These are stories about my father, which also plays into the "great gift for Fathers Day" concept. He's passed now, but he took great pleasure reading his almost true tall tales. Many of the stories feature my grandfather, who Eddie looked up to and admired. I think you'll enjoy them too.*
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How do you handle a crazy jackass? Eddie knows. If you ask Eddie, he'll tell you pigs can fly and show you where to find real mammoth bones. Take his word for it when he tells you always to bet on the bear. These are things he learned while dreaming of becoming a cowboy in West Texas during the Depression. Through Eddie, the hero of "Tales of a Texas Boy," we find that growing up is less about maturity and more about roping your dreams. Hold on tight. It's a bumpy ride. A wonderful read for anyone who enjoys books like "Little House on the Prairie" or "Tom Sawyer." A great bit of nostalgia for seniors, too.
One Fine Dog
Ma yelled loud enough for me to hear into the next state. “Edward Preston! Get yerself in here right now!”
I wondered what it was I done now. I didn’t recall any particular mischief I’d been up to. At least, not today. I finished throwin’ the hay into Beau’s corral and went on the run up to the house.
“Yes’m,” I said soon as I got to the porch where Ma was standin’ with her fists planted on her hips. I reckon you know the look she was givin’ me. If’n your mother called you by your first and middle names, then you know exactly what I’m talkin’ about.
Then, she surprised me ‘cause she smiled. Now, that sure weren’t the normal expression she’d have if she was about to give me what-for. I thought maybe she was just havin’ some fun with me.
“Your Pa is goin’ to pick up the ewes from the Braddock’s place, so go help him get the truck out of the barn.”
I grinned myself and almost shouted “Yes’m!” But, I caught myself in time as Ma doesn’t like us to be yellin’. I took off to the barn to find Pa. He was already pullin’ the tarp off the truck, so I went about helpin’ him finish up. We got behind the truck and pushed ‘er out of the barn. I jumped in behind the wheel. Like Pa taught me, I checked to make sure the hand brake was on, then I checked the spark and gas levers on the steering column. I pulled up on the spark and pushed down on the gas. Pa gave a mighty pull up on the crank. When the engine roared, I pushed the gas lever up a little more.
“You gotta give it more gas a little faster, Eddie.” Pa was tryin’ to teach me how to operate the truck as I was goin’ on eleven, which is plenty old enough to drive. He was takin’ it slower than I’d like. I thought I had the basics down already. Brake. Spark. Throttle. Crank. Throttle. Take off the brake and go!
Then, I got my second surprise of the day when Pa went to the passenger side and got in. Now my grin was gettin’ even wider, but I tried to tuck it down and act growed up. Pa was goin’ let me drive!
I steered out to the road half expectin’ Pa to only let me take the truck that far, but he waved me ahead and we turned left toward the Braddock’s.
I should explain what we were doin’. We have some ewes, but we don’t have a ram. So, in the fall, we bring the ewes to the Braddocks, who do have a ram. We’d just let them winter over with the Braddock flock. Now, it was spring and the hijadores, who came round to help with the lambing, had finished their work. It was time to put the ewes back into our own pastures.
* * *I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from "Tales of a Texas Boy" and consider purchasing an ebook, paperback, or audio book.