Thursday, September 25, 2014

Heaven On a Hilltop

Appalachian life today

 By Richard “Clipper” Naegele

I dedicate this short story to "Boots and Foster" with love and admiration.

A mist hangs over the mountain top, and the air is crisp. Sammy saddles the old mule and heads down the holler toward the local store. Sammy is legally blind, and barely sees, but the mule is sure-footed and carries him safely down the hill past the other farms and out to the main road. It is quiet and peaceful as the mule clip clops along slowly. 
The birds are just starting to awaken, and stretch their wings. The doves can be heard rustling in the pine trees where they have roosted for the night. As he passes his neighbor Gerry's house, there are no signs of life yet, except for the riding horse grazing in his pasture, and the dogs that come to welcome Sammy and the mule, and to accompany them to the next bend in the road.

Sammy has to dismount to open the cattle gate, as he enters his neighbors land, and as he leads the mule through, he can smell bacon cooking at the Collier's farm. As he passes by, his neighbor waves from the back porch, and hollers a cheery good morning, while grabbing an armload of wood for the cookstove. The chickens scatter, clucking angrily, as Sammy passes through the Collier's dooryard.

As they round the next bend, a doe and her fawn are grazing on the lush green grass along the roadside, and scurry for cover when they see Sammy and the mule. As the road drops into the creekbed, the mule stops and sips from the spring fed, bubbling stream, where it meanders through a glade lined with hemlocks. A male cardinal, in all of his bright red plumage, perches on a fence post, and chirps them a good morning greeting. The mule picks his way carefully along on the gravel bottomed stream for about 100 yards to a point where the road once again climbs out of the creek bed and crosses one more pasture before reaching the hard paved road and civilization.


Continued CLICK


Dick Naegele, "Clipper," now hails from Tennesee, but most days find his heart in the Mohawk Valley of central New York State, where he plans to one day return. Living the life of the "Last American Cowboy,"  Dick was a trucker and logged over  3 million miles on the nation's highways.  He has owned his own business, been a government manager and also a professional firefighter.  A writer of many talents and experiences, his  writing sees the hearts of people that most of us often miss.  More of "Clipper's"  writing is located  on his blog,   "Along the Banks of Beaver Creek," at:

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