Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Piece Of The Puzzle That Was My Daddy

Daddy (aged 4) and Old Shep
Night Terror

The fiery house lit up the night;
      The sky was ugly red.
The little children screamed with fright
      As from their home they fled.

Their father scurried here and there
     Some water to obtain;
Their mother wept in dire despair
     And called for help in vain.

The cattle stood beside the gate
     And gazed in placid wonder.
Across the sky the lightning leered its hate
     And was ranted at by thunder.

The flames spiraled up in mighty flight
     And smoke billowed high o'erhead.
Old Shep barked loud and then took flight;
     Out to the barn he fled.

The neighbors now arrived to stare,
     And then there came the rain.
The lightning exited in shame;
     Its antics seemed insane.

The house now lies in ashes white.
     An old landmark is dead.
Next week they'll build on this same site
     Another house instead.

by Millard B. Sargent

The house Daddy was born in. The barn is to the
right in the bottom photo.
I ran across this poem along with some others in the box of photos we recently had returned to us. This poem is a true story. I'm not sure how old Daddy was when it happened. I think it was around the time he had his picture taken with Old Shep. He only told me about it once in passing as though house fires caused by lightning were a normal, natural part of childhood. I knew better than to ask for details. He didn't talk much about his childhood. I do know that this was the first lightning tragedy his family suffered when he was young. He told me the second time they lost the cows. When that happened he was older and they moved to town for a year and a half but my grandfather couldn't stand living in town so they moved back to the country. By then he had trouble working even a half day and things were very hard for them. Daddy always felt that if he hadn't been born things would have been better because when he was about five he heard his father telling his mother that there were too many mouths to feed and since he was the youngest he thought his father was talking about him.

I've been in a blogging mood lately so I thought I'd share this with you all. Not much going on in our corner of the world. I hope all is well in yours.   


Anonymous said...

That's a sweet picture, but a little melancholy, like the story. That box of photos will give you lots of blog material!

Wilma said...

Thanks! That box of photos is very interesting for sure. I can think of tons of stuff from it but probably nothing anybody will care to read. LOL

MsCaroline said...

That poem sounds like it should be a folk ballad. That experience must have been indelibly stamped into his memory for him to have written about it so clearly later on. What a frightening experience for a small child.

Wilma said...

I think it's beautiful too. I think it probably was. As far as being stamped onto his memory, he had an INCREDIBLE memory. He had memories going back to just before he turned 3. True memories, not just things that he had heard about so many times it was like a memory but real memories. Somebody would tell a story and he would add details and they would look at him in awe and say, "How did you remember that part? You were just a baby." LOL