“The Legend of Hermit Jack.” It describes the adventures of Will and Sally, two children in an 1880’s western mining town who adopt an orphan dog. The story follows all three as they endure loss, learn of love, and hold tightly to their hopes and dreams while coping with the dangers of living deep in the Rocky Mountains. They are separated and later reunited, in a “coming of age” story that is told in part from the unique perspective of the four-legged, “bacon bandit” named Hermit Jack.
The author and his wife purchased property in North Central Colorado. It was formerly a working ranch, marketed by the real estate agent as “Hermit Jack Ranch.” Ironically, no one seemed to know whom Hermit Jack was or how he came to have a ranch named after him. I took advantage of this oddity and created these three characters to tell Hermit Jack’s story.
The story evolves into a tale of a young man losing everything yet never deterring from fulfilling his father’s dream of owning a ranch. However, his journey to that fulfillment and those he meets along the way, are far from typical.
Will watched as the dog headed toward the bakery for a slice of freshly baked bread and to the restaurant for a taste of last night’s leftovers. He rounded the corner to greet the boarding house cook who always had strips of freshly cooked bacon. If he found any of the wooden doors closed, he would make a soft growl, and the door would immediately open. At each stop, there was a smiling human, satisfied that he or she had done their duty for the black and white Border collie.
Finally, he would jump up on the wooden boardwalk in front of the General store.
A sound startled Will and he turned to look behind him. A girl came out of the store with an old tin plate full of water. She placed it on the wooden boardwalk. Will watched as the collie leapt up next to the tin plate and started drinking.
The little girl proudly said, “I see you’ve met Hermit Jack.”
The boy looked over the collie, then said “funny name for a dog.”
“Well, I named him after Jack Creek, south of town.” she pointed. “Any loud noises scare him so he burrows a hole under the boardwalk. He’ll stay there for hours, just like that old hermit, up in the hills. Anyway, I usually just call him Jack for short.”
“Humph, he seems like nothing more than a bacon bandit to me”
Published: Xlibris on
ISBN: 9781499038101
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