Last week on the evening of February 25, 2010, our family lost Fowler Stanton (Boppy.) He was Donna’s stepdad and the man that raised her. He was always up to something crazy or poetic. The story below is one we found while going through his wishes.
A little background: Boppy was raised on a farm in Buffalo Valley, Tennessee. Most people know it as an exit to go fly fishing on the Caney. It was a bustling area back in the early 20th century. Boppy had many stories of good times, and mystery and intrigue. I remember him telling stories of singing and music, ghost stories, firefox, cream separators, the old barn! The story below is one he wrote about him and Amadeus’ (aka Joe Dog) adventure
We’ll all miss him very much. I look forward to all the stories at his "visitation" on March 5. There will be plenty of good ones.
Fowler G. Stanton
646 Lakeview Drive
Smithville, TN 37166
To The Editor:
Amadeus, my treasured Golden Retriever and faithful companion, and I recently took an autumn pilgrimage as we always do this time of the year down by the countryside of my heritage. Amadeus, being the superior canine that he is, is usually the “trail boss” and I just follow his lead. However on this journey I was a little concerned because of the route he had chosen. This happened to be the “ Valley of Trouble Winds”; a valley where few men have dared to trod. According to legend, those certain men never returned. So with some anxiety I followed Amadeus’ lead and strolled along with him. I rely on the fact that Amadeus’ resilience can take care of any thing that crosses our path.
I take pride in also knowing that my faithful pet and I have a wonderful ability to communicate. He barks in certain tones that lets me know when he is answering to the call of the wild or if he just feels like saying hello. He growls when there is danger, and has a quiet murmur when the moon is full and suspicion is in the air.
Upon entering this certain valley, we saw two trails, one was heavily trodden, and clean with deer tracks. The other was laden with lichens and moss. Amadeus being no fool, chose the clean track. We had not traveled far when Amadeus started to growl and ended with a murmur. I quickly inspected his direction and noticed a footprint. However this just wasn’t some foot of a deer or mountain lion, this was a huge human-like footprint! It was the size of a washtub! Up above and beyond we caught a quick glimpse of a figure about eight feet tall, with a wardrobe of long hair and beetle eyes. After a quiet conference with Amadeus, we elected to take the trail less traveled.
Soon we had reached the end of our joumey where there was a pond of mystery. This small indention of water had become quite infamous over the years, and it didn’t take me long to recognize where we were. We lingered a while since there was enough light to look into this dark lake of sorts to notice some fish were “belly-up”. Puzzled I leaned against an old beaver stump and studied the surface of the water. Soon the night creatures began declaring their thousand “knowledges”.
There was no light but that of the stars. Night had fallen. The corona borealis was near its zenith, and Venus was dominant in the south. Orion was riding the dark ridge behind me. Amadeus started making sounds and moans that were new to me. All of the sudden there was a BOOM!!! In the center of the lake, I first noticed small bubbles, then followed by an undescribable creature. It was about the size of a Volkswagen Bug! It curved at the neck which was about six feet long and had the head of a reptile!
At the first glimpse of Amadeus and me, it snorted a streak of tire and slowly started approaching us. I said to my inquisitive dog, “How in the he@! did that thing get HERE all the way from Scotland?!?”
So, with this gigantic creature on our trail, we cut our own path out of the valley. He was charging at us and up ahead stood the hairy giant waiting!! The hills on either side were so steep we didn’t make in time until the webbed feet monster had his knife and fork ready for dinner. I knew Amadeus could whoop them, so I wasn’t that scared. Before I knew it, my faithful companion grabbed the creature by the leg and “Big Foot” by another body part that apparently did the trick. With one unfailed swoop, the creatures yelped back into their posts with their “tails” between their legs, so to speak. I was yelling and running toward Amadeus to thank him and hug him for being such a hero.
Before I knew it, I was being shook and grabbed at. My eyes opened where my wife stood over me asking what in the world was going on. I immediately asked where was my favored dog, she said, “he is laying right beside the bed”. I asked Amadeus, “Did you have the same dream Ijust had?” he sat his head in my lap, looked up and moaned, “AAAAAAOOOOOOOOHHHHHHEEEEEE”.