esteemed scholars in the universities of europe believe that humans first appeared in africa.
others, equally esteemed, posit that civilization, based on war and human sacrifice, first arose in the mountains of central and south america.
the empire of atlantis arose in what is now french guinea.
nothing of the sort happened in north america, home of the current united states.
great beasts filled the plains and swamps of north america and were followed timidly by the mild mannered inhabitants, who were grateful to be allowed to live.
that was a long time ago.
today these same plains are filled with little white houses with red windowsills and white picket fences.
women bake blueberry and peach pies and put them on the red windowsills to cool.
dogs and hoboes sometimes steal the pies from the windowsills.
dang it, mrs winters gets mad as all tarnation when that happens.
this was the world of harriet harris,
before the great disrespecter, death, showed his smiling face.
and it was the world of bob fisher, idealistic young reporter, who longed to ask harriet's daughter, hermione, for her hand.
the sun was shining as brightly as bob's eyes when he showed up at work on the morning that harriet harris got the news of her imminent demise from doctor wilson.
sam wilson, the editor of the local newspaper, the times-gazette, thought it was a splendid day . he had not even started drinking when bob showed up, and it was already eight o'clock in the morning.
"good morning, bob."
"good morning, sam. any big stories to follow up on, or can i take my coat off?" and bob began to unbutton his coat.
sam chuckled. his gray eyes twinkled. "well, i can think of one big story you can follow up on ."
bob could always tell when sam was funning. "and what might that be?"
"how the fish are biting up at shag creek!"
"ha. ha! yes, i think you should go check that right out right away." sam shook his head. "you won't find a better day for it this year."
bob had started to take of his hat but now he put it back on his head. "well, that's mighty white of you, sam." he looked out the window. "say, why don't you come with me? we can leave a note on the door. if something really big pops up, folks will know where to find us."
sam stroked his chin. "well, that's not a bad idea. tell you what, why don't you go on up, and maybe i'll join you later this morning. i got a little business to attend to first."
bob understood perfectly what sam's little business was. he was not going anywhere or doing anything without getting a buzz on first. "that sounds like a swell idea! i'll go home and get my rod and then i'll stop at millie's and get us some sandwiches and a couple of sodas."
"great, kid, great. i'll see you up there."
bob departed. outside the sky was a perfect american blue. what a glorious day!