Flint Hills of Kansas
“Hey, little fella, what’s your name?” “I’m Peyote, what’s your name?” “My name is Sam, Sam Swindle. You look like a squirrel, are you?” “Oh no, I’m a prairie dog. A different type of dog, but I am a dog.”
Mr. Swindle to Peyote “What makes you think you’re a dog?” “A man named Lewis discovered us years ago. He heard our chirp type of bark and thought ‘these are prairie dogs.’ And there you have it.”
“What are you out here for, Mr. Swindle?” “I’m a writer looking for a story. Maybe a story about you.” “A story about me?” “Yes, Peyote, a story about you. Actually, I work for a Hollywood producer. He sent me here.”
“Why would you come out here? There’s nothing here but us prairie dogs.” “But Peyote, look at the panorama. Grassy green fields, wild flowers of every color, rolling hills and valleys. This place is an oasis. An oasis on the prairie.”
“Mister Swindle, let me introduce you to my cousin. Chirper is his name. He chirps like a bark.” “Nice to meet you, Chirper.” “Bark for us Chirper, bark.” “Oh Peyote, I don’t care to, I’m so bashful. The last time I barked was for a ranger. He laughed at me and I haven’t done it since.” “Come on, Chirpie, bark a little for us. It’s just me and you and this guy writing a story about us.”
“Okay, chirp, chirp, chirp.” “More” said Peyote. Chirper barks again. “Chirp, chirp, chirp.” “You know, I am looking for new talent. A dog that chirps like a bird would be an interesting story. It could be titled ‘Chirper Dog.’ A dog of a different kind on the prairie.” “Mr. Writer, I mean, Mr. Swindle, could this get us a Hollywood contract?”
Mr. Swindle to Peyote “I don’t think so, but maybe a promotional ad for the planned new hotel and casino to be built right here on this spot. Heard that a real estate magnate in the east is looking for land and he will buy it, if the price is right.” “Mister, don’t you think Chirper’s got talent?” “He’s got talent, but you got land and lots of it.”
“Peyote, how much can I offer you for a few acres?” “What’s an acre, Mr. Swindle?” said Peyote “An acre? Let’s see, from this bush to that bush, over to that fence post and back to your hole right here is about an acre.” “That’s a lot of land, Mister.” Mr. Swindle to Peyote “Yes it is, Peyote. Who owns this land?” Peyote to Mr. Swindle “Nobody, that I know of, it’s just us prairie dogs out here and no one else.”
“Well, Peyote, someone was here at one time, the fence post over there with the rusted barbed wire wrapped in a circle and hung on the post. You know anything about it?” Peyote said, “I heard that there was a cattle rancher here at one time, but that was long ago. He couldn’t make a go of it, so he left and this is the remnant of what is left of it.” “Do you know if he ever owned the property?” “I don’t think so, others were here too and were not able to do anything with this barren land. Since then it’s been us and no one else”said Peyote.
“Okay, Peyote, I need a deed for this property.” “What’s a deed, Mister Swindle?” “A deed indicates who owns the property. Since we don’t know of one, I’ll create one. So, with the deed, we can transfer ownership over to Mr. Real Estate Developer, that is, if you both strike a deal.” “Who is this Mr. Developer?” said Peyote. “He is a big time real estate developer in the east. He owns just about every casino on the east coast. He’s got the bucks to buy this land.” Mr. Swindle goes on to say “This could be big money for you, Peyote. You will never be without. His success could be your win and the land deal, a plum in his pocket.”
Peyote to Mr. Swindle “This sounds too good to be true.” “It is true, Peyote. It will change your lives forever. You will never have to hunt for food ever again.” “Chirper, what do you think?” said Peyote. Chirper says “I think we should go for it. Our lives changed forever.”
“Peyote and Chirper, Mr. Developer will need one thousand acres. Can you do?” “Why not?” said Peyote. “We have plenty of land to share. A thousand acres will work for me, I mean for us, me and Chirper.” “How about two hundred fifty thousand dollars for it? A lot of cash. This is my one and only offer. Just think ‘lives changed forever.’ Deal?” “What do you think, Chirpie?” Chirper nods his head. “Okay, Mister Swindle, let’s make a deal” said Peyote.
“Okay, fellas, I knew you would fall, I mean go, for it. I’ve already prepared the documents. Need both of your signatures.” “But, Mister Swindle, I don’t know how to write. Can you help me?” “I’ve already taken care of it. I have you name printed below the line. All you have to do is sign above the line next to the X.” “Okay, Mister Swindle.” “Peyote, just press your paw on this ink pad and then press your paw on the line next to the X. Done. Very good.” “Now, Chirper, it’s your turn. You do the same. Next to the X please. Great, deal is half way done. Your offer is now ready to be presented to Mr. Developer. He will be quite pleased and eager to sign it.”
“Meet us at the fence post tomorrow morning at ten a.m. Mr. Developer and Mr. Banker will both be there to seal the deal. Remember ‘our lives changed forever.’ See ya then.”
“Mornin’, fellas. Meet Mr. Developer and Mr. Banker.” Peyote and Chirper shyly say “Hello, sirs, nice to meet you.” “No need to be so formal, guys. Just call me R.E. I like to be on a first name basis with all of my friends. My full name is Real Estate Developer, but just call me R.E. Heard my money made you sign. It works every time. This is a deal, guys, what a deal! Just what I was looking for, cheap, I mean prime real estate. And you got it.”
Mr. Swindle to Peyote and Chirper “Meet Mr. Banker.” “Mornin, boys. I’m the man with the dough. You will get a lot of it. You won’t regret it. Your lives will be changed forever.” Mr Banker says to Mr. Developer “I like the name. ‘Oasis on the Prairie.’ Well, is it a deal, fellas?” Peyote and Chirper nervously say “It’s a deal.” “Great!” said Mr. Swindle.
“Here are the documents. Mr. Developer you sign here and Mr. Banker, sign right under his name. One last thing, transfer of title to the property. Peyote and Chirper sign here. Both sign paper. Congratulations everyone, the deal is done.”
“Mister Swindle, haven’t you forgotten something, our check?” “Of course not, here is a certified check in the amount of two hundred fifty thousand dollars. All you need do is cash it and the money is yours to keep.” “How do I cash it? There’s no bank around here. The name of the bank on the check, Bank of Fools. Is that a good bank, Mister Swindle?” “Trust me, it’s a good bank in the east. Over one thousand miles from here. I’ll take it with me and cash it for you.”
“Here, both of you sign on the back to endorse the check. Peyote you first, then Chirper you sign right under him. Then I will sign it last. It gives me permission to cash your check for you. It may take a month before you get your cash. It will be delivered by a trustworthy man. He will be on horseback with a leather satchel strapped across his shoulder. He may be wearing a black mask, but maybe not. Just look for a man on a horse. See you guys, your lives will be change forever.”
One month later at the fence post. “Well, Peyote, it’s been one month and no money yet.” “I know Chirper, but Mister Swindle said he promised and I believe the money is on it’s way. I bet, any day now.” Chirper to Peyote “You know, something told me we shouldn’t have signed over our check to him.” “I know Chirpie, but Mister Swindle gave us his word. But I have never heard of the ‘Bank of Fools,’ but he said it was a good bank. I’m sure we’ll get our money soon. Mr Swindle promised.”
Lives changed forever, what do you think?