Tzvi's Trees: Stories About Weed
#09 The Untold Story of “The Weed of the West”
by Tzvi Peckar the Third, 2015
Many a great heroes have been remembered throughout American history—heroes like Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, John Henry, Yosemite Sam, Betsy Johnson, even Ronald McDonald Reagan and his endless jar of jelly beans. But America, like all great countries, is also known for conspiracies and whatnots. This here story about Wendy the Weed of the West, is assumed to be as conspiratorial as it may sound to the most staunch conservative, but trust me twice, this be one of the truest tall tales of them all.
A few yearly moons before the Gold Rush, flat dab in the middle of the Civil War, California was still a quaint state, with only a few settler stragglers who had found their way into the overgrown Redwood Forests that stuffed the North West.
One couple by the name of William and Wynona had found themselves a secluded patch of land surrounded by the giant trees along a fresh water stream, only a few miles inland from the shore. They had plenty of fish and soil for a small vegetable garden and dinners. William, a fine craftsman by trade, built them a cabin straight from sixteen surrounding Redwoods, leaving tall stumps to be used as the home’s frame. It has been said, this Redwood home stood four stories tall, for one good real reason only, so Wynona could grow her Cannabis patch closer to the sun.
See, Mr. William had been raised on a Hemp farm in East Virginia. Back then in them times, the small colony turned state still had good relations with the Queen of England, and the export of the plant was still mighty profitable. But young William took a liking to construction rather than the farming life and this was sort of a disappointment to his folks. Well, William figured, to make his Mama happy, it be best to marry a wife from a near by farm. He had always taken a liking to Miss Wynona since they were little, and then in the high school times, even though there weren’t no high schools back then, only schools of life for getting high, Wynona introduced him to her own hobby of growing the female version of the Hemp stalks—the Cannabis flowers. Soon, once William was allowed at the age of twenty-one, he put that golden ring on her there finger. They had a preacher from the outskirts do the wedding, and that was fine for Mama, but Pops wasn’t so thrilled, although Wynona’s folks were as joyous as a fox in a hen house could be and wiped their hands clean of their rebellious daughter corrupting their fine fields of male, fabric weaving Hemp with Wynona’s toxic flowers. See, ever since she started growing them stinking flowers, the workers would much rather make music and the arts, ‘stead of tending to the owners money-sprouting leaves.
William knew what needed to be done and packed himself and the little lady up and set out to travel on out to the wild, wild West. Saddened and anxious without her flowers, Wynona and William found themselves knocking on Indian doors to tame the pain along the lonely, grassy plains. The Native folks would tell this struggling couple stories of a place where the cannabis flowers grew so much plumper, and that place was out West exactly where they were headed. Empty handed, and months away from settling down, Wynona traded these Indians a few of her homegrown seeds for a bag of cannabis cigarettes to assure an enjoyable jaunt of their trek. And these Cannabis cigarettes gave them visions from the Future, instructing them to cross South of the Rockies instead of the North. The couple had been visited and led to the South by the not yet notorious Donner Party, ghosts of the future, who would tell their tale of death and cannibalism as they led William and Wynona safely South of the Rockies, then up the Coast to the Redwood Forests, and just vanish straight into nothing, probably off to the tragic future.
Wynona spent the first few summer months growing on the fertile ground of the Redwood Forest. By early autumn, William finished construction of their giant home in the jungle. Wynona immediately took advantage of the sky reaching rooftop. William would raise the soil up with a pulley system and Wynona would meticulously spread the dirt along the sunken rooftop that allowed for a good six feet worth of fine Redwood soil. At first they used the same pulley to water the roof earth, but soon enough, William had the plumbing lock, stock, and barrel, with the foggy moisture from the nearby ocean helping keep the seedlings moist in the morning and then throughout the night.
These conditions were spot on for the plants. They grew at a rapid rate and Wynona could have never imagined how bountiful the Cannabis plant could be in the West. The Native’s stories were true, and for this she was ever so grateful. In return for what dreams may come, Wynona and William would sing to their plants in the morning, again in the afternoon, then tell them Tall Tales at night, thinking maybe a tall tale will make ‘em even taller, and that they did. The weeds seemed to want to outdo their rivals the Redwoods, and though some may say that is nearly impossible, the bushes atop the couple’s home were an exact four hundred and twenty times the size they grew back in the fields of East Virginia.
Then the couple done died.
