Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Not Your Run Of The Mill Bad Day - Part 1
(be sure to come back tomorrow for part 2)

It was one of those days when everything seemed to go wrong. But looking back at it now, maybe things went pretty darn right. In fact if I had the day to live over I'd most likely only change a thing or three.

There were a few early hints that it was shaping up to be a long day, like the mouse that had spent the night in my boot and bit my big toe when I kicked him in the noggin. Who'd of thought a little bitty critter like that could tear out such a big chunk of flesh? Of course the coffee boiled over by the time I got the bleeding stopped and fed the varmint to my dog Chester.

We'd planned this day for weeks, and if I'd have been paying attention to the sky when I limped to the barn to saddle up, I might've noticed this might not be such a great day for a picnic. But I didn't look up because I was trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with my horse Alamo. I'd spent the evening grooming and brushing him, so he'd shine for the festivities you understand. Not only did it appear he'd spent the night rolling and romping in the only mud hole for thirty miles around, he was lame on his left front. He stood looking at me all long faced holding that bad foot up with a twisted grimace painted on his muddy face.

Now a wiser man may have reasoned by now that this was shaping up to be a day when decisions should be made carefully. But I've never been accused of being a wise man. I had to make a choice between my old trustworthy mule, Frank, or a flashy young upstart paint stud I hadn't gotten around to hanging a moniker on yet and was just calling, Hot-Shot. After taking a close look at Alamo and finding no reason for his being lame, other than he wanted the day off, I decided to give ol' Hot-Shot a try. This too was done after disregarding what might've been another hint. Frank was as clean and shiny as new born foal, and I could've saddled up and been on my way in a minute. But who the heck wants to ride a mule to a picnic with his Gal? Especially when you've got to ride up to the boss's porch, in front of all the other hands to pick up your date. Thinking back I've considered it must have been Hot-Shot's idea for the mud bath. It took an entire half hour to make him presentable. Why he had more mud caked on his black-and-white hide than the walls of a two room adobe hut!

We set out only an hour later than planned and I was confident ol' Hot-Shot would settle down after a few miles of running, tossing, pitching and squealing. I do recall thinking it was a good thing Molly was fixing the picnic basket because I don't believe it would have survived the first hundred yards of Hot-Shot's fine tuning. But by the time the ranch headquarters came into to view he'd calmed right down to a nice ground-covering trot that Chester had no trouble keeping up with.

We'd been going along for a little better than an hour by then and Hot-Shot was moving so smooth and graceful I lost myself in a jolly tune I was whistling, and thoughts of sweet Molly and her fried chicken. She'd asked what my favorite picnic lunch was, but I never ate anything since I was a little tike that wasn't of my own fixing or out the back of a chuck wagon, and remembering my mama's fried chicken, I'd said, "Fried Chicken."

It was about that time, a quarter mile from the ranch house, that I remembered how Hot-Shot hated wagons ....
--- Check in tomorrow to find out about Molly, the picnic and those wagons ...

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