When my grandfather, James, died, sadness abound throughout the community. He was 92 years young. Everyone knew and respected him. He always showed up at the right time to be of help. He knew a little about everything. Need help with building a chicken coop or laying block, Grandfather James knew how to build or help with them. Nearly everyone called him Gramps.
In 1915 when Gramps was twelve years of age, his father, Silas, was teaching James how to chop wood. This was a chore that had to be done yearly as wood was the source for heating the house and cooking. This was always the man’s job. Cut the trees, haul them to the shed that stood to the back of the property. Next came chopping the tree into fireplace sizes. Other pieces were needed to fit into the oven to use for heating the stove and oven. It was not easy for men or women back in those days.
Most serious of using an axe is that you could whack your leg open and nearly loose the leg. Gramps had done severer damage to his hands as a young boy when he was being taught. The chopping axe has two very sharp edges on both sides.
One day Gramps leaned the axe upside down against a tree. When he saw it was falling over, Gramps reached for it and it took off all the fingers on one hand. Since it could cut wood, it could take off fingers very easily. Gramps had to learn how to do many things differently without fingers on the one hand. He learned a very important lesson that day about being careful with farm tools.
Gramps was always a little ashamed of what he had done thus not showing many people his mangled hand. His little granddaughter saw it once, and from then on, she was always looking for his fingers. She figured they were laying around someplace and one day she would find them. She wanted to be the one to give them back to him.
When Gramps was lying in the casket, her mother was holding her so little Sally could view her Gramps. She asked her mom to move his handkerchief so she could see if he had found his fingers. “Nope, not yet,” said little Sally.
The preacher doing the speaking to the bereaved people asked if anyone had anything to say about Gramps. Little Sally ran up front and told them about her Gramps losing his fingers and if anyone found them to please dig a hole close to where Gramps was buried and put them in the hole so they could help her Gramps if he had to do some wood chopping where he was going.
The preacher told little Sally that everyone would be on the look out for them and she could be seated so anyone else who wanted to speak, now would be the time. Everyone thought little Sally had said enough.
The preacher said a prayer and then invited everyone to have a plate of finger foods in the luncheon room.
Little Sally heard that and started screaming. “No, no, don’t eat the fingers; they might be Gramps.”
That set a whole different tone on the luncheon but they all thought little Sally had made her point
Fiction Author: C.G.Rose Words 564