FRANKLIN, TN—Expressing shock at the abrupt metamorphosis, witnesses confirmed Wednesday that local man Mike Heckner, 27, had transformed into a pensive and wistful old sage just moments after sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of an old farmhouse.

“He seemed like a pretty ordinary guy until he lowered himself into that rocker, at which point I saw he possessed the kind of hard-won wisdom that is only conferred by a lifetime of ceaseless, probing introspection,” said Arianna Friedman, one of several onlookers who told reporters the venerable presence seated before them would almost certainly offer sound advice culled from decades of lived experience, should anyone care enough to ask.

“Then he pulled a wool blanket over his legs and suddenly looked frail and wizened. As he rocked back and forth, the lines in his face appeared freighted with difficult truths about this life, his creased brow a scar from the long battle he fought before finally negotiating his peace with an indifferent world.”

While witnesses reported that no one could be sure where the contemplative elder’s wooden block and whittling knife had come from, they agreed some lucky kid somewhere would soon be getting their very own train whistle.

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