Clang – Clang – Clang!


Once upon an earlier time there was a boy, just shy of his sixth birthday, who lived on a tropical isle on the Caribbean Sea. This boy, we’ll call him Donnie, had an exciting life. He awoke each day from a night of sleep of pleasant dreams and, at times, bed-wetting discoveries. His days were filled with wonders, often from habitually wandering about, and other conditions not of his making. He was to discover much later, not that much was his to control and made no difference save resource references in conversation. And, there were many circumstances outside his parental providers control.


Upon waking, his practice when no one noticed, was to wander off towards a favoured path which led to the sea. As it turned out, this day marked the beginning of an excursion he was to repeat on his way to his quiet observation of the seashore, until he relocated to another part of the city.


He took the opportunity to leave his dwelling, while the attention of his mother was on his younger sibling and household chores for which he was not needed. Down the steps, along the walkway and pass the gate he walked. He turned eastward along the main roadway until he came upon an oft trodden pathway, south toward the seashore. Along this pathway he heard an unfamiliar sound which kept a rhythm that increased in volume as he approached to pass toward his destination.


The sound came from behind a rather high and thick foliage, and he used his hands to part the hedge in order to peek at the origin of the sound. He was tasked with making sense of what he was seeing; something new and unexpected. What he saw fascinated him. There, under a canopy was a man working a lever that forced air from a large-sized bag through an opening that made a fire roar from below in a pit! One hand worked the lever and the other held a tong with a piece of metal embedded in the roaring flames.


Watching this action for a time, he saw the man remove the tong from the flames showing a glowing red-hot piece of metal. The man let go of the lever and picked up a hammer, and placing the red-hot metal on large black-shaped metal block, he began striking the red-hot metal into a flat shape which he then placed back into the fire, a bed of coals, and repeated the lever action as before. He repeated this pattern of action of a few more times. Each time he doused the red-hot metal into a barrel of water, which gave off a sizzling sound, before placing it back into the flames.


During one of the man’s actions, another sound drew Donnie’s attention to what appeared the reason for what was taking place. He had to wait for the revelation, as it was not yet apparent. After much reheating and hammering, a shape began to emerge befuddling young Donnie. He had no reference in his previous experiences for what was taking place. Being curious, he stood transfixed at what this man was creating. To this metal creation, the man added holes to use with other forms of metal he had already created.


Assembling these pieces of metal nearby, the man went to get the origin of the other sound Donnie had heard earlier. He brought it slowly into the light to where he was labouring; a fine looking horse. There he proceeded to apply the shaped metal to the bottom of a hoof of the horse. Standing with his back toward the horse, he took one of its hooves between his legs. He placed long pieces of metal between his lips, while holding the horse’s hoof between his legs, and with one hand he placed a newly made metal horseshoe onto the bottom of the hoof, and with a hammer in his other hand he began his task.


Donnie watched as the man affixed the metal shoe onto the bottom of the horse’s hoof, securing it with one nail at a time taken from between his lips. All the while Donnie wondered how the horse felt about this dressing. Not a whimper or neighing came from the horse; and, after the last nail was driven into its hoof, Donnie noticed one nail protruded through the top of the horse’s hoof giving rise to another bit of curiosity. But, without a sound coming from the horse, it became apparent that things will not always go as intended and it was a case of ‘much ado about nothing’.


Slowly and quietly, Donnie eased his face backward from between the parted foliage, leaving it as it was before. He continued on his journey toward the seashore, the clang-clang-clang diminishing behind him, bearing in mind he has to pass this place on his return. As it turned out, there was no noise-making which implied a meal break, or the end of that task-at-hand, and Donnie meandered to his waiting mother and younger sibling.


Donnie would repeat this journey a few more times before relocating from this area. Each time he passed that way he looked forward to the visual/sensory experience, the process of the blacksmith forging metal creations amidst clang-clang-clang sounds. They made an indelible impression in his being. This amazing happenstance, which he later remembered as one of his many childhood happy accident memories.




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