In 1961, Wilson Rawls wrote a book about a boy named Billy, who one day bought two Redbone Coonhound hunting dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann, whom he raised, taught and trained, and who go with him everywhere.
In the beginning of the last chapter, after both dogs died, Billy’s family gets ready to move to town, but Billy first needs to say goodbye to his dogs who are now in their graves. Before to do it he asks his father:
“Papa, would you mind waiting a few minutes?” I asked. “I’d like to say good-bye to my dogs.”
“Sure,” he said smiling. “We have plenty of time. Go right ahead.”
Nearing the graves, I saw something different.
It looked like a wild bush had grown up and practically covered the two little mounds. It made me angry to think that an old bush would dare grow so close to the graves.
I took out my knife, intending to cut it down.
When I walked up close enough to see what it was, I sucked in a mouthful of air and stopped. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
There between the graves, a beautiful REDFERN had sprung up from the rich mountain soil. It was fully two feet tall and its long red leaves had reached out in rainbow arches curved over the graves of my dogs.
I had heard the old Indian legend about the red fern.
How a little Indian boy and girl were lost in a blizzard and had frozen to death.
In the spring, when they were found, a beautiful red fern had grown up between their two bodies.
The story went on to say that only an angel could plant the seeds of a red fern, and that they never died; where one grew, that spot was sacred.
Since the novel was published, this tender story is known as the Old Redfern Legend, and is believed by almost all of the 7,000,000 readers of the novel, a required reading in many American schools.
All perfect, except for one small detail: the Redfern doesn't exist anywhere on the surface of the earth. However, there is a seaweed called Porphyra or Red Laver, classified as Red or igneous Alga, a species of fire algae, but a kind of fire that water can't extinguish. What kind of fire is that?
Wilson Rawls only says that an unnamed angel planted the Redfern, or bracken of the inextinguishable fire. Who is that angel whose wings curved the graves of the two loyal dogs?
I believe that W. Rawls knew much more than he said.
According to the Legends of the Jews, the archangel Michael was the leader of a band of angels who questioned G-d's decision to create man on earth. The entire band of angels, except Michael, was consumed by fire. Perhaps for this reason, G-d chose him to be the guardian of Adam and His Chosen People.
Hundreds of millions of Jews have been burned at the stake by Christians and Muslims in the last twenty centuries, but Jews, like the Phoenix, are reborn again from their ashes.
By the way, I would never live in a house on a street whose name was Redfern, nor in a city with a street named Redfern, or near a Christian church or statue built in honor of St. Michael, the impending and victorious redeemer of the Jewish people.