The Extreme Life of Daniel Boone

Daniel has been working on his Bear badge for Cub Scouts for the past few months.  We’ve been looking up information on American Folk Heroes.  A few weeks ago, he wrote a report on Zorro.  Last week, we trekked to the library again to find out more about Daniel Boone.  Daniel felt a connection with him.

“We’re both named Daniel and we live in Boone County!” he said.  I got it. 

It seems that Time has passed Daniel Boone by.  There were several books about his life, but even the ones in the children’s section were weighty tomes that dated back fifty years or more.  We finally found a juvenile biography written in the 1980’s.  It had a lot of pictures.  Daniel can read at a pretty high level, but this was just for Cub Scouts and apparently not meant to be a challenge.

Daniel read the book at a low wooden table in the basement of the library.  We couldn’t check it out.  My card is in hock until I pay off the thirty eight million dollars in fines that I owe.  It was a cold day and raining, so I didn’t mind too much.  Daniel will probably never be a very good poker player.  I sat in the little chair across from him and watched his expression change to wide eyed astonishment.  He closed the book and rattled off a slew of details about Daniel Boone’s life.

Daniel Boone grew up in Pennsylvania and was a good hunter, even as a boy.  He hunted with a spear and then a rifle.  He went through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky and helped build the Wilderness Trail.  He was captured by Indians, escaped, was captured again and escaped again.  By the dawn of the 1800’s, he walked all the way to Missouri and lived there the rest of his life.  Daniel held out hope that he visited Belvidere on his way out west; the book never said anything about it.  Actually, Daniel Boone died about fifteen years before any settlers came to this area (I kept that thought to myself though).  Daniel had looked so amazed while reading the book; I asked him what surprised him so much.

“Most people from the past just give speeches,” he explained.  “But the way Daniel Boone lived his life was just extreme!”


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