A Boy Named Murray
Sometimes in life we meet someone that has that something special. Murray is one of those people. I met him this summer, July 2015 while we were travelling. There was a flea market set up alongside a baron prairie road. There isn’t much to see on the prairies so any chance to stop was well worth your time. It wasn’t long before I spotted some vintage items and that set me off on a finding frenzy. As I was shopping from table to table it soon came to my attention that most of the five or six merchants knew each other fairly well. There was a middle aged man that had a few makeshift tables with furs and hunting supplies for sale. There was an older gentleman with a large flatbed truck with just about anything you could imagine on it. There was a bake goods table and a handful of kids fluttering about. I soon realized that no matter where I moved, the children were quick to follow me. They were bartering with me on every item I touched. The older gentleman would give them the look and on a couple occasions told one of them to get going. At first I thought he was being harsh with them and what business was it of his if they were talking to me. That’s when I heard one of them call him Grandpa and soon the whole thing made sense to me, they were one big happy family. There was Grandpa, dad, grandchildren and a couple close neighbours sprinkled in. There was a blanket lying on the ground covered in used clothing. I spotted some build-a-bear clothes and a stuffed monkey. I picked the monkey out of the pile and ask the young girl (Melissa, 12yrs old) if there were many of the bear close in the pile. She quickly started digging and handing me all she find. By now her brothers were zeroing in on me buying toys. Murray started talking to me about all the good stuff he had for sale. He said, “If you want toys I have lots for sale at my table. I will make you a really good deal.” I followed him to his table and that is when I met the man inside a boy. He was a charmer and a cunning business man. He was sweet and talkative with a country charm. He was unspoiled by the world and was as down to earth as the ground I was standing on. He was only ten years old and he had more wisdom than most adults do these days. He told me about hunting with his dad, what wild meat tastes like, and how heavy a bear is to pull from the deep woods. I could have spent hours talking with this child. He showed me his bows he carved from branches and offered to sell me one for just one dollar. I bought one of his bows and I bought a few other items from him also that day. I had to because my heart told me to. I didn’t need a bow because I don’t hunt and I didn’t need a banana seat bike but I did need to support him.
After paying him for the items I purchased I ask him what he was plans were for his money. He looked at me with a pride you seldom see and he said, ”I am buying a blank (a knife blade with no handle) because I want to carve my own handle for it”. I know there are thousands of people out there that would be against a ten year old boy having a knife but I don’t believe for one second that his plan is to put it in his back pack and take it to school. He just wants what he knows and what he loves, he wants to live!
After my visit with this amazing child and his family we left. I got a mile or so down the road and turned back. I could not leave it that way, I needed more. I spoke to Murray’s dad and his grandpa about how impressed I was by their children. I ask if I could share Murray and his story on my blog. They were kind enough to allow me to share him and a photo. Murray ask me to please include his siblings, a brother Mark 13, he was another cunning salesman ready to undercut any business he could from his brother Murray, a sister Melissa 12 with a eager to help personality and willingness to talk, and a sibling at home named Michelle 7 but sadly I missed meeting her that day. I will always think of this child and for some reason he has left a lasting impact on me. I will miss getting to know him.