"Once upon a time in Spain there was a little bull and his name was Ferdinand. All the other bulls he lived with would run and butt their heads together, but not Ferdinand. He liked to sit just quietly and smell the flowers."
Munro Leaf's story of Ferdinand was first read to me by Mrs. Angelini, the first grade teacher at the Plain School in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The story of gentle pacifist who loved to sit among the flowers was neither odd nor unfamiliar; my father was a Ferdinand by every measure, and to his very soul. Born to a family of engineers on Groundhog Day, Cecil Roy Boutard was the odd duck among them, the one who loved beauty without the need to disassemble or understand it. Saturday mornings as I was growing up, he would make bread in the company of Milton Cross and the Metropolitan Opera. Serene in the Italian or German maelstrom unfolding on the radio. Most of all, he loved flowers. His three children were fortunate to live a life surrounded by such beauty, and a fine teacher as well. On the first of July, 2010, he carefully planted his summer tubs, hanging baskets and window boxes, and that evening sat down next to mother, just quietly, his job done. A graceful way to exit after 94 years.
"And for all I know he is sitting there still, under his favorite cork tree, smelling flowers just quietly. He is very happy. The end."
I will be at the Hillsdale Farmer's Market tomorrow, with pretty much the same selection as in the previous two markets, though shy on the dry beans. Plenty of popcorn for the awards shows and in between. The market bell rings at 10:00. And yes, I will remember to call mother before then.
Carol's foot is on the mend, discomfort has subsided, though she will be off of it for a few more weeks.
Ayers Creek Farm