Slim Randles' Home Country
Conversation at firewood time
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You have to look
for the schism, Jasper said to himself out at the woodpile. He put
another chunk of firewood up on the splitting block and took a look
at the checking cracks that ran partway through the circles of age
If I hit it right there, he said to himself, it should cleave.
"What do you think, Arthur? If I hit it right there ... ?"
Arthur looked up from his end of the woodpile and wagged his
tail. The old guy's talking to me again. Sure is cold out here. When
are we going back in the cabin? Isn't it almost time for supper?
Oops, gotta scratch an itch ...
"Always good to have your opinion, old-timer," Jasper Blankenship
He picked up the double-bit cruiser ax, made sure the splitting
edge of the ax was in the downward position, and swung. Half a
century and more of splitting firewood took that ax blade to that
crack in the block, and there was a welcoming ka-chunk as part of
the block was surgically cloven from the rest.
Well done, Dr. Blankenship, Jasper thought. Now for this
remaining chunk. One more split and it'll fit the firebox quite
[to top of second
He sized it up. This second swing wasn't as difficult to figure
out as that first one. There is less wood to cut through, for one
Ka-chunk. Three pieces of firewood in two swings of the ax. Not
bad for an old guy.
Jasper could've bought a splitting maul, of course. Only Arthur
would know. But that's like shooting flies with a 30-ought-6.
Overkill. This way a guy has to know what he's doing to hit the
schism on the first swing.
Just take this next block here. Just to the left of that knot, I
"Arthur, we should have been diamond cutters, you know?"
I think it's time to feed the dog, Boss. And it's getting cold
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