Home Country: Should Have Been Diamond Cutters

Home Country
Slim Randles
You have to look for the schism, Jasper said to himself out at the woodpile. He put another chunk of firewood up on the splitting block and took a look at the checking cracks that ran part way through the circles of age rings.
If I hit it right there, he said to himself, it should cleave.
“What do you think, Arthur? If I hit it right there…?”
Arthur looked up from his end of the woodpile and wagged his tail. The old guy’s talking to me again. Sure is cold out here. When are we going back in the cabin? Isn’t it almost time for supper? Oops, gotta scratch an itch…
“Always good to have your opinion, old timer,” Jasper Blankenship said.
He picked up the double-bit cruiser ax, made sure the splitting edge of the ax was in the downward position, and swung. Half a century and more of splitting firewood took that ax blade to that crack in the block, and there was a welcoming ka-chunk as part of the block was surgically cloven from the rest.
Well done, Dr. Blankenship, Jasper thought. Now for this remaining chunk. One more split and it’ll fit the firebox quite nicely.
He sized it up. This second swing wasn’t as difficult to figure out as that first one. There is less wood to cut through, for one thing.
Ka-chunk. Three pieces of firewood in two swings of the ax. Not bad for an old guy.
Jasper could’ve bought a splitting maul, of course. Only Arthur would know. But that’s like shooting flies with a thirty ought-six. Overkill. This way a guy has to know what he’s doing to hit the schism on the first swing.
Just take this next block here. Just to the left of that knot, I think.
“Arthur, we should have been diamond cutters, you know?”
I think it’s time to feed the dog, Boss.