by N.A Miller
An AZ Tumbleweed goes on an Adventure, as told by my Late Grandmother.
|Tommy Tumbleweed -- By Marjorie Sandau |
Annexed by Nathaniel Miller, -- By permission.
She told this to us when we were kids over 45 years ago and finally wrote it down to share. She is no longer with us but this story is with us three generations of Grandchildren in spirit.
Tommy Tumbleweed grew up with many brothers and sisters, a very large family who lived in the western United States. A year before his parents had gone away in a big wind that took other neighbors as well.
An old Granny Tumbleweed was still near by only because she clutched at a wire fence that helped keep her in place. Uncle Tex Tumbleweed had traveled far before meeting a sad end while crossing the highway
At first Tommy T. was a tiny seed sleeping under a light layer of soil as cold winter came and passed. When spring came the sun warmed the ground. Rain softened his outer shell and he felt the stirring of life within.
Soon Tommy T. sent a root down deeper into the soil and then a green shoot peeked through to see and feel the sunlight. Life was great and he grew fast just as did the other tumbleweeds all around him. They were quite a family.
All summer long, Tommy grew (you could say ‘like a weed'). His branches at first were low, forming a small bush but mostly they reached outward along the ground. They were far longer than the root that only grew a short distance into the ground.
Other members of his family had been doing the same and together they formed a green carpet. Tiny blooms formed all over the surface. I was a pretty sight to the few who happened to see.
As the summer passed there, was less rain and the sun grew very hot. Tommy T. felt a change was coming. His whole plant body seemed different. His pretty blooms dried up and turned into seeds that sprinkled onto the ground under him.
The tips of his branches began to curl upward and he began to get a strange restless feeling. He wanted to travel, to go somewhere else. He wondered where his parents were. Granny was still here; a bit tattered, but still clinging to the rusty wire fence. What would happen to him? Was he free to roam to unknown places?
As the days passed Tommy's branches curled up in the hot dry wind. They almost reached each other to make a round ball. His restless feeling became a passionate longing.
TUMBLE! Yes, that was it! He wanted to tumble! ”But how?” He thought, reminding himself that he is still attached to the ground by the root that had given him life. Would he be like Granny forever caught in place to become bleached bones by a fencerow?
Days and weeks became months. Tommy still stood in place. But he wasn't alone. There were hundreds of his family and friends clumped here and there. They danced and twitched in the breezes that sometimes turned into winds. The days grew shorter and cooler. It was fall with a promise of winter soon to arrive. The one day it happened! A strong wind caught Tommy Tumbleweed just right. His body snapped loose from the root and he was tumbling. He was so excited that he hardly noticed he was among friends who had done just the same. Together they merrily rolled along (just like the song, you might say).
It was wonderful! Just as he had imagined he was at last traveling. Then suddenly it was all over. Whomp! He crashed up against a fence. No Granny near, but several of his family were caught, too. Was this the end? Would he be left to gradually break up and blow away? His sorrowful sigh blended with the ceaseless wind. Then something amazing happened. A car stopped across the ditch from Tommy's fence. A people person got out and scrambled over the ditch. She looked at the piled up tumbleweeds for a short time while Tommy wondered what was going on.
Soon he felt himself gently lifted and along with a few other of his family was placed in the back of the car. Well, this is another kind of travel, he thought as he now rolled down the highway, but not being pushed by the wind.
When the car stopped, again Tommy felt himself being very carefully carried to the shelter of a porch on a house that was among other houses in a row. He rested there for a few days always wondering if this was the end.
One day the people person gathered up Tommy and the others and carried them out to the front yard. With much consideration and careful handling Tommy found himself at the top of a creation such as he never once imagined could be.
Some wires and colored glass bits were wood all through this jumble made of Tommy and his family and friends, other tumbleweeds. Tommy himself couldn't quite understand what it was all about. But he knew that he was making many people happy because they all smiled as they passed by. Therefore, that made Tommy Tumbleweed happy!
The end. (However, a happy ending....)