Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Trip Trap and the bridge troll
Before I forget this... When walking along the steep edges out of Crowley where I'd have to stand deep in the ditch holding the World practically on my shoulder as I waited for cars or trucks to pass standing inches from a steam of ditch water frm the recent rains, I cam to a short bridge that crossed a wide creek. The bridge was new so it had a wide approach paved with asphalt, it had a guard rail with a boxed end that I used to cradle the World so I could rest and have a vegetable snack. We sat there for awhile before I threw my pack on my shoulders and crossed the bridge. When I passed to the opposite side a woman stopped to talk saying she had called the newspaper and they were on their way. She stopped and looked past me with concern. I turned to see a man walking up from under the bridge. He wasn't dirty, his clothes were well worn and clean. His blue jeans were hiked up to his ribs but he wore no belt. He walked by without a word even though I spoke to him when I came close. He tried sticking out his thumb as he hurried away but soon crossed to the other side of the road and was gone. I walked for over and hour before I saw him again. First just the top of his head as he walked along the far side of the railroad tracks, soon he was on the tracks, pants still high and snug over his rib cage. I walk slower than a mother pushing twins in a bay carriage and I almost passed him. At one point he began walking along the easement when the tracks became too hard with his thin shoes. When the wet ground became mud he disappeared again. I never saw him again. We must have walked just yards from one another for three miles without a word. The only times he looked my way was when I called a command to Nice (the dog). I'll think of the strange little man as my bridge troll.