Can you hear them, dear reader? Saber-toothed tigers’ fangs chatter, woolly mastodons whimper, T-Rex cowers in a dark cave, his massive heart thundering in terror, his brain reeling at the mortal danger . . . for The Man Who Walks Alone stalks the primeval forest.
From whence comes The Man Who Walks Alone? From day care, of course.
I pick up two-year-old Tommy after work. “Do you want to go to the big park?” I ask.
“Yay! Big park, big park!” he shouts.
We arrive at the Place of Transformation. “Bye!” Tommy calls and curls his fingers. He wants to explore—alone. I follow at a respectful distance as the intrepid, solitary explorer blazes trails through towering trees and almost, but not quite, too close to the creek.
Then, suddenly, “Grandma, come!”
Tommy stretches out his hand. I take it and my little grandson and I walk together, enjoying the birds, the people and the dogs in this large urban park. Together we run across the bridge, listening to the thump of our footsteps on the wooden planks. We hear the swish of the water below the bridge, and call “Hi” to the friendly people walking their dogs. Until . . .
“Bye!” and The Man Who Walks Alone once again blazes trails, striking terror into the hearts of man and beast alike.
Eons from now, as the warriors gather round the campfire, will they not speak in hushed tones of The Man Who Walks Alone?