The old man

The beach was empty, streams of sand drifted away before my feet. The sea was angry and noisy, not the best day for a walk near the tide line perhaps, as it started to rain as well. I hesitated to go on, then I saw him, out of nowhere there he went, a tall skinny man with a bar over his shoulder. He approached me and I recognized him by his seamans hat. His name was Jan W., a notorios beach hunter. Deep lines in his tanned face showed he had spent all his live outdoors, looking for valuables that the sea had brought to his beach.

“Nice piece of wood,” I nodded. He silently looked at me, with eyes that went right through me.

“From that ship that stranded recently?” I asked. I was starting to regret my walk as the rain got worse.

“Hundreds are there,” he said. “Hundreds.”

I thought he meant the bars.

“That is good?” I know beach hunters love wood. They can use it for all sorts of things.

“And they call me,” he continued, still looking through me in the direction of the waves. “They want me to join them.”

I lost him. They only thing I heard, was the sea. Who was there, who wanted him to join?

“Well, good day then,” I said and walked on. After a minute I turned around, but he had already gone. The beach was empty again. I walked on for a bit, found a bottle with no message in it and returned home ten minutes later.

The next day I heard Jan W, the old beach hunter, had died. And then I realized what he must have meant…

His grave is a sober one, as he had no family. Sometimes the western wind hauls over the graveyard, and it is like voices whisper a sort of peacefull goodbye.

Comments on: "The old man" (8)

  1. He was well over 80? 🙂

  2. Is this true, or, is this an article based off the old man that died trying to rescue his dog that drifted out to sea recently?

    BTW, it was a good read, but sad. Reminds me of this old song:

    • True story, happend years ago. It is not much of a story I suppose, just an encounter with a beach hunter on his last hunt 🙂

      I liked the song 🙂 What man was that with the drifting dog, sounds tragic?

      Son just baked a few eggs. At least we taught him SOMETHING usefull 🙂

  3. It was in the news online recently. Apparently the man, in his 70s, was walking his dog on the beach, throwing a bone out in the water for the dog to retrieve, when a current took the dog further out to sea. The man went in to get the dog, but drowned in the process. Onlookers jumped in to rescue the man, but, he didn’t make it. The dog did finally make it back to the shore.

  4. Glad the dog made it. I just hope he won’t sit near the grave now. I once read a story about a dog that wouldn’t part from his owners grave. I think it was actually here that it happened. The dog died on the grave.
    Time for some fun lol. I will have a conversation about school results with my son now. 🙂

  5. Some animals are like that. It is sad for the animal, too. I was gone a few days a couple of months ago, and my dog got out for the first time ever. When I arrived home, he was sitting on the front porch. I thought that strange, until I entered my home and found out my burglar alarm wouldn’t shut off. It is almost as if he already knew something was wrong. My neighbor, whom I had told I was going to be gone, phoned me, but, there wasn’t anything I could do about it since I wasn’t home. Guess the bones are bigger on the other side of the fence! Another neighbor called me and told me he had been barking at people…well, yes, after all, he is a dog! Jeesh! Some people! Her dog is out all the time. I don’t think it can bark because it is way too fat to catch its breath! This worried me since many are afraid of my dog because of his looks. I’m just glad he didn’t take the opportunity to explore the world, as most dogs would do upon their first chance of running wild. Lol!

    Glad your son can cook and feed himself. Hope he does well in school, too. Have a great day!

    • Thanks same to you! Our dog, a sort of cocker spaniel, once run from the place he was staying while we were away on holiday, straight home over 5 km through places he had never been. He ruined the gate doing so.

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