Several days later Emmy rode the bicycle to her grandparents’ house. She saw them sitting on the newly painted swing and rode the bike all the way to the porch before jumping off.
“My word, Emily, you must not jump off that bicycle so fast. You will hurt yourself,” Grandma Mary Colasanti said.
“I do it all the time, Grandma. I never get hurt.”
“Did your father fix the leak under the kitchen sink?” Grandpa asked.
Emmy nodded as she dashed up the steps and sat between her grandparents. “He fixed that and the toilet because it wouldn’t flush right and he even did something with the electricity in the basement.”
“Good. He’s got plenty of projects to do before he tries to sell that house.”
Grandma stopped the swing and turned to look at her husband. “I didn’t know he was going to sell the house.”
“He wants to fix it up and buy a bigger place. Don’t know if he ever will though,” Grandpa answered. He patted Emmy’s leg. “I suppose you want to hear more about Ol’ Melvin and Obadiah.”
Emmy grinned and leaned close to him. “Unless you have another story about Perkins MacGhee.”
Grandma stood up. “While you are filling this child’s head with more of your stories, I am going to make lunch. I have a little bit of leftover lasagna. Would you like some, Emily?”
Emmy rubbed her belly. “You know I love leftover lasagna. Mom made some the day we painted the swing. I ate more the next day than I did the first night.”
Grandma went inside and Grandpa and Emmy began rocking in the humid August air.
“You said Ol’ Melvin and Obadiah had to escape a herd of wild horses but didn’t tell me how.”
Grandpa watched two squirrels chasing each other around one of the trees and thought for a moment. “Yes, I remember it now. Melvin and Obadiah were in the river canyon doing some exploring when they saw a cloud of dust over the horizon. They stopped and in a few seconds they heard a terrible racket.”
“Did it sound like a herd of wild horses?” Emmy asked with a giggle.
“I’m sure it did,” Grandpa said pulling on her ponytail. “Within seconds they could see the stampeding horses coming straight at them. Melvin looked around and saw a group of boulders at the edge of a creek. ‘Obadiah,’ he said. ‘I reckon our only chance to escape is to squeeze in between those boulders.’ So he jerked on Obadiah’s rein and pulled him to safety just in the nick of time.”
“He did that a lot didn’t he, Grandpa?”
“Yes, that’s how they survived to be so old,” Grandpa answered. “After they escaped the wild horses, they kept heading west and then south as they explored more of the giant canyon. They found a tributary and followed it until they came to an impassable waterfall. There was a large pool at the base of the waterfall, so Ol’ Melvin jumped in and took a bath. ‘Obadiah,’ he hollered. ‘I ain’t had a good bath in four or five years. You should get in and get rid of some of the dust.’ So, Obadiah got into the pool and took a bath along with Ol’ Melvin.”
“He must have been pretty stinky. Sometimes Daddy comes home from work and Mommy makes him take a bath before she let’s him kiss her.”
“Back in the old times people out west didn’t have bathtubs like we do today. They would have to go to a saloon or a hotel to take a bath and the water was usually cold.”
“What else happened to Ol’ Melvin and Obadiah.”
“Melvin decided to go back up the river when it started getting too hot. He would prospect for gold and silver along the way but didn’t find much. He did come across some friendly Indians and stayed with them for a while. The Indians gave him some food in exchange for some new blankets.”
“I was wondering if he and Obadiah ever ate anything.”
“They traveled back up the canyon until they found an old cattle trail heading up the south side. It took a couple days, and Obadiah nearly fell over the side one time, but they finally made it to the top of the canyon. Melvin took off his old cap, shook out some of the dust and looked out over the wide canyon. He shook his head and said to Obadiah, ‘I don’t know if this place has a name, but it sure is a grand canyon.’ And Obadiah made a noise that sounded like a donkey’s laugh.”
“Oh, Grandpa,” Emmy nudged his side. “You’re silly. He didn’t really name the Grand Canyon, did he?”
“Maybe, maybe not, but he was one of the first men to explore it. After leaving the canyon, Ol’ Melvin and Obadiah headed south. They came to more mountains and lots of red desert. Today the place is called Sedona, Arizona. Lots of people go there because they think it’s a special place.”
“Some people believe there’s a special force that goes through the area that gives off energy.”
“Does it really?”
Grandpa shrugged. “I don’t know, but while Ol’ Melvin and Obadiah were there they were attacked by hostile Indians. Ol’ Melvin and Obadiah were almost trapped again. They were forced to climb a small mountain shaped like a huge bell while the Indians rode all around it and made loud noises while shooting arrows at them. Then some of the Indians jumped off their horses and started climbing up after them. Ol’ Melvin and Obadiah kept climbing higher and higher until they were at the very top of the bell-shaped mountain.”
“How did they get away?” Emmy asked. “You better not tell me they flew off the mountain in a balloon or something.”
Grandpa shook his head. “They were standing at the very top of the mountain when all of a sudden they heard a buzzing sound coming from inside it. The Indians heard it too and they stopped in their tracks. The mountain began to vibrate gently as the noise got louder. The vibrations grew stronger and stronger and Ol’ Melvin and Obadiah were nearly knocked off their feet. The Indians had heard the sound before and thought it was their ancestors warning them to stay off the mountain. So the Indians raced down the mountain, got on their horses and rode away. After that Ol’ Melvin and Obadiah never had anymore trouble with Indians. The legend among the Indians was told over and over about Ol’ Melvin and Obadiah and how they were able to command their ancestors inside the mountain. That’s why Melvin and Obadiah were able to travel all over without any fear from the natives.”
“I’m glad the Indians didn’t shoot them and they became friends,” Emmy said. “I can smell lasagna so I think we better go inside before Grandma eats it all.”
“Good idea, Emmy. She loves lasagna almost as much as you.”