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September 2017, vol 13 no 3

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Tony Burfield

Hermit Chasing

I found the first traces of the Button Rock Hermit on a boulder just off of Hoof-Blaze trail. I recognized a certain scent on the air and there it was, a little buckskin pouch on top of a lichenous boulder. Inside the pouch I found a piece of crumpled paper and on it, written in faded pencil, was a list. It read:

– Lichen found and their Doctrines of Signature –

Rocky Mountain Sunburn – used to wind-listen and heal itches

Tiny Button Lichen – used to turn things green and clean teeth

Vagabond Lichen (far from home) – heals wanderlust and leg cramps

Cinder Lichen – burns quick and heals anger

Birch-spored Firedot – can keep you warm or cold, can spice up a juniper cone meal

Mountain Sausage Lichen – in winter, pack it into your boots for warmth; feed it to deer to learn the trails

Pale-footed Horsehair – eat it off the tree anytime

Candle Flame Lichen – if you burn it, wind will blow, but if you eat it, snow will fall

Tundra Goldspeck – if food is scarce, eat it and a rabbit will appear; heals blisters

Star-tipped Reindeer Lichen – just lick it for truth, eat it for lies

That's all that was on the paper, that and lichen dust finger prints.

boulder
after boulder –
i'm lost again


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