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by David R. Collins
Young John was restless. It was hard to keep his mind on schooling and the farm chores. By 1792, when he turned eighteen, his feet were itching for travel. His father handed him a parting gift and said," As long as you carry God's Word, your path will be straight." To Johnny, the Bible was a fitting treasure.
Although Johnny headed west, the roads he took weren't always straight. Leaving Massachusetts behind, he climbed mountains, followed dusty trails, floated down singing waterway, and wandered all over the newly settle wilderness. In his knapsack he carried his Bible and as many apple seeds as he could stuff in. The only roots he knew were those he planted for others, the rich growing roots of seedling apple trees. He needed always to move, to cover ground, but he left behind a trail of apple trees for those who would later follow that same way.
People grew used to the sight of the thin barefooted man with his knapsack on his back and wearing his cooking pot for a hat. Johnny knew pioneer settlers, townfolk, Indians, and the wild critters of the outdoors. In time, everyone thought of him as Johnny Appleseed.
Used in the Trails West Unit of Paths of Paths of Exploration.
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