Well, Here’s Moses…

by forrest fenn

These vignettes from Forrest’s collection are only to share. To see 294 additional pieces  please visit



whittleAs I watched Leo Salazar carve this figure from a freshly cut pine tree, he assured me that it would be a perfect likeness of Moses. And I believed it because why else would someone throw his arms out like that except to summon the Israelites and lead them out of Egypt and across the Red Sea to Mount Sinai?

“That’s where Moses received the Ten Commandments,” Leo said, and he spoke like some kind of omniscient religious guru. His words were fit for the lessons at any Sunday school.

It was interesting to see the sharp knife skillfully whittle the wood, which did little to resist the artist’s efforts. As the face of Moses began to appear, Leo’s smile took on a pleasing quality. I just sat there and grinned.

Several hours more, and there stood the majestic Moses in his flowing robe.

I gave $350.00 for the beautiful figure because I enjoyed Leo so much. But Moses had been an old man and this portrait of him looked too white and new. I solved the problem by standing him on the roof of our gallery so the sun and snow could act as aging agents.

After three years the wind toppled Moses over and broke his right hand. I glued it back and stood him up again, where he stayed for another three years. Finally Moses took on the distinguished, darkened look that I thought he deserved.

Moses now stands in my home on the second step that leads into my den, and his expression continues to telegraph a timeless message.