Only a moment before soft
summer breezes had been the high point of the moment. The quiet of the
pleasant evening was disrupted for Mary Beth and her guests suddenly by
the appearance of what looked to be a meteorite steaming low against but,
a little above the horizon.
"Oh Look!" Mary Beth
exclaimed, "it's a meteorite." Of course, she didn't know it was
a meteorite since by no means was she an authority on things celestial.
The greatest treasure of knowledge she had was imparted to her when she
was a child by her father, when in those days before television it was the
children's pleasure to spread blankets flat on the grass. Here they would
look up to the heavens while their parents pointed out the different
constellations such as, The Seven Sisters, Orion the Hunter, The Little
Dipper, The Big Dipper, The North Star, and on and on. Her father told the
story over and over about how his great grandfather, left their home in
Missouri with his Cherokee Indian wife.
"They traveled by night
in their wagon," he told. "The Stars guided him as he traveled.
During the day they camped in the woods and his children and wife slept in
the covered wagon, away from prying eyes who might be interested in the
color of their skin. Those were the days when they believed the only good
Indian was a dead Indian." Years later she would see a picture of her
great grandfather, Nathaniel Stewart Collins, one of the children of her
father's great grandparents. The man was indeed swarthy. He wore a full
beard, an uncommon thing with Indian people, but which told of his mixed
blood. His hair was black and he had blue eyes. It was this background to
always lead Mary Beth to a wonder of the elements, plus her own Native
American mother was of the rain band which gave them names relating to
things of the sky.
Now, as the
"meteorite" had streamed brightly across the sky, it just as
suddenly stopped. Hovering in one place it neither burned out or moved on
away from them. For all concerned it looked just like a very bright star.
"I wonder what that
is?" Mary Beth was ever curious. "I think I'll just go in for my
high powered binoculars which I never use. Hope I can find them before it
burns up." She was not too sure where she hid them from interested
children who she knew would bang them about. As she came out the door her
brother was now standing up holding his hands cupped over one eye in order
to observe the "meteor." Since he was so interested she handed
him the binoculars. While she waited for him to stop looking she was a
little anxious. She wanted to say, "if I knew you were going to hang
on to them I would not have given them to you first." However, being
the oldest sister she had learned many years ago to be diplomatic with her
Finally, he extended his arm
straight out toward her without looking at her and handed her the
binoculars. It was a gesture to tell plainly he was definitely exasperated
by what he had seen. The slow motion indicated an accepting, unquestioning
attitude which made Mary Beth even more curious, especially since he was
not taking his eyes off the object. His silence made her know too, he was
deep in thought.
When she lifted the heavy
glasses to her eyes she was equally enthralled. She wasn't the silent type
like her brother, "My God Above, What is It?" she was
incredulous. There clearly now was an object of some strange nature. The
thing was wobbling back and forth like a saucer on the end of a balanced
stick she had seem performed some place by a gifted juggler. It would tip
up showing the underside and then just as suddenly tip down to reveal the
top of it. On the underside was the classic drawing everyone has seen of
the circular windows all around the edge. From the windows were streams of
light shooting out into the darkness, thus what to the naked eye had
appeared to be a twinkling star. The top of it was convex. Every once in a
while an object would fly away from it and quickly "burn" up.
They stayed and they watched it for three hours, until all at once,
slowly, ever so slowly it began to move away and gradually picked up speed
to disappear into the night sky.
"I'm not saying anything
about this to anyone," Mary Beth laughed to her brother, "and if
you do, I'll just be the injured victim of your practical joke."
"Suits me," came his
However, Mary Beth could not
help but smile knowingly when the next day a local radio announcer took a
woman's question, "Did anyone see the flying saucer last night?"
There was complete silence by the radio announcer. No answer. Nothing.
"That could be me," Mary Beth thought and definitely decided to
totally dismiss the event from her mind, as she chuckled about the
happening, remembering the beauty of the soft summer evening and the
constellations of the heavens, this time embroidered with a little