Ole Johnny Mudd thanked the writer, Louisa May Alcott, for her contributions and her advice, and he mounted the magic broom again. She slipped quietly back into her grave. As he flew away again toward the near past, Ole Johnny Mudd suddenly found himself in the middle of a forest. He came upon a man, who looked surprisingly modern. He wore colorful clothing that was somewhat outlandish, and he had long hair and a beard. He reminded Ole Johnny Mudd of the "beatniks" of his own time who had fled from the cities and tried to find their own identities in Nature. He just had to be Henry David Thoreau, the father of all the flower children, who had been inspired by this "transcendentalist."
Henry David Thoreau had borrowed some land near Walden Pond that had belonged to his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson, and he lived in a cabin there for two years, two months and two days. "He was the original 'hippie'," Ole Johnny Mudd said to himself as he approached him. He found Mr. Thoreau talking to himself. He was saying: "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."
"What makes you say such a dismal thing, my friend?" Ole Johnny Mudd asked Thoreau.
"I have come to believe that they have empty, unfulfilled lives caused by meaningless work, a lack of time to relax and they put too much emphasis on money, possessions and honors. This is just wrong."
"What would be the best remedy for such discontent, amigo?" Ole Johnny Mudd asked him.
"The mass of men need to take more time to go off on flights of fancy, my friend," said Thoreau. I was so pleased to see that you came to me in an unconventional way. That tells me that you are unusual and happier than other men." He smiled at Ole Johnny Mudd.
"Actually I arrived on a witch's broom," Ole Johnny Mudd replied.
"I believe that most witches have been maligned," Henry David Thoreau said to him. "They have chosen to make their own reality instead of following the sad life of the masses. I suggest that you go see my friend Nathaniel Hawthorne."
"You are most kind," said Ole Johnny Mudd.
"Follow your bliss," replied Thoreau looking down to study a daisy in the fields.
Ole Johnny Mudd got back on his broom and quickly it deposited him in front of the House of the Seven Gables. Nathaniel Hawthorne was at the window gazing at Ole Johnny Mudd as he flew in.
"If you had done that in my time," he said, "the village people would have brought you before Judge Cotton Mather or Increase Mather, and they would have had you charged with witchcraft. Many of the people who were tried were innocent and their only crime was of being progressive thinkers."
"Who were some of those who were tried, Mr. Hawthorne?" Ole Johnny Mudd asked him.
"They were people like John Proctor, John Alden, Sarah Good, Silas and Martha Corey, Sarah Osborn and Rebecca Nurse," said Nathaniel Hawthorne, trying to recall the dozens of names.
"Sometimes individuals who have great dreams get punished for their ideas," said Ole Johnny Mudd."
"If the genius of the person does not meet the genius of the moment, then either the person is thought to be insane, or the moment goes by until cyclical time comes around again. A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities," said Hawthorne.
"That is a great way of thinking," Ole Johnny Mudd said. "I wonder if the Founding Fathers also thought that way?"
"Try flying over to see what Paul Revere and Betsy Ross did over in the last century," said Nathaniel Hawthorne. "They might able to tell you."