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The mill that once stood there has gone to
And our barefooted days are now far, far
Yet I return there just once in awhile
To take a big sniff of the old sawdust pile.

No flowers, no matter how fragrant and fair,
With sweet odored blossoms have scented
        the air,
Though they grow on the banks of the Hud-
        son or Nile
Can smell half so sweet as the old sawdust

In a very few years, I'll become old and
And the strength of my legs shall be taken
Yet I'd crawl on my hands and my knees for
        a mile
To get one more sniff of the old sawdust pile.



        Far up in the north woods, among the silvery lakes, there once was a region of tall, swaying pine and evergreen. The people who inhabited this region were sturdy woodsmen type, men who lived hard and loved the great outdoors with its primitive life, close to nature.
        The chief beast of burden in this land of primeval timber was the humble ox. Slowly and patiently, treading heavily through the growth of underbrush, over great carpets of pine needles, he conveyed the huge logs out of the forest to a convenient landing place at the side of some stream.
        His drivers represented several nationalities, so the patient ox had to accustom himself to the different characteristics of his various drivers. Life for him was truly one of oppression. It would be a difficult  task to know which of the two, the driver  or


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The Hodag and Other Tales of the Logging Camps, Written by Lake Shore Kearney
(Madison, WI: Democrat Printing Press, 1928) Original Text and Illustrations Public Domain License.
Copyright © 2006-2014 Thrill Land.