Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Great Dads' Day Gift

Fathers Day is coming up (June 19th). If your dad is in the same generation as my father who grew up in the 20's and 30's, experienced WWII as an adult, and is fond of stories set in rural America, this is a book he will enjoy. Also, if he's sight-impaired, it's available in a Large Print paperback and audio book.

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.

Here's a bit on some of the stories. Here are the buy links:
Ebook:  Kindle Ebook - Buy the ebook for only $2.99 and get the audio book for $1.99 only at Amazon.
Large Print Paperback Amazon
Audiobook (also available through $6.95


Rattlesnakes and Jack Rabbits

Domestic livestock weren’t the only animals that the farmers and ranchers had to deal with. The wildlife of the region didn’t hide out in the bushes all the time. Sometimes they were pretty much in your face. Rattlesnakes came to the farms to catch the rats and mice that populated granaries. Rabbits also took a liking to the easy pickings. Both animals, rattlesnakes and jackrabbits, ended up being a nuisance that the local farmers and ranchers had to control.

I was going along pretty slow, so I wouldn’t step in a snake hole when I heard the squeal of a rabbit in pain. A lot of folks don’t realize rabbits make a sound like that. It’d send shivers up your spine. I went quick toward the sound and found a bullsnake at least six-foot long if he were an inch. He was all coiled around a baby cottontail and his mouth was gaped open holdin’ onto the rabbit. The poor little rabbit was half down its gullet, but the snake made the mistake of tryin’ ta swallow it from the rear instead of the head. The cottontail was strugglin’ and screamin’ so much the snake looked downright annoyed.

Now, we don’t hunt bullsnakes, as they’re the natural enemy of rattlesnakes. And, we don’t hunt cottontails, as they weren’t big enough to do much harm. We pretty much left them both alone. The sound of the little rabbit’s screaming just ‘bout broke my heart. I run up to them and stepped down on the snake’s neck just back of the lump that was the rabbit’s rear end. That stopped the swallowing, but now I wasn’t sure what to do. I laid down my .22, grabbed the cottontail by the ears and commenced pullin’. A bullsnake’s teeth point backwards, so the rabbit was pretty much stuck in the snake’s mouth.

I was tuggin’ and the rabbit’s cryin’ and the snake’s whippin’ round trying to get my foot off’n his neck. No progress was being made by any of the three of us.

My Pa heard the rabbit, too, and he came running over and saw the fix I’d got myself into. He started to laugh some, but when he looked me in the eyes, he stopped right quick. He started pryin’ the snake’s mouth open trying to unhook the teeth from the rabbit. I let up pullin’ to allow Pa to work the rabbit loose.

Soon enough, we’d got the rabbit out of the snake’s mouth and Pa set the little guy down easy. I reached down and grabbed the bullsnake by the neck where I’d been standing and flung him as far as I could. He hit the ground slithering and was gone in a second. Pa and me took a look at the cottontail, which looked somewhat bedraggled. He was laying there pantin’ and started tryin’ to pull hisself with his front legs. It looked like he’d got a broke back and I thought we’d have to put him out of his misery.

Pa picked up his .22 and started to draw a bead on the cottontail’s head when it looked up at him with those big ol’ eyes. He stayed his hand. “Maybe he’s just stunned,” he said.

While we stood there watchin’ the rabbit, a couple of the men came up to see what we’d found. Pa told them about the bullsnake and they thought it a pretty good joke I’d try to save a rabbit from a snake.

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I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from "Tales of a Texas Boy" and consider purchasing an ebook, paperback, or audio book.

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