Friday, March 3, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 57th Installment

to even the odds. He just stood his ground and glared at them. They had another confab, then turned and fled into the desert, probably realizing that a goose was not worth killing a farmer. Wise choice. They didn’t try again.

It was later that day when Russ and I heard Vern telling Edith the story about the hunters. We had some time before chores and were playing catch trying to throw the hardball fast enough that the catcher would miss or at least yowl in pain. Pete wandered into our competition followed by his antelope. Two visitors in two weeks! I wondered: What is the farm becoming, Grand Central Station, with all the people milling around? However, the antelope was welcome. Pete explained his dad had told him Idaho is currently the home to the native pronghorn, which is not officially recognized as an antelope; folks just mistakenly call them that. This pronghorn was tame because Pete’s Uncle Corky had seen the birth and believed the mother had abandoned it. After waiting a few minutes, he went to check on the fawn, and it sprang up and ran away! Corky was so surprised he took off after it, and after several quick turns and all out sprints, he caught it. I have heard that his feat was astonishing because the locals say, “When a pronghorn is first born a white man can’t catch it, after thirty minutes an Indian can’t catch it, after an hour nothing can catch it!”

What’s up Petey?” I asked.

Nothing,” Pete moaned. My dad wants to send me to my Uncle Corky’s place all summer to help on his farm.”

What’s wrong with that?” Russ asked. “You get paid don’t you?”

Room and board plus some spending money is all,” Pete whined.

That’s all, that’s all? All we get is a place to sleep, a hunk of bread, and a kick in the pants if we don’t work fast and hard enough.” I acted offended.

You’re a liar…’Liar, liar pants on fire,” Pete sang out.

Hey Petey, you’re not a bad singer,” I said. “Look at me; do I look like I don’t get enough to eat?”

Truth is, we’re loved and we eat very well – and it’s true that any money we earn goes into the strong box safe for college,” Russ explained maybe a little embarrassed that we didn’t get our earnings.

What do you need money for on a farm anyway?” I added. “Are you going to play penny ante poker with the sheep or the cows?”

Oh shut up, Casey,” Russ growled. “Sometimes you take things too far! Come on Pete. I want to show you what we’ve done on the Whiz Gizzy.” I followed along and the pronghorn followed me.

What’s a Whiz Gizzy?” Pete asked.

We arrived under the spreading cottonwood tree, our ‘shop’. Yeah, an outdoor shop but a good

500 more words tomorrow

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