The Carpenter 

It is time for you to return, said the gendarmes to the carpenter, to return to where you belong. Return where? the carpenter asked. I have lived here all of my life in the open blue sky, in the shadows of the ironwoods, among the brassy blades of switchgrass. Return to your people, said the gendarmes. The carpenter began to saw some wood, shedding sawdust on the dry earth. One of my grandfathers is from the north,another from the east; one of my grandmothers hails from the south, and the other comes from the west, the carpenter explained softly. A man cannot be in four places at once. The gendarmes thought for a moment. When he had finished sawing the piece of wood, they set to work sawing him. One limb to send north, one for the east, one for the south and one for the west. They burned the head and torso, to send whatever remained to heaven and hell. 


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