Dreams and Wishes, Wishes and Dreams
By Denise Craig
It was a hot summer’s day and young Hannibal Heyes and Jed Curry were lazing around their favorite fishing hole. They had agreed the previous day to get their chores done in record time and then coax their parents into letting them go fishing, under the guise of catching dinner. Hannibal had met Jed at his farm and Mrs. Curry had packed them a snack to take with them. As they hurried out the door, they could hear her admonish, “Try not to get too wet, and watch out for each other.”
Now they were finishing off their second apple and lying on the bank of the river. Finally, Jed spoke up around the apple still in his mouth, “Han, watcha want to do when you get to be a grown-up?”
Hannibal thought on this for a minute. “Well, I think I want to be a doctor,” he said throwing his apple core away.
“Why?” This came out a little muffled as he was now steadily munching on a cookie.
Hannibal rolled over and looked at his neighbor and friend, “So I can keep people from dying.”
This brought Jed’s head around, “You mean like your Ma?” he asked quietly.
Hannibal rolled over onto his back again, and just looked at the clear, blue sky. “Yeah,” he said just as quietly.
They lay there in silence for a moment, then, “And the President.”
“The President, why would ya wanta be that?”
“Well, then everybody would look up to me. I could tell them what to do. And…have you seen the train they get to ride around on? Boy, would I love to ride on that.”
“Yeah, that would be alright I guess. Would ya let me ride on the train with ya?”
“Of course, you can even drive it if you want to.”
Jed seriously considered this for a moment, “Are ya sure they’d let me?”
“They’d have to let you…if I told them too.”
“Okay,” he said, taking his friend at his word.
“What about you, what do you want to do?”
“I’m gonna be a Marshal, and catch bad guys.” Jed got up and taking a stick from the ground started to shoot at imaginary enemies.
“Jed, if you go and become a Marshal, I can hire you to protect me. I’ll need someone real good, because I’ll be the President and have people trying to assassin me.”
Jed looked over at his friend for a minute, and then asked, “What’s assassin mean?”
“My Pa said, it’s when people don’t agree with you, and try to kill you because of it.”
Jed thought hard about that. “Okay, you become the President, and I’ll watch your back.”
Hannibal extended his hand, “Deal?”
Jed took it solemnly, “Deal.” He sat back down on the bank. He looked into the water, watching the mosquitoes touch its surface. “Han?”
“If I become a Marshall, do you think they’ll let me shoot out of a cannon?”
Hannibal looked over with a confused look on his face. “What do you mean, shoot out of a cannon.”
“Like in the circus. Tommy told me about the circus he saw. They shot a man out of a cannon, I think it sounds fun.”
Hannibal thought about this for a minute. “You know, I think we might be able to do that sooner than you think. Mr. Myers has that old cannon out back of his place. We could shove you in and find a fuse…”
The rest of the afternoon was spent in planning and daydreaming. They did manage to catch enough fish for dinner though.