Dad’s Family Jewels



Malachi Bleau Moore, Sr. (Grampy Moore) was my Dad’s dad.  At age 14 he had a third grade education, the family thought he was over educated; he was the oldest of 12 siblings (another Family Jewel story); he provided much of the family’s cash income ($.25/day), earned with a gun (he could shoot and hit anything he could see) and he had a remarkable view of the world.


At age 19, Grampy had a leg up on most of the Kentucky recruits, he could sign his own name on the US Army’s paperwork; twelve weeks later he was on his way to France.  Two years of bad, if any, food, mud and death; he had a tempered but still remarkable view of the world.


At age 23, Grampy was a new father, began building his home (yeah, he milled every plank, drove every nail, he was one of those) drove the horse drawn trolley through Evansville, Indiana and made his “shine” in the basement of city hall.  Later he had to surrender the horses for a bus, his only son (Mallie B. Moore Jr., my Dad) would go to war (WWII) and come home.  He would see his four grandchildren born and grow.  Grampy Moore had an aged, wizened, tempered and incredibly simple view of the world.  He shared this with me and I’ll share it with you.


The World, with All Its Many Parts according to Grampy


There once was a very lazy swallow (Grampy always told stories).  Fall was coming and all the other swallows were saying their good-byes to the low hung branches and shrubs as they gathered to make their flight South; except the lazy swallow, we’ll call him Lazy for short.  He thought, it’s not that cold, winds were soft, I can stay here.  I will have the best nest and it is already made.  This is the best of all worlds.


Two weeks later…there was a very hard freeze and Lazy began to question his choices, yep, it was time to leave.  Not far from the best of all nests in a great branch, Lazy realized his wings were frozen and he was falling.


“The shame of it all, being so lazy, and now I’m going to die.”  He survived the fall, nothing broken.  “Well maybe I’ll make it, I’ll be OK.”, he thought to himself.

The temperature dropped.


Lazy could barely move his head his wings were out of the question, as his eyes began to close, he saw the doors of a big barn in front of him, but it was just too far away.  “I’m done.”


Out of the barn walked a big Morgan, a beautiful working horse, he stopped for a moment and emptied his bowels, right on Lazy.


“This is as bad as it gets, too lazy to fly South, freezing 0n a nameless farm and now buried under a pile of manure.”  Lazy was getting ready to die.


It was just then that Lazy noticed that the manure was warm, he was thawing out, there were seeds in this stuff and worms were digging their way to enjoy the warm.  “I’m OK, I’m gonna make it.”  And Lazy was so happy he burst into song.


The old barn cat heard the singing and dug through the dung to find its origin.  Lazy was soon but a memory.


There are three morals to this story.


First: not everyone that shits on you is an enemy.


Second: not everyone that takes the shit off is a friend.


Third, and most important; if you are happy, even in a pile of shit, keep your big mouth shut.

Author: MW Moore

I am surrounded by books with great, even heroic quotes, grand philosophies and theologies, mysteries and wonderments. I've never met an author of any. Oh what a finer person I would be if I had raised my voice above the pounding of the sea with Cicero, walked with Saul on that road to Damascus and on and on and on. Well, I didn't. But I've met some pretty swell people that had something to say...and many are related to me; they're My Family Jewels.

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