De Soto relates that in his march he passed through one field of corn six miles long.
—First Lessons in Georgia History, 1913
Whodathunk that poor ol’ mosquito bitten Hernando de Soto could have provided some moments of paroxysmal humor to a bunch of eighth graders five hundred years or so after the inquisitive Spaniard poked around what we now call Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
On page 65 in the holy scripture there’s a map of de Soto’s route he took beginning in 1539 to look for a bunch of things he never found. It was a tragic journey, but funny for us in a way you never expect when you wake up every morning and hope to produce some intellectual stimulation to pre-teens and teenagers. Homer thought de Soto’s route looked like a llama with wings. Homer also said the route looked like a dog and he’d vote for a dog if it came to a vote.
Benny said it looked like a dog, too.
I said it looked like a chicken.
Winx said it looked like Benny.
Johnny said it looked like some kind of bird.
Someone said a buzzard.
Ramona said it looked like Pegasus.
I asked Ramona what’s a Pegasus.
Ramona said it’s that white horse who has wings.
Okay. A horse with wings. Pegasus or not, I said I’d like for us to decide what de Soto’s route looked like before we move on as I’d hate for y’all to graduate into ninth grade still wondering.
The kids voted, while I winked at a few and glared at the others. Desoto's route looks like a chicken. The kids seem to really be getting it now.
Next Entry ... September 23: Disinfect Your Chicken