He was magic.
He made the corn grow, and the chickens lay eggs, and the flowers bloom, and in the mornings he'd wash the entire acreage of farmland. Even gave it the sweetest little name of "Dew". It was a long time before I realized it wasn't him that was magic, though. He wasn't born a conjurer, seventh son of a seventh son in the moonlight on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. No. It was the buckeye in his pocket.
He found the magic buckeye on any normal afternoon when he was a boy. A young boy, no older than I was when my legs were too skinny and my feet and ears were too big for the rest of me. It lay in the dirt, directly in front of him on his way to school. Now many of you might not have ever seen one of these before. They are a dark brown color type seed, the size of a large marble that's been slightly squished, with a circle of tan. In this case, the brown side was facing up, and the dirt was powdery and a light, almost cream color. It stuck out.
Normally, he'd kick anything laying in the dirt that way. Just kick it to amuse himself on his way to school. But not this time. No, this time, something said, "Pick it up."
So he did.
He put it in his pocket and went on to school, forgetting completely.
In fact, he didn't remember about the buckeye in his pocket until he got home that night and was getting ready to eat dinner. Dinner had been the same thing every week since he was born. Mama cooked Chicken on Sunday. Then chicken soup on Monday that lasted until Friday. But usually on Friday, it wasn't so much chicken soup as it was chicken water with sparse vegetables. And today was Friday. Mama called him to the table, along with his Pa, who had been out on the farm all day long. He sat down in his chair, thinking and wishing they could afford the good stuff and his mama would walk out of the kitchen with a big plate full of meatloaf and macaroni and thick cold white milk, and felt the hard knot in the seat of his pants. He pulled out the buckeye, wondered why he had kept it, and put it by his plate.
That's when she walked in. With a casserole dish full of meatloaf. His mouth fell open.
"Wait now, there's more in the kitchen!" His mama continued coming in, platter after platter full of all kinds of food, things they had never bought before, and last but not least macaroni and cheese.
He and Pa looked at Mama with confused faces, only glee filling hers.
"Uncle Andy died last week! You know, my uncle from Oklahoma? The one with the lisp who loved Shakespeare? He could repeat it to anyone at any time, just no one could ever understand him. It seems he had a fortune built somehow, buried beneath his cellar, and he left it all to me!"
He didn't even know he had (had being the operative word) a great Uncle Andy who was a Shakespeare lover with a lisp. But he did, now he was dead, and... somehow his wish had come true...
He picked up the buckeye, stuck it carefully back into his pocket, and ate voraciously. Tomorrow he would test the validity of his suspicions...