Weldon’s Pond

Weldon’s hermitage was small, careful, and refined.

In one corner, Weldon had set up a chair, from which he could sit with a cup of pine tea and oversee the forest in which he lived.

In another corner, Weldon had the fire pit, where his nightly meals were prepared – unless, of course, he hadn’t anything to cook, or didn’t feel like a cooked meal. Sometimes, chewing on a few roots was enough.

In the third corner of Weldon’s hermitage was a place of a contemplation – a small sandbox, built from fallen trees and bags of sand, painfully dragged from the beach at the nearby lake – Weldon’t Pond, as he liked to think of it. He kept the sandbox tidy, a rake pilfered from the town some ten miles away used to make neat little rows.

The fourth corner, of course, was the lavatory, where he disposed of his wastes and engaged in his morning ablutions. It wasn’t terribly sanitary to keep it so close to everything else, but Weldon wasn’t a very experienced hermit, and didn’t think very much of this at all.

As the weeks turned to months, and the months to years, Weldon’s hermitage grew, each corner pushing further away from the others. Weldon remained healthy, mostly through theft, and remained alone, mostly through careful avoidance.

When they finally found him, Weldon was ready to be found. He had been in the woods so long, his beard reached to his knees, and he had no desire for reading material. But he was brought to the police station, given a cup of hot coffee, and he grinned, happy to be taken care of again.


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