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My Picture With Artie

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The Legend of Artimus T. Elk

Not so very long ago in a land known as the front yard of Down the Street Art Gallery, Town of Payson, State of Arizona, a lame, weak and weary elk appeared.   Snapping at its hooves, and other portions of its lower extremities, was a vicious, ravenous, very likely rabid and by all accounts most certainly evil pack of javelina, their fangs frothed with venom.

In the gallery the artists of Down the Street, upon hearing the bellowing snorts, grunts, squeals, roars and assorted bleats, mews and scuffling's, sprang to the window to see "Just what in the commotion was going on out there, anyway".   Suddenly, there before their horror stricken eyes, was the devils own heard of demon javelina, not to mention the impending slaughter and mayhem that would leave quite a bloody mess and scattered viscera to clean up across their beautiful and tastefully landscaped front yard if something wasn't done.   Without so much as the second half of the thought the courageous artists, because they were cooperative, rushed out as one to the defense of the beleaguered and faltering elk, and with much stomping of the feet, shaking of the paint brushes and shooing with the hands, drove off the monstrous would be assassins.

Turning their attention to the elk the artists could clearly see it was far too exhausted and overcome by the stress of so trying an ordeal to conveniently wander into the next yard where they wouldn't have to deal it.   They could also clearly see that he was far to heavy to pick up and carry to the next yard (under the sheltering cover of darkness probably being best) without a crane.   Not that they had a crane or knew where to get one or how to operate it if one should be found (even in the daylight, let alone the sheltering cover of darkness).   And while all this was being discussed in the most calm, thoughtful and intelligent of manners as one might expect from so noble a group of artists, one of them foolishly gave it a name.   Artimus T. Elk.   And as you well know, once you name it there's no getting rid of it then.

Quickly they were all calling him Artie and arguing over what the "T" stood for. One saying Tippytoes (that would the one who named him).   Another saying Tenderloin (no doubt still flush with adrenaline from all the stomping and shaking and shooing).   Yet another saying ... well, it doesn't matter what they all said; they all had one, if not several names.   In fact they still argue about it to this very day, so, feel free to come up with your own if you like, as I must continue now with this turbulent tale.   (Hmm, Turbulent Tail).

Eventually someone noticed Artie was standing there frozen, staring across Main Street at the murderous hoard of javelina still malingering suspiciously in the bushes and about the curb, smoking cigarettes and talking trash while ripping at the roots of the bushes with their foul smelling snouts.   Something had to be done to protect Artie and done quickly as the artists had left their glasses of a rather sophisticated beverage in the gallery, and to which they were anxious to return.

Now the artists were aware of the obvious belief and well known supposition that the eyesight of the savage javelina is so poor that they never howl at the moon and couldn't see a duck in a blind even if a pack of card playing dogs lost track of one in the shuffle.   Armed with this certain knowledge of dubious origin the artists set about the concocting of a plan so beautifully creative and blindingly brilliant that the dim eyes and minds of these heinous javelina would never see through it.  

Their plan was to hide Artie in plane sight, disguising him as a work of art by wrapping him in a coat of paint of many colors.   SO, with the greatest of hast and a flurry of masterful brush strokes (no doubt encouraged by the help of the sophisticated beverage which someone thankfully remembered to bring out) the presumably grateful elk was soon looking

like so monumental a work of art that the brazenly maniacal javeline came to assume the quarry had escaped their net of evil intent.   Then, losing interest entirely and not caring much for the smell of paint, the foul gang turned to maraud their way up Main St.; knocking over garbage cans, terrorizing the general population and eating Carole's Flowers.

In their single minded zeal to keep Artie as artistically safe as artistly possible none of the artists noticed that the wicked band of javaline had move on, and so, with colorful flourish, outstanding finesse and at least one toast each to Artie's good health, continued to outdo themselves with layer upon layer of quite stunning achievement.

Artie and the Author
More Friends for Artie
Grandkid with Artie
Family with Artie
Jean from Burbank, Bill from Payson
Wine With Artie
I Love You Artie
Artie Thanks His Friends Who Purchased Copper Boxes
Artie With Some of His Friends from Texas