The Mannersword, Chapter 1
by Patrick Coughlin
The Long Walking of Wilma Baranabussey “Boose” Walksler
Boose Walksler was, and is, one of the tinkers, who are all ready known in particular for their aspect of impermanent settlement, which is to say, naturally, that they move around a lot, but not to say that they don’t stay, here and there, as they may, or as they will.
Boose tended to admire all things, including people, on first encounter. This quality lent itself, and continues to lend itself to friendly relations all around, thus the reputational moniker of “The Traveling Mutual Admiration Society” however although my given moniker is a mouthful of Baranabussey Wilma Walksler I remain as always persistent that I be called simply Boose.
My short subterfuge at an end, I admit that it is my voice you hear, and I, my friend, for whom my affection is an eternal humpback whale swimming the surface and depth of the oceans that cover the world, am Boose. Here, by your leave and hopeful encouragement, to tell the tale of a long walker and the world walked.
Like all societies, there are among the Tinkers certain types of individuals whose behavior or maybe leanings it might be better said lies outside what might be considered normal, which is to say, that even the Tinkers, who are considered strange to the more populous populations of the wider world, are host to their own intrinsically conceived strange, which is to say that the strange among the tinkers comes from within the tinkers, and rare as these be they are treasured and loved and held to unflinching standards of tradition. As you may be suspecting, my shrewd listener, I, Boose, was and continue to be one such strange among strange.
As the story goes I was born as many tinkers are, on the travel, which is to say in the back of a cart with wheels a’movin’. I cried as all babes cry when delivered, though following my first feeding I was contentedly and consistently quiet, and remarkably peacefully so, even. Upon the caravan’s, and consequently, the cart’s first ceasing of motion, as a goodspot had been found to strike for a time, however, I unleashed all manner of awful bawling and painful piercing squealing the likes of which I’ve since been made to understand that all though I may have heard it, since I made the racket, I could never remember since I was but a babe, and truly this is true, nor could I dare to imagine myself capable of imagining such a terrible sound, for it was a strange sound, and not to be encountered in the usual experience. It was soon deduced that the absence of forward motion caused me inconsolable distress. It was and is a sign of what the tinkers call a fitful foot.
The tribe decided not to cause my family to travel apart, but to enter into a long travel, until the day my reasoning mind dawned, or until my fitful feet could propel me independently and of my own will. Both circumstances developed naturally, naturally, though I admit I couldn’t say with any certainty which day dawned first.