Where were the Sheriffs?
A good question indeed. To answer this simple query we must backtrack a bit. You see after years of peace in their little town the Sheriffs of Schroedingham had become quite bored. They felt like all their hard-earned skills – the lassoing, the sharp-shooting, the boot and badge polishing, the graphic design of the “wanted” posters – were going to waste. Most of their days were spent playing gin rummy in the ever-vacant jail and wearing down the barstools in the Saloon.
They were in a rut. And they stayed in that rut for years until one fateful day. The day the traveling harmonica salesman came to town.
He was a mysterious man. He rode in on a donkey one day in June with a gold briefcase cuffed to his hand. He spoke with an accent that no one could place and if you looked into his eyes, you’d swear you’d met him before. But for all his strangeness, oh the treasures he possessed!
Inside the man’s gold briefcase were the most beautiful instruments anyone had ever seen. Harmonicas of all shapes and sizes. Harmonicas that sounded lower that a toad’s croak and higher than a bird’s chirp. Harmonicas that glistened like the sun off the river and others that were as dark as coal in a furnace. The man had harmonicas from Brazil, Morroco, Florence, Christchurch, Shanghai – from all corners of the world. The whole town was entranced and the briefcase seemed to produce an endless supply of these fantastic instruments. And for each instrument there was a story – a fantastic tale of how this peculiar man had come to posses such glorious instruments.
One of the Sheriffs was particularly taken with the magnificent harmonicas and the stories behind them. The week that mysterious salesman spent in Schroedinham this Sheriff spent glued to his favorite barstool basking in the man’s knowledge and experience, wishing that he too could be worldly and live an adventurous life. Law enforcement was not the thrill ride he’d hoped it to be.
After a week of late nights, libations and music it was time for the salesman to move on. As he was packing up to leave town he gave the Sheriff some parting words, “You know…harmonicas, if used correctly, are a man’s key to the world.”
After that sales pitch, the Sheriff bought as many harmonicas as his sheriff-size paycheck would allow and bid the man farewell. “Farewell,” the salesman answered, “I expect I’ll be seeing you out on road before long.” And he was gone.