DAFFY DUCK

               "Let's go tree climbing' Scov" he suggested, "you ain't  got
          nothin' else to do, do ya?"
               "Nope," I admitted indifferently, "I guess not."
               "Well, let's go then."
               The orchard  glittered green.   The branches bowed  low with
          their burden of  shiny red  and yellow apples.   We followed  the
          trails to the  edge of the orchard.   Nearly every tree  had been
          successfully climbed, probably more than  once, by Danny and I at
          one time  or another.  Dan was  a good friend and he  liked to do
          nearly everything I liked to do.  That always helps a friendship.
               "How  'bout this  here one,"  he  said pointing  to a  funny
          looking tree.   "That'un ain't  been 'round  as long.   Looky how
          short it is  compared to the other  apple trees."  He  was right.
          It wasn't an apple tree at all.  It stood about twelve feet  high
          with bunches of tiny branches poking out in every direction.
               "How'a we gonna' climb that silly thing?" I questioned.
               "Just like  this," Dan said  wading into the  dense greenery
          and grasping  the trunk.   I  stood in  casual observation  for a
          moment,  uncertain as to  the ability of such  a spindly trunk to
          hold a  pair of ten  year olds, and  followed my friend  into the
          depths of greenness.
               "I ain't  never seen  a tree like  this 'fore," I  called up
          behind Danny, "wonder what they call it?"
               "Ah, who cares," Danny said nearing the top, "it's neat."  I
          had to agree but my feet kept slipping off the tiny branches as I
               "It's preddy comfortable up here,"  Dan said.  "It's  kind'a
          like sittin'  in a bird's  nest."  He  was right!   The tree  was
          nearly flat  on top, giving  us a  clear view of  the surrounding
          area.   We were both perched face-to-face at  the very top of the
          tree.    It  rocked back-and-forth  gently  in  the soft  breeze.
          "Hey," Dan exclaimed, "look over there."  I followed his pointing
               "What," I said, "I don't see nothin'"
               "That tree there," he snorted, "I like it.  I'm gonna' climb
          it," and he was sliding down.
               Danny and I sat in trees a lot.  We talked  mostly.  Nothing
          heavy, just talk.   We discussed bikes, friends  at school, games
          we enjoyed playing,  fishing, and  what we wanted  to do when  we
          grew up.  We ate lots of apples when we talked since most of  the
          trees  we climbed  were  in  the orchard.    Our climbing  wasn't
          limited  to the  orchard however.    We climbed  everywhere; even
          telephone poles  just  for  something different.    Danny  was  a
          dedicated  kid.   He  always  found  something  to do  even  when
          everything had already been done.
               "Hey,"  I  called,  "be  careful  climbing  that  thing,"  I
          cautioned.  He nodded almost imperceptibly.
               Dan was  so dedicated to  tree climbing that I  recalled one
          time, as we  spent probably  an hour  perched in one  of the  two
          yellow apple trees in the orchard,  he said, "I gotta' go to  the
               "So, go," I encouraged.  Why leave  the comfort of a tree to
          do that?
               "No," he frowned, "that ain't what I mean?"
               "You mean," I suggested, "you gotta do more than just take a
               "Yeah, that's what I mean all right."  I told him  to shinny
          down the tree and trot on over to my house and tell my Mom he had
          to use the bathroom.
               "Ah," he snorted, "I don't wanna' do that."
               "Why not?" I said.
               "Oh, 'cuz'" he answered.  "That's your Ma that's why."
               "Well,"  I said  dropping an  apple  core to  the grown  and
          pulling  another, not  quit ripened apple  from a  nearby branch,
          "what you gonna'  do?"  He showed  me by defecating  from fifteen
          feet above the ground.
               Now I watched  my buddy climb  expertly foot-by-foot up  the
          nearby  tree.   Higher and  higher until  he reached  the highest
          branch where he swung like a monkey and balanced himself.
               "This'un's nice, too," he said with satisfaction.  We talked
          some more.
               Suddenly a strong gust of wind blew through the orchard, the
          trees bowing to the force.  A  summer storm rushed in, blowing on
          the  city.   The trees waved  back-and-forth like  flags.   I was
          blown over backwards and fell head first to the ground.  I pulled
          frantically at the  branches sliding by, as  in slow motion,   to
          try  and  break  my fall.    Two  feet from  the  ground  my legs
          entangled in the  closely cropped branches.  I  hung up-side-down
          by my legs laughing uncontrollably.  "Where's Danny," I wondered,
          looking about.  There he  was, I could see, howbeit up-side-down,
          hanging  by one  hand from  his high  perch, perhaps  twenty feet
          above ground,  and yelling with laughter.  "Heeeeeeeeee!  Rid 'um
          cowboy," he squealed.
               I spent more  time with Danny than  any other kid.   He came
          from  a broken  home, did poorly  in school,  and couldn't  hit a
          baseball  even if you paid him.  I liked sports, especially track
