The Toboggan-to-the-Moon Dream of the Potato Face Blind Man
One morning in October the Potato Face Blind Man sat on the corner
nearest the postoffice.
Any Ice Today came along and said, “This is the sad time of the year.”
“Sad?” asked the Potato Face Blind Man, changing his accordion from
his right knee to his left knee, and singing softly to the tune he was fumbling
on the accordion keys, “Be Happy in the Morning When the Birds Bring the
“Yes,” said Any Ice Today, “is it not sad every year when the leaves change
from green to yellow, when the leaves dry on the branches and fall into the air,
and the wind blows them and they make a song saying, ‘Hush baby, hush
baby,’ and the wind fills the sky with them and they are like a sky full of birds
who forget they know any songs.”
“It is sad and not sad,” was the blind man’s word.
“Listen,” said the Potato Face. “For me this is the time of the year when
the dream of the white moon toboggan comes back. Five weeks before the
first snow flurry this dream always comes back to me. It says, ‘The black
leaves are falling now and they fill the sky but five weeks go by and then for
every black leaf there will be a thousand snow crystals shining white.’”
“What was your dream of the white moon toboggan?” asked Any Ice Today.
“It came to me first when I was a boy, when I had my eyes, before my luck
changed. I saw the big white spiders of the moon working, rushing around
climbing up, climbing down, snizzling and sniffering. I looked a long while
before I saw what the big white spiders on the moon were doing. I saw after
a while they were weaving a long toboggan, a white toboggan, white and
soft as snow. And after a long while of snizzling and sniffering, climbing up
and climbing down, at last the toboggan was done, a snow white toboggan
running from the moon down to the Rootabaga Country.
“And sliding, sliding down from the moon on this toboggan were the White
Gold Boys and the Blue Silver Girls. They tumbled down at my feet because,
you see, the toboggan ended right at my feet. I could lean over and pick
up the White Gold Boys and the Blue Silver Girls as they slid out of the
toboggan at my feet. I could pick up a whole handful of them and hold them
in my hand and talk with them. Yet, you understand, whenever I tried to shut
my hand and keep any of them they would snizzle and sniffer and jump out
of the cracks between my fingers. Once there was a little gold and silver dust
on my left hand thumb, dust they snizzled out while slipping away from me.
“Once I heard a White Gold Boy and a Blue Silver Girl whispering. They were
standing on the tip of my right hand little finger, whispering. One said, ‘I got
pumpkins—what did you get?’ The other said, ‘I got hazel nuts.’ I listened
more and I found out there are millions of pumpkins and millions of hazel nuts
so small you and I can not see them. These children from the moon, however,
they can see them and whenever they slide down on the moon toboggan
they take back their pockets full of things so little we have never seen them.”
“They are wonderful children,” said Any Ice Today. “And will you tell me how
they get back to the moon after they slide down the toboggan?”
“Oh, that is easy,” said Potato Face. “It is just as easy for them to slide up
to the moon as to slide down. Sliding up and sliding down is the same for them.
The big white spiders fixed it that way when they snizzled and sniffered and
made the toboggan.”