The Value Of A Good Henge

I want my children to know the value of a good henge.  The first thing to know about a good henge, of course, is that they are not always made of stone.  Sometimes, they are made of other things.  My children have learned this from personal experience.  Henges can be made out of cars, wood, boats and sometimes weird little hot wheel cars arranged just so.  But what makes a henge a henge is what it does.  You would think that marking the different times of year, like the summer solstice, is its main function.  It is not.  A henges main function is to merely exist so that father’s who like henges have someplace to drag their kids.  We have now seen 5 separate and distinct henges.

I’m not really sure exactly where we are currently at.  It’s somewhere between over there and lost.  These are the best adventures, though, the ones you really have to look for when it’s 90 degrees out in March.  This aberration of temperature helps fuel my kid's current attitude to our henge seeking adventures.  This is, mainly, can we go back to the cabin now?  No, we cannot.

“But we have already seen the henge!” they scream.

“Yes, yes we have.  But we haven’t seen the troll!”

Sometimes the kids don’t share my enthusiasm.  There is a troll by this henge and we are going to find it.  We have wondered through the Kansas prairies, tall dry grass flying by our windows, past what I am sure are countless henges.  The troll, which I read about online, should be located near our latest henge.  It’s in a park, underneath a rain grate, next to some sort of water.  It wasn’t in the first park or the second, but I’m pretty sure I have narrowed it down as we pull into the third.  We get out of the car and start walking, letting the heat attempt to stop us.

“It’s hot!” they say.  I think that they are trying to take a stand against me.  I’m betting Patton didn’t have these kinds of problems.

“Yup,” I say.  The best way to shut down a debate is to simply agree with them.  We march on.

I ask the first person we meet if perhaps they know where the troll is located.  He seems like a nice old guy as he quickly jogs away from us and our troll hunting/henge seeing adventures.

I find someone else and ask them if perhaps they have seen the troll, I mention that we have just come from a henge.  This nice young person gives us directions to the nearest hospital and urges us to seek help.

However, the third person that I speak to (bother) says yes, they have indeed seen the troll!  As her pupils are not dilated, I feel that she actually means it and is not on drugs.  She says that it’s just right over the hill, next to the damn, just follow the sidewalk.  She tells me that she took her kids that way last week and I feel a certain connection with her immediately.  But before I can ask her about her attitude toward henges, the kids pull me away.  They seem eager to get this adventure done.

Within minutes we find the troll, just like the good people of the internet said we would.  Underneath a giant rain grate right off the sidewalk.  He’s about 6 feet tall, overlarge head and metal glimmering eyes.  We stand over him and do what we came here to do which is basically just look and point while I say “hey kids, look at this troll!”  They are back in the car before I can suggest we name him.  (I did, by the way, we now call our troll “Gronky” and he is part of our family lore.)

Back in the car, we chew up the miles like a football team at a buffet.  To my right, I notice a brown sign.  It’s the type of sign that you see everywhere when you look for it on America’s highways.  Sometimes they say “Melvern State Park” or “Santa Fe Trail wagon wheel ruts.”  This particular sign says “Cattle Pen Lookout.”  The sign points north.  You know what else is north that I’ve had my eye on for a while?  Carhenge.  One that we haven’t seen and completely different from the Carhenge we have seen.

I slow down preparing to take the exit.  In unison, like a young boys choir, I hear my kids scream from the back “No!  Don’t get off the highway!”  Hesitatingly, I increase the speed of the car and reluctantly miss the exit.  I point the nose of the car towards home.  Perhaps this time they have a point, it’s pushing 10pm.

And it’s ok.  Because the last thing to know about henges are that they are immortal and will always be there tomorrow.

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