No one knows exactly when or exactly how, but they both croaked at the very same second, with the very same fate. Both were crushed under the collapsed roof of their very own home. Been speculated that Wynona was singing them plants a song at the time, while William fluffed their green feathers; then they heard a crack, could have even been the rumbling sound of the start of some crushing, but before either of them knew nothing, the whole house collapsed by the mighty weight of the Cannabis farm on their rooftop.
Don’t get discouraged that this story ends here ‘cause in America, tragedy tends to lead to good fortune. Shortly after our lovely friends were squashed from limb to limb and buried below the Redwood planks of the home, the soil from the roof, and the massive medicinal Cannabis flora, a bona fide Marijuana Miracle occurred. Since the house was built completely out of Redwood and such, it naturally decomposed right there. Now, since all that Cannabis fell down as well, the local forest critters came around in hordes getting their edibles on and such. These banquets of Cannabis culinary collectives gave way to seed dispersal. That’s a scientific term for animals eating stuff and spitting out the seeds, like we peoples do with an orange. So these here critters spit out all the Cannabis seeds right there into the pile of debris that used to be the house of William and Wynona. Few days then passed after all the seed spittin’ and those little unborn baby plants sprouted seedlings and absorbed their spiritually endowed nutrients from Wynona’s deceased parts. A new forest done started to sprout in the middle of them Redwoods, and that there forest was made up of monstrously large and incredibly potent Cannabis plants—a suitable legacy for the fallen couple.
Like I already told ya, nobody really went up state all that much, which gave this new plantation free-reign to grow in great abundance, void of any worries or concerns. These Cannabis plants spread out all along them Redwoods. They didn’t need the higher levels of sun no more ‘cause Wynona’s soul was makin’ them stronger, and more resilient than ever. Them plants had adapted to this new way of being. Within a few short months, this plot of land, which stretched out nearly to the shore, was once known for its vibrant red bark, but now shined another color, an emerald glow. The plants spread themselves into the shape of a loosely shaped triangle, and they were happy.
As with all good things, trouble’s just down wind and around 1848 there came this new surge toward the West, and an even greater urge to build homes, and to build them Red. The lumberjacks started filing into the North West, first two at a time, then families, then those loner lumberjacks married the daughters and had more sons, and the sons had even more daughters, and they started building towns, and those towns took up space, and the Cannabis forest caught wind of this, ‘cause suddenly there were less trees around, so the breezes broke through with much greater ease. These winds of change were so strong that they would blow the sticky golden keif right off the plant’s leaves and flowers. The Cannabis figured maybe they’d be found. If they were found, then maybe the men would get high. If the men got stoned then maybe the women would bake them into cookies and treats. And if the women got baked, then their sons and daughters would be sure to follow suit and everyone would stop cutting down trees and start growing more weed, but this didn’t happen, no sir. Instead, the men did find them weeds, but these men didn’t know much of this strange growth all along the land where their precious houses would be. In the East they had heard of the medicinal properties of these plants, they might have even known of the recreational use, but the newspapers back East were filled with misinformation. The bottles of weed juice were labeled as poison, and even though a Doctor was able to give a prescription for such, he only did so with a warning that you might not be able to feel your face, you could even lose your legs, and you’re sure to have nightmarish visions like the Indians, and nobody back then wanted to be a like an Indian, but they sure did want those Redwood houses.
See, back in those times, only the Natives knew of the truly unique aspects of the Cannabis. The white man, well, he didn’t know Cannabis from Apples, and Johnny Appleseed was a star, a hero to the American man, a hero we celebrate with apple pie day to day, but not the Marijuana. What they didn’t realize is that the Cannabis can talk. The Cannabis could even take a walk if it felt threatened, and that’s just what happened in the Emerald Triangle. Mama plant was as large as a plant could ever grow, ‘bout 50 feet in diameter at 25 feet tall. The Papa plant, that kept her fertilized, was half her size and had grown most of himself around her, almost like he was protecting his lady. It was a most suitable system to spread themselves with ease. Mama would catch the wind, shaking her stems and flowers, releasing her seeds. The seeds would fall upon Papa’s enormous hemp leaves and bounce right off to great lengths—new soil. Now, Mama Cannabis, well, she was completely infused with the soul of Wynona, as Papa had been infused with William’s. Been said that being sprout right from Wynona’s own belly was like the plant was Wynona’s daughter, and when them Lumberjacks had started chopping into her children, there was nothing much a plant could do to defend its self. Papa plant swore to hold the fort and set Mama free to find a new place to plant her legs. Mama, with no other plan in sight, uprooted herself and walked her way out of the forest, south side, avoiding the Lumberjacks and their wives. She had to steal clothes to cover herself, took to learning how ride a horse from a blind stableman, found a gambler who showed her how to play a mean game of cards and named her Wendy. Well, Wendy the Weed of the West made her way along the American landscape as an Outlaw, possibly the most notorious woman Outlaw never spoken about in these here Tall Tales of the great states. That’s what Mama Cannabis had become—an Outlaw of the state, an Outlaw of the people, yet a friend to the natives, a lover of the fresh water rivers, all-the-while dropping seeds all along her trails wherever she did go, letting her new babies grow despite the coming storm of adversity.
