The End is Rooted in the Beginning

The Founding of Bogwillow

Albert Crinklehoffer and his lovely wife Clara stood on a small outcropping of rock overlooking a dismal looking swamp. The day was fine. The blue sky was filled with pillow like clouds. The weather belied the forlorn aspect of the smelly bog before them. It stood dank and oozing. Flies buzzed here and there. Frogs croaked. Water skippers daydreaming of better shores disturbed its oily waters. Rank grasses and struggling shrubs dotted the high spots.

  “This wants cleaning up.” Said Clara matter of factly.

  “You would have the right of it there, Clara my dear.” Said Albert as he looked around them. “Uncle Rasmus doesn’t seem to have done us much of a favor has he?”

  Clara held her tongue.

  It was one of Albert’s favorite things about his new bride. She rarely wasted words.

  It was just one of many good reasons he had decided she was just the girl for him. Another one of them being her intestinal fortitude in the face of disasters.

  One day when they were still courting, a horse and carriage had come careening around the corner and crashed unceremoniously into a lamppost right in front of them. Clara had done nothing more than pick up her skirts and quickly jump out of the way of a bit of carriage wheel that skidded by. After making sure the horses and occupants were uninjured, she was ready to go on her way with only a slight “Tsk tsk” at the foolish driver.

  Albert had practically proposed to her on the spot, so impressed was he with her aplomb. He could not abide a flighty female.

  Clara stood, perched on the rock, holding her black parasol straight up blocking the noonday sun. Her dove gray traveling suit, which was a model of modest attire, stood in stark contrast to the pair of shoes that were peeking out from under her skirts. Now, don’t get me wrong, she would never be seen in anything but the most sensible of shoes. They were sturdy little ankle boots with small heels. What set them apart from the rest of her attire was their color. They were made of leather in the most shocking shade of lizard green. Clara was a woman who had herself well in hand on many levels, but a girl had to make some kind of statement from time to time. And Clara made hers with the color of her shoes.

  Albert and Clara looked at each other and then at the bog.

“What shall we do with it?”  She asked simply.

Now Albert, never one to shirk a challenge, removed his top hat and thought it over.

  “Well my sweeting, this is what I propose.  We shall hire workers to dig trenches all around up in there.”  He waved his arm in the direction of the highest area of the swamp. “We will put in drains. Then we will sell peat from this bog to finance our next venture. How about a nice general store? An inn? A little shoe shop perhaps?”  He said this last watching her carefully out of the corner of his eye.

  Clara’s eyes widened. The only other thing that gave her away was a slight blush of color rising on her cheeks.

  Albert missed neither of these signals.

  “Perhaps.”  Was all that Clara would say. But already she was making a list in her mind of possible sources for the latest thing in flaming yellow calf skin.

  “Shall we seal our plans with a kiss?” Albert asked her gazing intently at the Venus Fly Traps in the middle distance.

  Clara slowly moved her parasol to block the view that the carriage driver had of them from the road nearby.

  “Why yes Mr. Crinklehoffer, I believe we should.”

  Whereupon Albert sealed the fate of all that was to come afterward.

  It was then Albert’s turn to show a flush on his cheek after Clara had bestowed a very unmaidenlike kiss upon him.

  “What shall we name our little enterprise?” Albert asked regaining his composure as best he could.

  Clara pursed her just kissed lips, tilted her head, then looked around her, spying a weeping willow growing at the edge of the swamp.

  “Bogwillow.”  She said decisively.

  “I like it.” Said Albert, repositioning his top hat, and offering Clara is arm. 

“Bogwillow it is.”