As St. Valentine's Day nears, I find my thoughts turnin' to love and all its inherent mysteries. Bein' that I am an Old Trapper, I've had occasion to love in my day, and be loved in turn, and each time it happened, it was as if it were for the very first time. I can't right explain that, nor would I make the attempt.
I was just thirteen when I fell for Eliza, the loveliest girl in all the Oregon Territory, and my first real love. We'd spend hours together wandering the forests, picking wildflowers and taunting Grizzly Bears with our long poking sticks.
She was a bit older than I and more experienced in the ways of the world. She taught me how to track wild game and hunt like I was a forest animal my own self. Together, we once eluded a surly group of Frenchmen (mistakenly under the impression we'd raided a string of their traps) by climbin' a large fir tree and movin' from limb to limb across the forest canopy. Eventually I was able to bury the hatchet with those fellas by buryin' a hatchet into a tree right next to their leader's head. But that's a story for another time...
All Good Things
Like all of life's most wonderful things, my time with Eliza was all too brief. Her family moved north to Canada and took her along much to my despair. But before she left, Eliza gave me the most beautiful gift these eyes have ever beheld: 20 pounds of cured, seasoned beef. I knew then, that her love for me was true.
Show Your Love
As I said before, I don't right claim to know much of love, but I do know this: nothing says I love you like delicious smoked meat
. Eliza knew it all those years ago, and when I think back on those days, I'm not ashamed to admit, my eyes get right dusty..
All my best,