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Hank On Walden This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Hi there! My name is Henry Thoreau, but if I had any friends I just know that they would call me Hank. I'd like to tell you about two exciting years of my life which I spent at Walden Pond. Walden is out in the boonies, far removed from civilization. I went out there alone, and take it from me, it was an experience that everyone should have.

I loved being alone. I never really liked going out with friends. Of course, I didn't have any, so it really didn't matter. Each night at Walden I would have a romantic dinner for one by candlelight. It was a good thing I only had candlelight, so that I could barely see what I was eating. Not that it wasn't edible; it was. But you should know that I considered bark and berries a gourmet meal. Take it from the Hankster: "Being all alone in the middle of nowhere and dining alone every day and every night...; I loved it!"

Now let me tell you about the little palace I built with my own two hands. After all, if I didn't build it, who would? It took me five weeks; what else would I have been doing? The three furnishings I had (my bed, chair, and table) were luxurious. My straw bed, in particular, was sooooo comfy. It gave me a great itchy feeling, and the crackling noise when I tossed and turned lulled me to sleep each night. In the morning I would sit in my chair curled up with my burlap blankie. ( I would have sucked my thumb, but it was chapped.) The rashes my blankie caused around my ankles and legs were a bright, rosy color. They just happened to match my rosy, red cheeks, caused by the wind whipping through my cabin.

When I wasn't busy, I would spend time alone at my office table; I mean my office desk. As quickly as I thought through my mind for an idea, I would jot it down, carefully avoiding the bumpy cracks in the table. What I couldn't seem to avoid was a few splinters here and there. Each time I would lift my pen, my arm would catch on the roughness of the table, abruptly bringing me to attention.

Lunch time was always a surprise for me. I never knew what I would dine on until I went outside to see what was available on the trees and ground. Believe me, Julia Child would be hard pressed to follow my act! Lots of times I would decide to picnic by the pond. Now we all know what picnics bring,ants! When I saw two ants fighting, I became involved and found myself cheering. It was the best, and only, action I had seen in two years!

As dusk approached and night settled in, I eventually found my way back to my cabin. This was when I had the most fun. I liked to crawl around the cabin floor and peek through the cracks in the walls, knowing that I could see everything and everyone and they couldn't see me. It was my own version of "Hide and Seek" in the dark. I usually played this game around 10 p.m., although I was never sure of the time. I was used to telling time by the sun and hadn't quite figured out how to tell time by the moon. I made a note to myself for this to be my next project.

You ask: what contribution did I make to mankind and the world? I gave two of the best years of my life, freezing, eating bark and berries and living off the land, always wondering what time it was (not to mention what day it was), meditating on the ways of nature, and, oh, yes, compiling notes for Walden, which I understand nobody ever read!n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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