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|Author(s)||Albert C. Peña|
Here is the story of Critter County as told by the old Badger
Hello there friend, sit back and stay a spell and I'll tell you a little story about the history of Hodges Pond. I've always said, that the best place to start with any story is at the beginning. Long long ago, since before even I was born this peaceful valley was discovered by several miners back in the gold rush days. Many staked a claim here and tried their luck at making it rich, but sadly most left as poor as they were the day they settled here... and some of 'em were worse off. Many of the creeks and rivers were dug and panned out, leaving most of the once scenic places in ruins... barren and void of the native wildlife that once called it home. There's nothing like the hand of man to ruin the beauty of nature, but thankfully that's not where our story ends. No sirree, nature has a way of bouncing back after man's folly and destruction.
Some years later, the rivers and creeks were flowing again and some of them converged to form a quiet pond in the middle of the valley, where a grove of large oak trees once stood. This is where it gets interesting, folks. A young pioneer by the name of Jebediah Hodges discovered the valley and decided this was the place he would settle and put down roots. Soon after, he was wed and had a few kids to boot, who in time moved on to spread their wings elsewhere. Old Father Time soon had his way and the valley was once again quiet as before.
Now, what y'all don't know is that unlike the other men, ol' Jeb did never lay spade nor shovel to this beautiful land in search of gold or other riches. Instead he spend most of his spare time repairing a lot of the damage the miners had done to the place. Weren't no easy task for one man but he knew that to appreciate the beauty of nature one sometimes should try to help it along, and that's just what he did. Well wouldn't you know it, that it wasn't long before the place started to come to life again. Most of the critters that lived in these parts soon came back to the valley, now that it was restored to its previous splendor, thanks to the actions of one man.
After many full years old Jeb passed on and his story would have surely been forgotten had it not been for a letter from an "anonymous" sender. The letter gave an account of all that this valley had been though and had it not been for the loving care of one man, the valley would not be what it is today. Having researched the facts of the letter to be true, the local people in the area decided it was only right to name the place in honor of the man who saved it. They called it, Hodges Pond. Now I know it might sound like a stretch but around these parts old Jeb is considered a hero by many, maybe not to you or some other folk but definitely by folk like me. I know what you're probably thinking-- "what's so heroic about that?" Well, many of you might look at this place and just see trees, rivers, rocks, hills or grass, but for us this is home.
So the next time you come across the quiet pond or a grassy plain, take a moment to ponder this story and realize that while your surroundings may not seem like home to you, you can be certain that somewhere someone is calling that place home. It ain't often we speak our mind, but when someone saves your home I think it is only right that someone should know. What's my name you ask? Well... just call me Anonymous.