The Harp Part 2
by Kendyl Harding
When the sun sat on top of the sky he decided it was time to get his chores done. He fed the chickens, cleaned the coop, and fed Lucky leftover scraps. He swept and dusted the house. He washed out the bath basin and shoveled out the burnt wood from last nights fire. Only when all his chores were done, did he sit down to feed himself.
After he chugged a glass of milk and had eaten his daily supply of chicken eggs he got a bright idea. “Oh Lucky, what if we go find the golden harp? We could sell it and be rich, and I could get Ma her horses and we could fix this old place up!” Lucky barked in agreement. Taylor packed a sack with eggs, a small stick with coal at the end, a blanket, and a single match. With that, they were off. Taylor took a brave look into the forest and charged through the thick foliage.
“Its dark in here,” Taylor groaned as he struck his single match on a large rock, quickly lighting his torch before the light blew out. Taylor and Lucky continued through the forest until they came to a clearing. Light shone through the thick trees, lighting up an old chair left alone in the middle of the forest.“Now I wonder what this is for?” Taylor asked Lucky, his eyes wide and a pit in his stomach.
“It's for me to sit in, friend!” came a voice out of the bushes, and out popped an older man, possibly in his late thirties or early forties.
“Um, hello,” Taylor whispered in a meek voice. Shakily he moved his torch in front of him, as a “sword” of sorts.
“Me name's Pork!” called out the man.
“Uh, original name. So...why might a man like you be in the woods?” asked Taylor as Lucky sat down at his heels.
“Lookin for the harp, same as yourself.” the man said, wobbling side to side.
“How did you know I was looking for the harp?” Taylor questioned as he backed off from the approaching man.
“You gotta bag and you dared to come in the woods,” the man stated with a goofy grin. He closed in on Taylor and grabbed him by the shoulders. “Lots of lookin, I could help if yer want?” asked the man. Taylor gagged at the reek of the man's breath.
“Uh, no thanks. I'll do it on my own,” Taylor said as he attempted to make a dash for the dark forest ahead of him.
“So, yer won't be needin this here dog, will ya?” asked the man pointing to Lucky.
“Yes, I actually will. Now I'll be leaving,” Taylor quickly loped into the forest ahead of him, getting away from the reeking man.
“That was fun, huh boy?” Taylor leaned over to pat Lucky, fingering through his long soft fur. Once they had been walking for several hours, Taylor stopped in his tracks.
“You hear that boy?” Taylor asked as his turned left to right, cupping his hands around his ears, hoping to find where the sound was coming from.“Yes, yes it is, boy! It's water!” Taylor gasped, he looked at his empty canteen and quickly raced around trying to pinpoint the location of rushing water. Lucky gave his master a nudge and raced off. “Smart aleck,” Taylor grinned as he raced after his furry friend. “You did it boy!” Taylor gleamed as he saw the water rushing below his feet. “Not exactly the jewel we were looking for, but it's good enough.”
Taylor pat his dog as he dashed down the steep hill leading to the river banks.
He filled his canteen and let Lucky have his fill before he decided to go again. But off in the distance he saw something glimmering. He couldn’t see the whole thing, and it was on the other side of the river, so he quickly grabbed a stick to test how quickly the current was and the depth of the water. “Well whatever it is, be it a dead fish, shiny rock or maybe even the harp itself, we have to see,” Taylor grinned as Lucky gave his agreement bark. Across the river they went, closer and closer to the mystery object.
“My dear Lucky, it's true he thought, its really true! The harp is real!” Taylor squealed not being able to control his inner child. “That old hag has been looking for years and we find it in the first day!” Taylor waded through the deeper water, getting closer and closer to the harp. “It's ours boy, its really ours!” Taylor grabbed the golden harp and fingered its soft strands. “It may not play for itself, or talk. But it sure will be worth a whole bunch in gold! Now to the market Lucky, to pawn our prize!” Taylor jumped out on the other side of the river, Lucky racing alongside him.
After hours of tireless running they reached the pond which gave fresh water to the people of the village. Taylor raced over to the small gold buying cart where everyone pawned their valuables. “Sir, dear sir,” Taylor cried out to the man working there. He had pondered many times why the booth remained, no one in the village had anything of great value left. Everything had been pawned or stolen.
“No child, pennies do not count as gold,” the man said lazily.
“Oh, but I think you’ll like this penny,” Taylor smiled as his held up the golden harp.
“Mother of a flying buckskin donkey! Is that real gold?” asked the man, his eyes the size of a watermelon.
“It sure is, how much will I get for it?” Taylor asked. He was so happy he felt he could fly out of his boots and float with the clouds.
“Maybe, well at least a hundred dollars!” cried the booth man as he examined the harp closer. “Or I would say closer to a thousand dollars.”
Taylor cried for joy, now he and his mother could live a good life, instead of begging just to feed themselves.
DA END Photo image credit to Jenny Audring.