          and field,  but I  rarely played such  with Danny because  of his
          lack of coordination.   He loved riding bikes,  however, and that
          we did a lot.
               Riding the pavement one day at the front end  of the orchard
          I said, "Wanna' play chicken?"
               "Sure," he said, swerving toward  me.  I pulled violently at
          my handle bars, narrowly missing his bike.
               "You crazy kid," I yelled.
               "That's  what it's  all 'bout,  ain't  it?" he  laughed.   I
          stomped down on my peddles and arrowed straight for him.   At the
          last second, he chickened, and pulled away.
               "Chicken!" I chided.
               "Oh,  yeah," he challenged,  "watch this."   His rickety old
          bike came spinning toward me at a  remarkable rate of speed.  You
          had to ride Danny's bike to appreciate it.  I did once...once and
          only once.
               "Wanna' trade bikes for awhile, Scov," Danny asked.
               "Ok,"  I agreed  without  knowing what  I was  getting into.
          Climbing from my bike, I leaped on Dan's and peddled off.  "Hey,"
          I complained, "what kinda' bike is this?"  The frame  rattled and
          creaked.  Every part  on the thing wiggled: the  handle bars, the
          seat, the  wheels, the  chain guard, the  peddles.  The  fork was
          bent, the tires low; never able to keep air for more than a  day,
          and  the  handle grips  were cracked  and split.   I  wiggled the
          handle bars back-and-forth.  The wheel slammed against both sides
          of the fork  uncontrollably.  "How can you  ride this crazy thing
          Danny?"  He just laughed and rode off with my bike.
               "I'm  comin' to get you Scov," he  yelled, whooping  like an
          attacking indian.   "You better chicken  or we're both dead."   I
          watched him approach as though in slow motion.  
               "Would he really  ram me," I wondered.   Suddenly I realized
          he was going to  do exactly that.  I jerked  my bike violently to
          the  right just  as he jerked  his to  the left.   We side-swiped
          front wheels, the  axles locking momentarily.  I  half fell, half
          jumped,  from my  bike  and  rolled gently  over  the black  top.
          Getting to my  knees, I saw Danny rolling from his  bike.  He was
          laughing!  The  bikes were tumbling apart as  though a large hand
          had chopped  between them.   As we stared in  frozen fascination,
          Danny's front wheel ripped from it's fork, and continued spinning
          across the pavement until it came to rest several yards away.   I
          looked at Danny.  The grin on his face could have powered a city.
               "You ever see such a thing," he boasted.  "Couldn't  do that
          if you tried again, I bet ya'"
               Practically every kid knew someone growing up who acted like
          Daffy Duck.  Crazy, silly, loud, sputtering, daring, fast, goofy,
          laughing with and laughing at, uncoordinated, everywhere at once,
          flapping,  jumping,  skipping,  hopping,   soaring,  giddy,  over
          bearing, intoxicated with  life; but never boring.    That was my
          Danny.   His  favorite saying  was, "Ain't  ya got  no edication?
          What-a-madder for you, ain't ya got no bringin' up?"
               Danny and  I were always  collecting.  Collecting what?   We
          collected everything:   pop bottles [worth two  cents], pop lids,
          broken bottles, fish hooks, leaves, blades of grass, dirt, rocks,
          carpet  tacks, broken  spectacles,  string, nails,  rubber bands,
          milk  cartons, rusty cans, field mice, and probably anything else
          one could name.   We were especially interested  in things others
          threw away.  We  often went on treasure hunts just  for something
          to do and I was always amazed at things we found.
               Dan  was  fearless,  or so  it  seemed.   He  rode  his bike
          courageously through mud, snow,  into and through tall grass  and
          weeds, across busy streets, down  cluttered ally ways, over bumpy
          gravel roads.   He  climbed tall  trees, jumped  from one  to the
          next, crawled to  the end of branches at the highest point in the
          tree.  He  climbed fences, garages, walls, flag  poles, telephone
          poles, or anything with  a roof.   He and I  once walked under  a
          short bridge, about two hundred feet  long, on thin ice.  I  know
          it was thin  because the space on  either side of the  bridge was
          open water.   The ice just  remained where the  sun had not  been
          able to shine.  I was scared spitless; not  Dan!  He crawled into
          any  opening  big enough  to  yield  admittance.   He  picked  up
          anything  that moved:  snakes, spiders,  ants  - red  or black  -
          worms, beatles,  birds, fish; you name  it.  Finding a  tangle of
          vines  along the  Des Moines  River, we  would dangle  from their
          ends; swinging far  out over the  water.  Dan  pretty much  hated
          girls, as  I did  at that  young age,  and we  thus paled  around
          endlessly day-after-day.
               I could tell  dozens of stories about Dan and  the places we
          went and the  things we did.  I am probably even exaggerating his
          personality all these many years later but he still lives vividly
          in my memory.   Friends are important.   The kinds of  friends we
          have are even more important.
