For a change, this post is about the American Southwest. I have written about this part of the world before: Bryce Canyon, Arches and Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and my childhood memories and other posts. This post is also related to my childhood.
I have been a reader since the age of four, but my love for reading took off when I started Elementary and discovered our school library. There were no age limits – teenage book section was at my disposal. I judged the books by the cover – it is how I came across The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry, and Johnny became my role model 🙂 I loved the intelligent humor of these books, but some stories broke my little heart. One of these stories is Jimmy Hayes and Muriel. I have read this story countless times when I felt like crying, and it always worked. It is a short story, and if you haven’t read it yet, here it is:
Jimmy Hayes and Muriel
A short story by O. Henry
Supper was over, and there had fallen upon the camp the silence that accompanies the rolling of corn-husk cigarettes. The water hole shone from the dark earth like a patch of fallen sky. Coyotes yelped. Dull thumps indicated the rocking-horse movements of the hobbled ponies as they moved to fresh grass. A half-troop of the Frontier Battalion of Texas Rangers were distributed about the fire.
Jimmy’s fate didn’t concern me for some reason. I cried for his little loyal Muriel.
An encyclopedia found in the same school library gave me idea about Muriel’s looks and classification, but I have never met the creature in person, until last summer.
A part of a lovely weekend spent in our friends’ St. George house was a trip to desert. We took some dirt roads and short hikes to give our little explorers the feel of wilderness.
There were lizards and insects to admire. I am not sure, but I think it is a Locust and a Mormon cricket. They were huge.
Many wildflowers had passed their peak, but some were still in bloom: Globe mallow, Prickly poppy, Desert buckwheat and some cacti.
It was on our way back when I noticed something under a sage bush. I rolled the window down and my heart skipped a beat. I took a picture and zoomed to make sure it was not a mistake. It wasn’t. I finally met Muriel.
I cannot tell that it is exactly the horned lizard species from the story, but it is the closest I could get to meeting my Muriel. It has been some 50 years…
The lizard didn’t move. It was a very hot day, and I didn’t want to bother the creature and force a photo session on it. I was already happy enough.
Some pomegranate flowers spotted in St. George to brighten your day.
There are six bloggers whose blogs I really want you to visit. As this post was basically about the short story that has been stuck in my head for 50 something years, I want to share the books I have read recently ( or about to start reading ), and their authors. I have read every book of these authors and look forward to the new releases.
Science fiction and fantasy writer Craig Boyack – The Yak Guy Project was the first book I opened after several months of abstinence from reading. I truly enjoyed the protagonist’s journey towards maturity.
Fantasy writer Diana Wallace Peach – Legacy Of Souls, The Shattered Sea Book #2 was recently released, and I cannot wait to open it. Soul swallowers are the most fascinating Diana’s creations so far (You read about them in Book #1)
Young adult fantasy writer’s Jean Lee’s blog is a magical place that is very difficult to leave. You just want to read one more article, then another… Recently, Jean nominated me for the Liebster Award, a great friend she is. Visit Jean’s Book page – read her new novel and short stories.
Artist and author Resa McConaghy – Nine Black Lives, a detective novel, my latest read. Resa’s knowledge of the film industry makes the book stand out. It is a very intriguing piece with much potential for many sequels to come.
Hope you find new friends and amazing books.
Have a happy weekend!