Better not be! - Roger Belanger, garbologist)

Recent guests have included members of Crown Point and Banner Granges, with noteworthy contributions from Ned Howard, Jean Leone, Bunnie Eastman and Flora Pouliot. Memorable games have included "Musical Knees," played with five men and six women, which goes to prove that you never grow too old to dream.

So, if you're sick of television,

Join the Grange, a wise decision.

Next Week: Details of Farmington Corner's contribution to Bicentennial of the Constitution Celebrations, with a U.S. Vice President Henry Wilson Look-a-like Contest.

June 7, 1988

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