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NMF Reunion: Straw Man 1

by Captain Webster

George looked up lazily at the crows circling about in the sky. Every time one would begin to slowly descend toward the ripening corn he would flap his arms and sqawk at them. The surprised birds would turn tail and flap off into the distance, cawing their outrage at him.

Who would expect a scarecrow to suddenly come to life and scream at you? Certainly not any self respecting crow. Certainly not.

George settled into his stance again. He could stand like this for hours. Heck, he could stand like this forever. He had no muscles to suffer from the build up of fatigue poisons. He had no viscera that required motion to keep them healthy, or joints that needed movement to keep them well lubricated. All he had was cloth and straw packed into some old raggiddy clothes.

He had been different once. Before that night at the Raucous Chicken Club. Before that costume party. He had gone as his favorite character from the Wizard of Oz. The loveable Scarecrow who wanted a brain.

Softly George began to hum to himself, "Oz never did give nothin' to the Tin Man, that he didn't, didn't already have. Yeah the Tin Man, but what about Ol' Straw for Brains, me."

Goerge had been an up and coming entrepeanuer. He and his best friend Rollo had opened their own garage. They were going to be big in the auto repair business some day. Some day. But not now. Not George anyway. Rollo had tried to help George after his change. He had let him try to work on cars, but it was no use. Straw stuffed hands were not much good for handling wrenches and such. Then there was his incredible stupidity. He had brains of straw after all.

George started getting the most hair (correction straw) brained ideas after his change. He thought of a fanciful catalytic converter that would eliminate 100% of harmful emmissions without lessining the power and performance of the car. Of course it would never work. It was just an idle fancy of a scarecrow of a man.

Rollo had been nice about it though. He had pretended to be interested, so George had written it all down for him. Shortly after that, Rollo had explained to George that he just couldn't keep on going in the car repair business. The garage would have to close.

Fortunately for both Rollo and for George, Rollo had hit the lottery. He had won millions. Exactly how much George never knew, but more than enough to buy this huge farm. More than enough to hire armed guards to stand at the main gate onto the property to protect George's privacy.

Rollo had a cornfield planted and let George stand in it. What else would he do with a scarecrow after all. Every month or so Rollo would come out and talk to George. He always took an interest in George's idle fantasy's about inventions and such. He even started tape recording their talks. He explained that this was so that he could listen while he worked at managing his vast new financial empire. He said that hearing George's voice reminded him of where he had come from. It made him feel at home again. Rollo was so good to George.

Every once in a while George would wander down the fence line beside the adjacent property. Some sort of horse farm, or boarding area. George really wasn't sure. He liked to watch the horses run and frolic in the pastures. They were never afraid of him. It seemed so peaceful.

Then there was the other reason. There was the kid. The kid was a victim, just like George. He used to watch the red haired lad chase the horses about, cursing up a blue streak. George would laugh and hide himself, so as not to startle the lad. George knew that people were afraid to see an animated straw man. Even another victim. Rollo had told him so, and Rollo was his only friend.

George's latest fancy had been a cheap method of extracting gold from seawater, with potable water as a by product. Rollo had been exceptionally interested in this folly. Good old Rollo. He never mocked George, or made fun of him. Just patiently listened while George droned on about his stupid ideas.

This existence would have been paradise, except for one thing. For the last month or so a strange urge had been building in George. He felt restless. Almost as if he had somewhere to go. As the time passed the urge only became stronger. He never told Rollo about it, because he knew that Rollo would be cross with him. Rollo was fierce about protecting George from the outside world.

As George looked across the pasture toward the adjacent property he saw the red haired boy walking a small donkey or mule (George was not sure which at this distance). Something about the animal seemed strange, as did the bridal path they walked togeather. It was almost as if, instead of dirt and grass, the path was lined with gold bricks!

"The yellow brick road!" George cried triumphantly. "That's it! It will lead me to where I've got to go."

George wished he had time to tell Rollo, but then again, perhaps it was best this way. He wouldn't want to worry Rollo after all. Climbing over the fence George ran as fast as his straw legs would take him toward the boy and the donkey. He felt, at last, as if he was going home.

Copyright 1997:CaptWbstr@nut-n-but.net . If you want to post this anywhere else, please ask the author for permission first.       Thank you

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