               Seated in a  classroom in Bible college years  later, one of
          my professors spent a few  minutes one morning talking about just
          how important friends are.  He remarked how  he had heard someone
          once say that if we obtained five friends, real friends with whom
          we could  trust, in one's  lifetime, we indeed would  be blessed.
          He personally limited that to just two, however.  The true figure
          is  probably "#1."   Having  a real  friend is  rare even  today.
          Christians are even guilty of avoiding closeness with others.  We
          are commanded,  however, to "bear  one another's burdens,  and so
          fulfill the  law of  Christ." (Gal. 6:2).   Obedience  to such  a
          command is impossible without closeness.
               Several days  in a row  this passage on bearing  each others
          burdens popped  in-and-out of my thinking.   I knew the  Lord was
          trying to tell me something  but I was not listening too  closely
          for some reason.  Finally one  day, as the verse fluttered in  my
          mind again,  I said, "Lord,  I've got several  burdens of my  own
          right now.   As soon as  those things are  cleared up, then  I'll
          bare the burdens of others."   The Lord very clearly spoke to  me
          that morning as I walked through the dinning room of my  home and
               "I never said  to bare the burdens of  others after your own
          were being managed!"
          I was  jolted with the revelation and  immediately began thinking
          of the  concerns and  desires of other  fellow Christians.   Such
          constitutes friendship.
               For a  number of years I have  been concerned about the lack
          of  such relationships  among  fellow  Christians.    The  Church
          somehow has  lost its  emphasis on one-on-one.   We have  gone to
          "large"  and "big"  and "huge"  and "immense"  theology  and thus
          forgotten  the  "one."    Jesus, of  course,  ministered  to  the
          multitudes and so should we.  He also gave his personal attention
          to "the twelve."   Even within "the  twelve," He seemed to  spend
          more time with Peter, James, and John.  John, however,  was known
          as  the  "disciple whom  Jesus  loved."    The four  Gospels  are
          likewise filled with remarkable stories of  Jesus stopping out of
          His daily  ministry  to the  multitudes to  reach the  one -  the
          Galilean demoniac,  the woman with  the issue of blood,  the lame
          man at the pool of  Bethesda, the nobleman's son, Peter's mother-
          in-law, the blind man, to name a few.
               In my  counseling, I  find many who  confess that  they lack
          friends  or  even  personal  relationships  with  others.    Many
          complain of having  no friends at all.   "A man that  has friends
          must  show himself  friendly."    (Prov.  18:24).   We  must show
          ourselves friendly if we desire to have friends.  The best way of
          doing that,  certainly the most  personal, is  to bare  another's
          burdens.   Show concern.   Call them  just to  visit.   Ask about
          their situation.   Pray for them.   Make special  trips to  where
          they live or work.  Drop them a card in the mail.
               "And there is  a friend that sticks closer  than a brother,"
          the  remainder of  Proverbs 18:24, is  often quoted  and preached
          from.   It is true Jesus is such  a friend but such friendship is
          demonstrated  between those  of us  claiming Christ  as Lord  and
          Saviour.    I  have  included  this  chapter  to  point  out  the
          importance  of  friendships  and the  necessity  of  sharing with
          others  intimately.   Make it  a  commitment.   Go out  and  be a
          friend.   Pal around  with someone.   Share  yourself.   Don't be
          picky.  You may discover the best of friends are Daffy Ducks.
               "By this shall all men  know that you are my disciples,
               if you have love one to another."  (John 13:35).

                            End Of Chapter 3

                             LIQUID PURPLE


                              PHIL SCOVELL

                           Copyright 1991-2004

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved

          Reproduction of the book  entitled "Liquid Purple" is granted  by
          the copyright holder, Phil Scovell,  if such reproduction is done
          in the  spirit in which it  was given.  It may  not be reproduced
          and sold  for financial gain  without written  permission of  the
          copyright  holder: Phil  Scovell.    Electronic  formats  may  be
          distributed freely  but this  copyright notice  must remain  with
          each  copy and  the  text cannot  be  altered in  any  way.   For
          convenience, this copyright notification may be placed at the end
          of the document  if reproduced electronically.   If chapters  and
          sections  of the  book entitled  "Liquid Purple" is  separated in
          file  form   for  convenience  of  electronic   reproduction  and
          distribution,  this copyright notice must appear somewhere within
          each individual file.


          Phil Scovell
          840 South Sheridan Boulevard
          Denver, Colorado  80226-8017
          Web:  WWW.RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG
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