Sunday, March 12, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 65th Installment

escape. Drive them now; don’t try to kill them. There’ll be plenty of time for killing when the driving is done and you get close to the pen. Now go!”

Wow, we’re in Barney’s army now, not behind a plow,” Wade sang out. “Listen to Sergeant Barney – hurry up and wait – line up – keep marching straight – hup, two three four – hup, two three four.” We all hooted, laughed and sang along. Everyone was in place and the line was moving along nicely. We had just connected with the other group of drivers coming from the south. Russ and I were adjacent in line as we had planned. Like always, we did everything together. We were our best, and most times, each other’s only friend – and I liked it like that.

I hit one with my throwing stick, but the bugger got up and limped off,” I shouted to Russ.

Yeah, I hit a couple also,” he shouted back, one upping me again as usual.

The lines were closing in a little in the wide funnel, and as luck would have it, we came upon about twenty Pronghorn in a little swale. Fate was again our comical co–conspirator, because the point that was opening up in the line to let the pronghorns out was where the Southerners stood. They didn’t move out of the way and were confused about what the other people were doing.
Hey! What ya‘ll people doing? The Jack–a–lopes are getting away! Come on Sidney lets get um,” The beefier guy screamed and tore out after the Pronghorns. The Sidney character cut across at a diagonal to the fleeing herd and with a shout threw his stick, and he actually bounced the stick off the back of one of the escaping Pronghorns. After a short sprint it was obvious they weren’t going to catch up to the Pronghorns. They came together and were coughing and panting for breath with their hands on their knees. This was when they noticed a few dozen farm folks laughing and pointing at them.

Some of the guys were yelling, “You see that! Those fools – what you guys doing? You have to live in the city to be that stupid. That’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in years.”
The city slickers realized they’d been had – the butt of a great bit of farm humor. They shouted back insults about “hayseeds – yokels – and something about cousins marrying cousins,” until they were out of earshot heading for their little car.

Barney yelled, “Enough! Get back in a straight line. It’s over. Let’s remember why we’re here and go about our business!”

It wasn’t long until the line closed in, and we were getting shoulder to shoulder advancing right and left into the pen. The thousands of jackrabbits were swarming now running together in a pack. They seemed like a solid foot–high, thick mass of animals circling with nowhere to go.

500 more words tomorrow

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