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Mid-February Cheryl visited our daughter Iris in McCall Idaho, where she was living at the time. When Cheryl returned, she told the story of riding in a hay wagon into a meadow where they fed at least 100 Elk. The image was really powerful, so we decided to try and recreate the scene in music/story.

For us, it spoke of sharing, compassion, love, and caring for the incredible natural wonders around us—such a simple act with such a powerful result.

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise


Through a snow-covered field
Two horses pulled our sleigh
Ambling out from among the grove
A herd of one hundred elk
Appeared to circle our sled of hay

Then as though we weren’t there
They ate the hay beneath us
Nudging to find a better place
They took their share, then stepped aside
So that all of the herd could eat

And so it is each and every day
Someone brought the heavy-laden sleigh
Every winter, through the snow
Sometimes until May or so
When warm days thawed the ground
Budding shoots and grass abound
Calling them home once again
To higher ground

Another winter they have survived

Through a clover-white field
Two horses make their way
Ambling back to that same old grove
To drink from the rushing stream
Where they dream of their sled of hay

Another winter day
Will come and they’ll be waiting
Ready to feed the herd


from By Invitation, track released August 1, 2009
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Mr Toad's San Francisco - Mastering
Inspiration - McCall Idaho, feeding the elk


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Cheryl and Emerson Martlage San Diego, California

At the age of 48, and after 25 years of marriage, we headed to a secluded town for 6 weeks, to create a new relationship and begin again.

When we arrived as if by magic, we co-wrote our first song ever— "Never Sleep," evoking the mystery and magic of the new adventure. Twenty years later, we're still making music. Join us on our musical storytelling as the adventure continues to unfold
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