My Grand-Daddy came across Wendy the Weed just east of the Rockies, in the new state of Nevada, early 1860's. There weren’t nothing there back then, ‘cept an Outlaw population, lots of dust, and a few free wheeling gamblers. This desert of a state was a place where a criminal could get a bottle of whiskey, take three whores, shoot six men, and call it a night in the local streets of dirt without even a thought of a jail cell or a quick ride on the gallows. It had been a warm Nevada night and my Grand-Daddy, a simple cowhand, and the boys had brought the game of black jack out onto the road ‘stead of keeping their game inside the heated bar. Mellon, the bar keep, preferred you called it a saloon, “But five bottles of JD, some watered down brandy, some poison worse than moonshine, and two homely dancing girls too sweaty to dance is a far cry from any sort of saloon I ever been too,” said the dark figure half way down the road, in a cowboy hat, holding the reigns of its horse. In unison, the whole damn table of card players, killers, and politicians, rose to attention. “That’s mighty loud for a stranger just settling into town, son,” said the fat Mayor of this makeshift town.
Now, this wasn’t your average game of 21 these boys were playing; the stakes were steps higher than a few coins. This was “The 21.” Twenty-one men invited, twenty-one crooked cowboys playing for key roles in this here’s new state government. Now this here Mayor had won enough hands so far to reach such a peak, knocking down his competitors to senators, school administrators, land dumpers, deputies, and regulators. Like any old game of Black Jack or any old card game, there’s always a chance another hand’ll come around and cut into your pot. But this evening, it was the Pot herself standing at the side of the table, taking a seat of her own—Wendy the Weed of the West. At first sight, Wendy looked just like any G-d fearing Outlaw on the desert floor toting her tired stallion. But now that Wendy had taken the a seat away from my Grand-Daddy, who had lost too many hands to ever be more than a dust sweeper anyhow, her massive green leafed clothing and red hair became more prevalent, and it was obvious she wasn’t no man, maybe a woman, but not the kind of woman they had ever seen before.
“You some sort of Indian giver? You wanna bet your hide on a piece of land?” asked the Mayor of No Town.
“That’s right,” Wendy done said, “And me and my babies want it by a river.” Wendy removed her hat and showed her betting chips, a bowl full of prime Cannabis seeds. Seeds none of them had ever seen before.
“We ain’t betting for gold, or them farmer’s food,” said the Mayor, “We’re playing for higher jobs and landscapes. So if you’re willing to be a cow hand to any one of these here men, then keep that seat, and I’ll dish you a hand.”
The boys at the table didn’t really know why, but something in their nostrils said let the weed woman play. With a tip of her worn and torn cowboy rim, Wendy just said, “If it’s higher stakes that you want, then might someone have a little fire to get me started?” As the boys looked upon her with confusion she straight up rolled some of herself into a tobacco leaf and got some fire from the Outlaw beside her. He leaned over, set the match a flame and whispered spit into her pretty green ear, “I know of your Cannabis kind. You ain’t gonna fool me one bit. Smoke yourself blind, and I’ll be taking your pot one leaf at a time.” Wendy smirked, exhaled right into the man’s choppers, and that cowboy’s eyes went red, his mouth went cotton, and the Mayor, the table’s Dealer, threw a single card to each and every one of the 21 players while Grand-Dad dusted the road around them with a make-shift broom as the table played through their numbers. Wendy the Weed of the West reclined in her chair, sucked herself down, and the fumes from her own ever so potent leafy self had everyone stoned in an instant. The smoke she’d blown into the Outlaws’ nostrils had them all seeing double aces, purple jacks with crescent queens, tens that looked like ones, and drifting scenes of Native visions about wolves and eagles. The boys kept calling for another, and another, “Hit me. Hit me. Hit me again. Again. AGAIN!” - BUST - “Darn it” - And again - “Hit me. Hit me. Okay, hit me,” - BUST - “Darn gone it!” This kept going round busting each and every one of them cowboys ‘till Wendy and the Mayor played alone as the last two gamblers in the new Nevada state. Mayor had done the dealt, and now they were eye to eye, smoked to toked, hope to croak, and Wendy simply said, “You might be ready to send me two or three of them Jacks or Jokers, but know me well, and know me pure—I’m a One Hit Wonder weed, so I got me an Ace, and I’d like just One Hit in return.” So the Mayor tossed her a card, and that card was a King and Wendy cracked her neck stem and grinned, “21,” and Grand-Daddy dropped the broom and the dust ball blew out and things became highly unclear, and a little bit foggy.
