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Excerpt from page 3
It's a funny thing about axes. Lots of folks have an axe or two around the place. Sometimes they might be what you could call working axes for a man who gets out his own firewood or splits his own kindling but they may be just odd tools that don't have any regular job to do. Either way they sometimes can give you a pretty good clue to what the owner knows about an axe and possibly even what kind of person he may be.
If the blade has a good shape to it and the poll isn't all battered over from being used and abused as a sledge hammer and the handle isn't all splintered up under the head and maybe wrapped with tire tape to hold it together--chances are the owner may be a pretty good axe man. At least he shows some respect for a good tool. And if it turns out that he really knows how to use it and keep it sharp he more likely than not will agree with you that swinging an axe is a satisfying -- you might say even pleasurable -- kind of occupation. There is a skill to it to be sure but unless an axe is set up right just banging away at a piece of wood can be pretty dreary business.
It should be natural in a way to respect an axe and take care of it for the axe must be the oldest tool in the hand of man. When he discovered a million years or so ago that he could fasten a sharp-edged stone to a handle of sorts he was really on his way. Perhaps this is why axe and knife may have a deeper relationship to man than any other of his tools. They became in fact essential to survival. The saw by comparison is a modern invention. Given a good axe the pioneer could make a life in the wilderness fell his trees build his cabin warm his hearth and clear the fields to sow and reap.
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