The Recycled Axe
Seems that most of my axes are recycled. I put a feeler ad out on a local internet forum, looking for old rusty axe heads and woodworking junk. The problem with me is I get onto something and I'm broke. I figure out ways around it. Anyhow, I got a reply from "colorado.cowgirl" saying she had an axe head. No details. I actually like that best because it allows my imagination to run wild.
The next day I went to her place and found it placed on the tree she told me it would be on. It was a smaller head - camp axe or hatchet. I cruised to the hardware store looking for a 28" handle. No luck. I bought the last one a month ago. Luckily, we have two hardware stores in town, so I went to the other one. The crappy thing about hardware stores is that people really don't give an owl's hoot how their axe handle is, structurally. The grain on most are junk but people (like me) just buy them because they're cheap and, frankly, you can try the head on them right there in the store. I lack patience and I admit it. I bought a handle with a not-so-great grain.
So "Hutch", the second hardware store had a 28 inch handle - waaaaayy too big. So I found a 19 inch and settled on that. It made me think of my nephew, L.J. and how I gave him the dullest hatchet in the free world last fall and watching him struggle with it was almost painful; I couldn't get a decent edge on it to save my pathetic axe-lovin' life. 19 inch is good. He's eleven and will soon be hitting the age between boy and man. Christmas present, it is.
I don't know much about the head. It was painted red and has P38 stamped into it, that's about all, besides the fact that it holds an okayish edge.
Giving it to L.J. will be great. He and I, intellectually are worlds apart. He's a really intelligent kid - and when I say intelligent, I mean book smart. I'm the opposite. I'm intuitive. I can smell a lie like a fart in a car. Intuitive people find it easy to mess with intelligent people and I think vice-versa. That's why I love that the head retained some of it's red color. I know he'll ask me why it was painted red and I'll reply that it wasn't painted red. Then he'll look at me quizzically. Then I'll tell him I traded with an old Apache man named Geronimo The Terrible and the red is the residue of the blood the many white men from which he took scalps. I'll tell him the sum that I traded it for was five albino beaver hides that I took on the Hudson Bay in the Winter of Starvation, when it was so cold that all I could find to live off was beaver carcasses, pine bark and dung beetles and that he should be thankful for such an axe. He'll roll his eyes.
And then for the next five years, every time he uses the axe when I'm around, he'll ask me what the real story is. And I'll stick to it.
Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,
Mike, Oscar, Hotel....out.