Upon The Mountain

By , West Plains, MO
A few miles north of the Arkansas and Missouri border, in the heart of the Ozarks, lived the widow of a farmer. The widow lived in the house her husband built her 30 years ago upon Inspiration Point, with her mutt, Goldie. Jane, that's the widow, an' Goldie don't come down the mountain much. About once a month for supplies such as flour an' sugar. I'm her handyman, Bill. I cut wood for her, build fences, keep the coyotes an' bobcats away. But she has never let me milk that cow of hers, she just insists on doin' it herself. Most people think Jane is a selfish old woman, not me though. No, I can see past it. She has a soft spot, she has too! She did have kids an' all, and every mother has love in her heart. If people would stop bein' scared of her, they would know that she is just lonely.

Her husband died a few years back from a bad bit of pneumonia. Her kids haven't been home since. They are a real bunch, never come to see her an' far as I know, call her once a month. The son is a big shot up in Saint Louie, an' the daughter is married to some lawyer and lives in Texas. Sometimes they send money, but Jane doesn't use it. She's too proud. I try to talk to Jane, but she just won't talk back. The only time I see her talking is to Goldie or that old heifer shes got. I see her watchin' me out the window of her cabin sometimes, makin' sure I do my work right. She wants to talk to me, but maybe she don't know how, so I'll keep tryin'.

The day I got Jane to sit and talk to me, was the first day I'd seen her smile. She musta been a real looker back in her day, she's got quite the smile. I asked her if I could do anything else for her that day, an' you know what she said? She said “How 'bout you come sit an' chat with me.” Those words exactly. And we talked, for oh 'bout an hour or so. I got to know more about that woman than her kids probably do. I enjoyed it too, she had a neat life, full of adventure and hard work. She's not harsh, not at all. She's a lonely widow who just needs a smile an' a chat with an ole' farmhand like me. She just needs a friend.





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