Milfred the Logger was thirteen feet tall. He could jump eighty feet from a total standstill and could sing arias with the best opera singers in the country. He caught fish with his teeth and once had brought a stepped on butterfly back to health after performing surgery with a need and very fine tweezers. But that wasn’t what he was remembered for. His friends remembered him because of his utter selflessness, and the way he had saved the lives of thirty two of his friends.
In the sawmill one day, which was a place filled with sawdust and only poorly lit with whale-oil lamps, someone knocked over a candle. The place, which was quite literally a tinderbox, immediately caught ablaze and filled with smoke. Mildred, hearing the cries as he was out in the woods chopping down his three-hundredth tree of the day, raced back to camp and immediately into the flames. He carried out seven men on his first trip in, and seven men more on his second, but there were still me inside and he knew that he could not save them with the fire so hot. So he took a breath, and breathed in so much that forty trees snapped and fell and split into perfect boards in the wind. Then he blew so hard that he blew the fire out and popped every vein in his neck. He’d stopped the fire, but he’d died from it, and he collapsed right then and there on the ground. He had barely touched the ground before the crows in the forest, ten thousand of them, swooped down and carried him off into the deep woods that had never been cut. He’d saved the lives of 32 men that day, and that is why the name Milfred is still whispered in reverent tones around campfires even today.
Written on 10/10/15 for a man in a tasteful blue cardigan at the Public Market.
015 The Logger’s Breath (Downloadable mp3 – right click the link and choose “Save Link As…”)
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