Badger Creek

Deborah Hendrick on Friday, December 15th, 2006

Badger Creek, in happy geographic serendipity, lies on a nearly-perfect north–south axis atop a gentle rising mound near the edge of the caprock. It’s a split in the earth—a closed canyon—but more like the crack in a cake that rose too fast from baking in a too-hot oven.

At the north end of the split, a spring trickles out. The resulting creek forms a series of narrow, shallow pools, that break and drop, with little foot-high waterfalls. At the south end, the water quietly disappears back into the earth.

The treacherous sides of the canyon discouraged casual exploration, but for the willing, the unexpectedly beautiful canyon held another surprise: a badger, who defended his territory with extraordinary fierceness.

Indians, explorers, soldiers, and settlers, each in their age met the badger and his descendants. But the settlers stayed, mostly Polish immigrants, but some Scots, too. And when they surveyed and staked out the lines of their little community, they carefully circumscribed a large boundary for Badger Creek, to be a park someday they thought, at the northern-most end of town.

Each generation of Badger Creek boys, in a rite of passage, climbed and slid down the steep and rocky sides of the canyon, to pay homage to the badger and sit fully clothed in his creek. That was the proof. If you climbed out soaking wet, it meant you made it to the creek. As for meeting the badger—that was a matter of personal honesty.

But enough honest boys, admitted that they had not seen the badger or his sign in a long time. Some folks in the community wondered if after seventy years, maybe it was time to think about the park.

Franciszek Timoteusz Marcinkiewicz, who was three months shy of his sixteenth birthday, and casting about for an Eagle Scout project, asked if he and the troop could survey the canyon and creek, and create some working maps and drawings, to explore the possibilities of a park on Badger Creek. Since his father was an engineer for the state highway department and would oversee the project, permission was granted by all parties.

Zeezy, so named by his friends, though his mother called him Tim, asked to camp out on the rim for three nights to observe the canyon. “To see what?” his mother asked.

“I don’t know, but this is the way I want to begin.” And so he did.

Topics: Badger Creek

6 Responses to “Badger Creek”

Linda Says:
December 15th, 2006 at 6:08 pm

OK there had better be a mini series in this story because I like it already. LK

Deborah Says:
December 15th, 2006 at 6:16 pm

I’m glad you liked it. I think Badger Creek holds a lot of stories.

Kelly Says:
December 15th, 2006 at 7:49 pm

Pretty good. Can you get some mileage out of this comment?

Deborah Says:
December 16th, 2006 at 11:21 am

It should keep me going for a least a week.

Eric Says:
December 17th, 2006 at 12:55 pm

Yes, this is a good beginning. We may not need to even discuss the possibility of ordnance appearing in the plot line. ;-)

Deborah Says:
December 18th, 2006 at 8:01 am

We’re talking about country boys here, so I expect you’re on to something.


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