If this had been a regular card fight that would be the end of it—Twenty Men folded, gone bust, with a woman walking away with her earnings—But when you’re throwing down cards for government power jobs, fences, borders, wells, rivers, and laws, well that’s when the guns come out when a woman wins the world. But this wasn’t any old girl. Wendy was more a stranger than your average wandering weed so these boys came out guns a blazing not just aimin’ and shot up poor Wendy like a dead horse hanging tail side from a tree for target practice.
After them Outlaw lawmakers unloaded all them pistols into poor Wendy’s gut there was an eerie silence in the night air. It was a strange new calm for all them boys. From gambler to gambler their senses began to change. All them peepers went as red as an Arizona stone, scratched up with streams of blood and blue all across those whites of their eyes. Their yapping mouths had stopped chattering ‘cause all they could do was smack them dusty lips together again and again, seeking some sort of saliva, their mouth spit that had nearly all dried up along their wooden tooths. A few the busted gamblers started and tried to stop their own laughter until succumbing to the toasty smoke in the air and plain old busted out into some absolute comedic madness that shook up the entire table. Grand-Daddy, well, he just stared straight at Wendy, smoke rising from various bullet points of entry on her leafy figure, and smiled and shot her a little wink, proud to see them woman kind hold herself together as such. See them bullets shot right through Wendy the Weed, scorching her leaves and flowers, then soaring to some aimless end stay in the desert. Now, Wendy the Weed was fuming ready to keep the game going as her smoking poison toasted the entire table. She playfully addressed the Mayor with an ultimatum for setting fire to something he knew nothing about, “I’ll play ‘till you can’t see, or ‘till ya’ll fall a slumber from my lumber.” The Mayor looked to his other boys, but they were too stoned to know nothing by now and Wendy just laid out the rules, “We’ll play ‘till the sun, but once yer done, sleeping sound, forgetting you smoked more than a pound, then I’ve won. I’ll plant myself by the river and I expect no tourists. You’ll protect me, you’ll harvest me pure, and you’ll ship me to every single shore. Them be the new stakes to play.”
“Deal,” said the Mayor, “But the boys play too,” expecting to win, and slid the deck of cards to the Weed, and she shuffled, and blew. Most of the boys were too mellow to really want to play and one had even called it quits snoring on the floor so Grand-Daddy took up his seat. Wendy flipped them cards left and right, rainbowed them a good twenty-one times, which sent all them cowboys into a sort of Cannabis trance. Then she’d cut up the deck and send the fat man his first card, a number 2, then herself an Ace, and then that Mayor got himself a broken hearted Queen, which was 22, and that’s a bust. Bust, Bust, Bust, Hit Me, Hit Me, One More, 23 - BUST AGAIN! And Wendy dealt herself an Ace to join her Jack, 21! And this sort of luck just kept coming to Ms. Wendy the Weed of the West. She had demoted Senators into wranglers, wranglers down to chicken farmers, farmers became well watchers, and the mayor, still losing, kinda figured his cheating ways of reading cards and stabbing knives in the backs of gamblers was going to promote him straight up to governor by the time the sun rose. The fat man was wrong about that. As the night kept crawlin’ by, the Mayor began a worry some sort of train of thought, an intense paranoia, the anxiety of a lost world, intensified by his lack of knowledge about this smoke coming from Wendy the Weed of the West. The fat man’s eyelids started to tremble as he tired to keep them open, loosing count of the cards, and thought if he cleaned three more bottles of bourbon he could drink away the pain even though she had warned him, “You can only smoke the pain away. If you keep up that a drinking, you’re surely gonna rot your liver and make the brain a little bit more the lame.” But the Mayor didn’t hear her, nor did he follow her words so by the time the sky started to change from a solid black with speckled stars to a popping purple, the entire table was sound asleep, stoned on the dirt floor, and the Mayor, well, the Mayor had grown pretty sick and knew he had been beat. What’s a fat man from the South to do surrounded by sleeping Outlaws and woman taking him down? That’s all he could think under the influence of the drink. That’s puzzling confusion he’s gotta figure out before he hits the deck one more time, tumbling like loose grass down from a leader to a loser. This