That Old Crooked Stick
As I sit here and look out at the beauty of the trees that surround me. I have marveled at each limb that shows its growth. In the spring the first signs of the buds of the leaves that show tinges of green and then burst forth with their leaves appearing.
Yet, it is the winter that brings the mystery of that same limb for it then is bare and shows a different beauty with its twist and turns. (Nature does not allow a perfectly straight limb.) Only man can alter this to that perfection.
Early humans used these as clubs and projectiles in all cultures around the world to hunt small game. It was also used as weapons when they added a sharp stone to the end and wrapped it with the bark of that same limb.
The Egyptians used throwing sticks to hunt small game as this shows in several wall paintings. The Aborigines of Australia used boomerangs which are found in many cultures and will return to the user if thrown properly. Still, the choice of weapon of most cultures was the heavy non-returning stick that could be used as a wielding club or knife. The Native American tribes also utilized the throwing stick to hunt rabbits and occasionally deer.
No one knows for sure how the returning boomerang was first invented. One boomerang was discovered in a cave in Poland and was made from a mammoth's tusk. A hunting boomerang is delicately balanced and much harder to make than a returning one. It may have been possible that stone age hunters trying to "Tune" their hunting sticks to fly straight found that curving and flatting the sticks gave them a bit more control.
My personal first experience with this Crooked Stick taught me Three- things. (a) Never stand in front of the picture window on your first throwing attempt. (b) It must be thrown at a 45 degree angle with a sharp flick of the wrist. (c) This as many other skills takes practice and patients. Unlike early man I am very grateful that I do not have to rely on this Crooked Stick to provide food for my table.
Yet, today we have taken that same Crooked Stick and found many useful advantages to this tree limb.
• Walking Sticks:
I find that old Crooked Stick has many advantages. When hiking along trails it can make a step over a fallen tree or any obstacle that much easier for balance. Walking sticks are usually longer and many have wrist straps.
• Walking Cane:
The cane that aids so many of us in our daily routines of just standing or walking. We can now choose certain style or color. Some are very beautiful with their ornate handle grips. Some are carved with intricate designs, others are plain.
This same old Crooked Stickhas many benefits other than on a sunny day strolling through the park. I always have one in my car for just such emergence's as it can be very useful on snow or getting across those icy patches that one might skate across and then have a crash landing.
Yes, this old Crooked Stick now has a new duty added to its list. More people are carrying them for a form of defense. In the world that we live in today with so much crime they have been coming to their own. Many a senior has warded off a purse snatcher with a good whack!
Now the next time you fuss about that tree in the yard dropping limbs and you picking them up, stop and give it a little more respect for where it has come from---and some of its benefits that it has given to mankind.
That old Crooked Stick may just be your best friend someday.
♥ He who plants a tree, plants living---hope!