When Talyesin was small, Cowboys and Indians was a large part of his life. On the television and in the cinemas there were films about Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, Tom Mix, The Lone Ranger, The Cisco Kid, and many others.
In those days everyone had a Cowboy and/or Indian outfit, and they were always playing goodies verses baddies.
When he was older Talyesin saw the Walt Disney film ‘The Living Desert’ and up until that time he always thought of a desert being lots of sand with an occasional oasis. The desert in the film was in Arizona, North America, and it was familiar with the scenery that appeared in many of the cowboy films.
These childhood memories are still there in the back of his mind. So much so that he decided to spend a holiday in the Arizona and Colorado area, and how can you have a better way to view, and experience the area than by hiring a ‘covered wagon’.
Talyesin flew into Denver, Colorado, and was taken to a ranch where he collected the covered wagon. He was met by twins who both looked like Gabby Hayes, another of his favourite characters. They were called Nagrom and Nagram, who were always talking, and to this day he had a job to tell one from the other. That is until you talk to them. Nagrom just talks but Nagram will interact to make a conversation. From this Talyesin assumed they were nicknames. ‘Nag’ because they were always taking, and ‘Rom’ and ‘Ram’ because they had different memories, just like a computer.
The two of them took Talyesin to the wagon and Nagram explained all of the equipment, although not much explanation was required as everything in, or attached to the wagon was very basic. They pointed out the supplies which should last him for the length of time that he had booked the covered wagon.
Once that was over they gave Talyesin a map of the route, and he was invited to get up onto the driving seat where they explained how to drive and control the horse with the ribbons. Once he had driven the wagon around a couple of circuits that had been laid out, they were happy for Talyesin to go and follow the route going South, as laid out on the map.
Talyesin travelled into the desert but he was concentrating on controlling the horse and wasn’t initially able to take in the scenery. But later when he had gained more confidence he was reliving the scenes from some of the films that took part in these memorable areas. His thoughts were so real that he had forgotten to concentrate on where the horse was going, or even the time. That was, until he felt very hungry, and then he realised he had been travelling for six hours. It was time to look for somewhere to stop where he could eat and spend the night.
Talyesin cooked a meal and while he was eating he was thinking ‘Where am I?’ He decided to leave it until the morning before trying to work out where he was. So before settling down to sleep he asked the Lord to show him where he was, when he woke up.
During the night Talyesin was kept awake thinking that he was lost, and what could he do about it. While awake Talyesin heard lots of strange noises as well as many that he remembered from the cowboy films. In the morning Talyesin realised he shouldn’t have worried, but should have trusted God, because he soon noticed some landmarks which were illustrated on the map that he was given. Talyesin was therefore able to continue his journey taking in the sites and reliving his memories.
The following night Talyesin slept very well, catching up on the sleep he’d missed the night before. That night he had a dream where he entered a restaurant and heard ‘Howdy, Talyesin.’ It was Nagram who was greeting him. Nagrom showed him to the table, and served him.
After his main course he asked for a dessert and Nagrom looked puzzled, walked over to Nagram for a chat, only for Nagrom to then bring him back a picture of a desert. ‘No, not a desert,’ he said ‘A dessert, a sweet.’ So Nagram went back to the serving area and brought him a peppermint. ‘No not a sweet’ Talyesin said, ’a sweet, a dessert, a pudding’. ‘Ah pudding!’ Nagram said and rushed off to bring him an apple tart.
Talyesin continued the same pattern of travelling, eating and reminiscing during the following days. In the nights, he also developed a pattern where he would lie down and listen intensely to the strange sounds that surrounded him. Talyesin quickly got used to these sounds, and over the nights they gradually became a lullaby that lulled him to sleep in no time at all.
During the holiday Talyesin had become very proficient in using the ribbons to control the horse around the route, and eventually it took him North towards the ranch. Once there he thanked Nagram and Nagrom for the holiday of a lifetime, and told them that one day he would return.
‘We look forward to that, Talyesin.’ they replied. Then Talyesin made his way back to the airport to start his journey home.
© Copyright 2016 Clive Dale