fat man was raised white in a white man’s theater of a Civil War, with power in his palms, and insults dribbling from his nose. Ten hours sooner or so, this Mayor of new town at the table saw himself ruling this new Nevada with an Iron Hand like his Papa’s pals in Texas. He planned to mine the whole state, have the Orientals lay track like a crossword puzzle, fool them blacks to think they got real rights, trick the natives to field the sand ‘stead of the rivers, and sell the ladies to the presidents and congressmen alike. He had dreams of owning all the gambling games, and hanging men left and right to show his power and his precious might. But now he’s stoned, and drinking. His mind’s loud with guilt for such reckless ideas and mayhem. The wind of the rising sun has spun Wendy’s wafting fumes into a table top tornado with the Mayor trapped in a sand storm of exhaustion, regret, and wonder. Now Ms. Wendy the Weed, almost completely charred, burnt nearly to a complete crisp by now, had one last thing to ask of this fat, post-rich, country boy of a politician, “When you look to the sky this early, stoned as you could be, drunker than a town house full of whiskey, and poorer than a rabbit with no bunnies to play, what color you think your heart ought to be?”
The Mayor rubbed his eyes, flipped the last card he’d been dealt, and found himself a laughing Joker prancing along on the red, white, and black card. He looked straight into the red lined eyes of the Weed, then up to the sky illuminated by coming sun. His heart fell low, his soul was deep down in his toes, and all the Mayor could find on his tongue was the one word that gave him a better know how of what was deep in his heart, deeper in his soul, and spread out all over the sand, and he sung out “the Blues.”
Wendy stood herself right up with a tip of her hat. She had won all the games at play, and had a few words left to spin, “Now boys and the fat man, you’ve seen things you ain’t never gonna explain. And I’m sorry to say you ain’t never gonna feel this high again, no matter how hard you try. No matter what seeds you sow, or what weeds you grow, you won’t have a night like this to try and win again. As I’ve come to see it, lucky men only get one option to smoke their sorrows away. You’re just too lucky to come across a day like today for a second time. Now I’ll leave you this desert, for it don’t grow nothing good, and you and these Outlaws can run this state, and you’ll run it all away, but just know you won't never forget my name. See, I’m the only Weed of the West, and I’m the most potent green skinned lady you’ll ever come across. You can chop me down. You can burn me sweet. You can ruin the soils so I won’t grow, or turn off the lights so I can’t breathe. But one thing you ain’t never gonna know, is my seeds are stronger than your toughest bow. So I’m gonna stroll, slow, and tame to the river that I won, to the river where I’ll set my seeds to sow. Now sit right back, Mr. Mayor, and have another toke, because see here fat man, you’re the butt of my here...” and that’s where the Mayor interrupted her, sold by her story, sold by her fire, standing right up, nearly buckling at the knee, but with a shotgun in his hand and said, “No, you’re the butt of my here joke,” and shot that now dark skinned crispy stick of a thing into ash n’ pieces, sending poor Wendy’s hat full of children to the sky. Grand-Daddy tried his best to collect the ash and take it back to where she might had come from, leaving the Mayor to think that he had been done with these weeds and seeds, and things. Sure if the Mayor had known his place and just let his hand fold he might have been a friend to the green ones, but he missed his very own jackpot, and that there shotgun did a better job at seed dispersal than the critters of the Emerald Triangle and the seeds had soared to the heavens and back, falling all along the American landscape growing from coast to coast.
So next time you’re swinging and singing about the ganja that grows whenever and wherever they be, and you’re wondering just how that all came to be, well just look up to the heavens and remember the story of the Weed of the West, the one tall tale that’s been repressed, and never take the plant for granted, never try to out smart her, ‘cause as you know by now, the Cannabis is always gonna win every day in, one card at a time, state to state to put them in line. So no matter what you call her, no matter what you fear, never call her a crime, for it’s the fat man that should be doing all the time.
This story has been brought to you in part by Jetty Extracts and The Shelter Project.
One for You, One for Cancer.
Tzvi Peckar’s Cannabis Oil of choice.