Saturday, February 9, 2013

It's a great big itty bitty World.

While walking out of Brattleborough Vermont we were invited for breakfast to a house that was built by Rudyard Kipling who wrote The Jungle Book. The city maintains the property by renting it out as a long term bed and breakfast. The woman and her guests, a married couple, were from Minnesota. The house was full of historical artifacts of Kipling's time there. The room where he wrote several novels was, as was the rest of the home, filled with original furnishings and gifts from notable friends such as Arthur Conan Doyle and Mark Twain. I was given the tour from top to bottom, showered and freshened up in the same bathroom where those great minds pondered the world. I sat in the chair at the desk where Kipling imagined the jungles of India while he looked out on the slopes where he and Doyle used the first downhill skies in North America and knocked balls far and away with clubs used in a new pastime named "golf" which Doyle had brought from Europe. In the attic was the game room, "man cave" coined by Twain, with checkerboard and billiard table where the men would relax together. On the grounds are the remains of a spring fed stone pool, and many unique features designed by Kipling who lived in the home only a few years as it was where his young daughter passed. In addition squabbles from the town made living there untenable. I was enriched by the opportunity and the friendships made.
After crossing the headwaters of the Mississippi in Acadia Minnesota I was on my way to Fargo North Dakota when I was contacted by the same folks who had graciously taken us in to Kipling's home. I was glad to hear from them so many miles from where we first met.
As I strolled from Inglis to Crystal Springs a truck pulled to the side of the road and who should come out to greet us but the married pair we had met that warm July morning years ago in a region now blanketed in snow. Some acquaintances are larger than the small time spent together.

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