It was a magnificent blue-green clear spring that ran
through the Ozark mountains, with rocks that
dazzled through the water as the sun shined down
on them. This Spring fed into the Lake of the
Ozarks and was named after the Indians, Ha Ha
Tonka, which means “laughing waters”. My
grandmother and I walked those trails often when I
was a child. One of the most exciting things that
happened on those walks when we walked clear to
the opening of the spring was to go through the
In the middle of the spring was a island (as a young
girl, I thought it was a island, but in reality it was just
a sandbar). In the middle of the island was a
fantastic mud hole. I spent a whole summer
contemplating that island with the mud hole.
I waded in it, threw rocks in it, made mud pies. I
even made mud pies with those shiny rocks. As the
hot days crawled by I studied those little yellow
flowers that became my “eggs” or a new addition to
my mud pies. The brown crown like stems when
rubbed between my hands became coffee to go with
my little fancy mud pies.
Sometimes I would bring my Barbie doll with me, for
pie & coffee. One time Barbie got off balance and
sank into the muck which forever ruined the resale
value of my Barbie. There may be nothing more
forlorn in this world than a Barbie with no pants &
one plastic shoe.
Time was different then, time came in big buckets,
but it was August, the most endless month of those
forever summers, it stewed and simmered in that
nearly liquid air and August just never seemed to run out.
By Tracy A. Furr