Saturday, December 27, 2008

Back on the Farm

I recall an incident that happened back on the farm where I grew up. Grandpa lived with us since Grandma had passed on. Our Daddy was the preacher of the little country church. It was a very devout household and we learned very early on that there was a code of ethics that you lived up to or else. Bad words were on the top of that list. No bad words. Us kids soon learned to follow that rule, but Grandpa just didn’t seem to get the message. I don't think he really cared about the rule because he used them all the time. One time he hooked up a team of horses to a wagon and went to a field. I don’t remember what he was doing, but it doesn’t matter. When he started back to the barn the horses got spooked over something and had a run-away, they took off like flying rockets over ruts and brambles and kicking up clouds of dust a mile high, and the wagon looked like an air born missile. Some of us kids were outside and saw them coming in our direction. We were worried that Grandpa had been thrown out and may be hurt bad because we couldn’t see him in the wagon. We didn’t know how we were going to get the horses stopped. We thought they might even run over us. Well, not to worry, horses are smart because when they saw the house they came to a screeching halt almost at our back door. I don’t know for sure how horses think, but I think they must have thought they were safe now that they were in their own back yard, or maybe they thought the fly that had been chasing them, was no longer a threat. We’ve got to go find Grandpa! About the time we were talking about finding Grandpa, he managed to pull himself up and was standing in the bed of the wagon. This is the point when he began to badmouth the horses with some more of those forbidden bad words. There were some words that our tender young ears had never heard before, he finally ended it with, "I see we finally got here." Maybe you would need to be there to get the humor of it, but we thought that was about the funniest line we had ever heard so we began to snicker and chuckle a little. At the same time Grandpa climbed out of the wagon and staggered around in front of the horses and started shouting those same words to the horses again, in case they had not heard him the first time. He had raised his voice to a full roar. By now we had collapsed into a full-blown laugh seizure. We were laughing so hard we couldn’t stand up. I guess Grandpa must have noticed this because, all at once, he turned his verbal abuse from the horses to us. Grandpa sure knew how to take the humor out of something because we snapped to attention and things began to simmer down and it was back to normal. Grandpa just didn’t have much of a sense of humor.