The Journey of Dandelion Snailrider

Day Fourteen: Bakersfield

From:       Dandelion Snailrider
To:         Mr. A--
Subject:    Day Fourteen: Patagonian Vs. Bakersfield Coffee
Date:       December 23, 2002
Dear Mr. A--,

As you can see, I am very close to completing my
journey!  I have arrived here at Starbuck's in
downtown Bakersfield, where the people are friendly (I
had my photograph taken with a number of friendly
locals!) and the coffee is wholesome.  The coffee in
Starbuck's here is frankly quite superior to the
coffee in Patagonia, where the coffee beans are ground
between the hardened soles of our gnome village elders.  This
certainly lends a unique vintage to our coffee, but it
also means that Patagonian Gnome coffee is quite
effective for killing small rodents or frightening
young children.  Many tales of gnomes and fairies
today retain knowledge of our coffee as parts of
spells that are used to keep mortals away from certain
enchanted locations.

Bakersfield is certainly a restful place after all of
our exciting journeys. I sat with the Dread Snail
Roberts this afternoon while sipping a half double
decaf cap-and-a-half with a twist of lemon, and
watching the world go by, and had a nice relaxing chat
recounting our adventures.  We recalled Crazy Habib
and his special recipe for camel tacos.  We spoke of
Yukon Cornelius, the champion racer of the Iditarod,
who let us pet his friendly dogs.  The most exciting
part of Bakersfield, for me, was seeing the rows upon
rows of chef's hats growing in the sun, next to the
corn fields.

I certainly look forward to many pleasant evening
conversations with you on your front lawn!

I don't know if you've noticed, by the way, an
alteration to my signature: I now sign myself, "Sir
Dandelion Snailrider, Esq."  I must report that it has
been my great honor to be knighted by the Royal Snails
of Timbuktu.  While they tell me it is in recognition
of my bravery and courage in the face of
many travails and adventures with the Dread Snail
Roberts in situations that most snails would find
terrifying, I think it might also have been to make up
for the inconvenience of having to make a side trip to
Mali on the way from Australia to Arizona.

Nevertheless, a knighthood bestowed upon one by such
fine mollusks is certainly not something to sneeze at!

And it is furthermore my honor to report to you that
you yourself have been honored with knighthood by the
Snails of Timbuktu.  When you next travel there, be
sure to pick up your sword and armor from the Snails
themselves.  Alas, I had no room in my pack for your
knightly gear.

So until tomorrow, Sir A--, I remain,

Your Loyal and Knightly Associate,

Sir Dandelion Snailrider, Esq.

On To The Last Day

Copyright ©2002 by Richard S. Crawford