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A 'Classic' Last Windrow: Richardson's Creek

A ‘Classic’ Last Windrow:

Richardson’s Creek

I wrote the following Last Windrow in 1989. The column was dedicated to a small creek that flowed through my Uncle Reed Richardson’s farm. A quiet little stream that only misbehaved in the spring of the year or perhaps when a “gully-washer” rainstorm pass over the countryside. 

It was a favorite place of mine and still resides deep in the cells of my brain. So, I offer it to you again in this “Classic” Last Windrow.

Richardson’s Creek

With Labor Day over and the end of summer near, I’ve been thinking of a small creek where I used to spend a lot of my time. It was a tributary of the Little Sioux River and was called the West Fork of the West Branch of the Little Sioux River. 

We called it Richardson’s Creek, named after my uncle’s family who farmed its banks.

I caught my first fish there, while in the company of my Grandfather John and my Dad Clyde. I don’t remember much about that trip, but my dad tells me that I wanted to take the fish to bed with me that night. He had to pry it from my fingers.

The following verse is dedicated to all those little streams throughout the country that have added to a boy’s growing up years.

Richardson’s Creek

It was just a bubbling little stream,

Meandering its way through a fertile Iowa field.

On its banks I would sit and dream,

Of the bullheads and horned chubs that it in might yield.

It was just a bubbling little stream,

The grassy banks were steep and green,

Its graveled bottom and rounded stones,

Were a picture frame through which fish might be shown.

A can of worms and a long cane pole,

Were all I needed to spend a day.

The small red and white bobber, sinker and hook,

Were toys with which a boy of 12 could play.

It was just a bubbling little stream,

Oh, though there are many streams much grander,

But to a youth with fishy hopes in hand,

It was all this Iowa lad could demand.

The grasshoppers and crickets along its shores,

Made many a fish a filling meal.

Some fish were kept, many were let go,

Swimming to the depths of dark indigo.

The world was not far from this crease,

In the cornfield my uncle owned.

This bubbling little stream seemed so fair,

Far from troubles and the strife one might bear.

It was just a bubbling little stream,

Hugging the tree roots that hung down from above,

Swirling around each bend with a toss,

Bending around boulders, covered with bright green, thick moss.

Beavers and muskrats and beetles with paddles for feet,

Skirted across the surface and then would repeat.

A bird waded and then stuck in its beak,

Leeches and snails were what it would seek.

It was just a bubbling little stream,

That flowed through a field of my uncle’s farm.

The memories it created once long ago for me there,

I hope to someday with my young daughter share.

See you next time. Okay?