Stories From My Childhood

Discussion in 'Tall Tales & Fabrications' started by Ted Richards, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. Ted Richards

    Ted Richards Well-Known Member
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    Almost as good……

    When I was about seven, I desperately wanted a horse, but we were poor and horses were expensive, however, burros were not, so my dad bought a burro for $5. and he was almost as good as a horse, at least for a little guy.

    I had a bridle but no saddle; it didn't matter, I rode him bareback, that is, as soon as I could find something high enough to stand on to mount. Then the battle started, he didn't often buck, he simply didn't do anything, mainly, he didn't go. I quickly learned that he would only do something if it was his idea. Greatest psychology teacher I ever had! When he did go, it was toward low-hanging branches that would wipe me off his back.

    One time the gate was left open and he ran away with the neighbor’s burro. The neighbor kid and I eventually found them both wandering the gravel-surface highway that serviced our farms. We managed to rope both of them and he led the way up the road toward home with his burro in tow. Mine decided he wanted to be with his new pal and trotted forward putting me behind him. I was tugging on his rope and yelling "Whoa!" to slow him down and that frightened him, so he began to run, faster than I could run, and the rope was tangled around my index finger and I couldn't let go, so I was screaming and pretty quick, I was being drug face-first down the middle of a gravel road. Then he came abreast of the other kid and donkey, and left the road to drag me through the desert and cactus. About then my friend also grabbed the rope and between us we had enough weight to stop him. I was in pretty bad shape having lost a good deal of skin on my front side. We headed for home and didn't bother with trying to catch the burros again. I think that was about the time I started to yearn for a bicycle.
     
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  2. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Ted Richards "Stories From My Childhood"

    Ahhh.....Ted, you've no idea perhaps of the extent of the magnitude of content of response you may receive.....Not being negative, understand, we may just not get any sleep for a few days, that's all! But, before more, please explain, where did this occur, regarding the desert and cactus? Frank\

    EDIT: Is there desert in Canada?
     
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  3. Ted Richards

    Ted Richards Well-Known Member
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    I grew up on a farm in southwestern New Mexico. It was a semi-desert climate, irrigated farming.

    Yes, there are desert areas in British Columbia around Kamloops to Ashcroft and Osoyoos in the Okanagon.
     
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  4. Ted Richards

    Ted Richards Well-Known Member
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    When I was a youngster, I lived on a small farm. I didn’t have any playmates at home, so the neighbors on the next farm across the canyon, were a powerful attraction because they had lots of kids, one of their own and five or six foster kids. Foster kids came and went so the kid population varied a bit but was interesting because there was always someone new to get acquainted with.

    One of the adults living there was an older “uncle” and he decided that he should teach us all how to box and to that end, provided a two huge pairs of puffy boxing gloves for us to wear. The next problem was to provide us with an enclosure, a boxing “ring”. The most obvious place was the corrals used to pen cattle. In that corral complex there was one small unit used to pen calves while the cows were being milked. This then, would be our boxing ring, the rails lined with non-combatants kibitzers, shaded by giant cottonwoods, and a soft surface of dry powdered cow dung on the ground. Did I mention the cow dung? It was several inches thick and provided a relatively soft surface to fall in and a powerful incentive to stay on your feet.

    All of us at that time were between seven and nine years old, a perfect age to teach us the rudiments of boxing, and a great way to keep active kids out of trouble. True to his word, “Uncle” taught us a lot of the rules and techniques, “keep your guard up”, “keep your elbows in”, “no hitting below the belt”, that sort of thing, and after a while, our skills improved and we began to land some telling punches occasionally. In the process, I was knocked down a few times, and a few times I hit face first and came up spitting you-know-what out of my mouth. I tried not to think about it, but our floor mat was always on my mind, especially since this corral was still in use and fresh manure appeared daily. That wonderful incentive program made me a much better boxer.
     
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  5. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Ha ha Ted - wonderful stories :)
     
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  6. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    I always enjoy reading stories about other people's childhood and adventures. I miss @Bill Boggs stories.
     
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  7. Ted Richards

    Ted Richards Well-Known Member
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    A Real Cowboy…..


    When I was older and we lived on the new place, Dad went off to work and left me a little job to do; he wanted me to burn the weeds off a patch of ground that he intended to plow. I tried to burn them off but they weren’t quite thick enough to continue burning. It occurred to me that if I could just drag the weeds flat, then they probably would continue to burn. Now, how to do that, well, we had a milk cow, and a horse collar, and lots of rope, and there is that old iron bedstead that I could use for the drag, so all I needed to do was assemble it all and hitch up the cow, so I did.

    The cow wasn’t too keen on the idea but tolerated the harnessing and everything proceeded smoothly until I coaxed here forward with the lead rope, then all hell broke loose! The drag began to follow her and that was frightening and then it followed faster as she started to run and was obviously chasing her everywhere and she panicked into a gallop that had the bedstead clanking and rattling and threatening her at every move…… Yes, I had a runaway on my hands, or rather out of hand as the lead rope had long since burned through them.

    Finally the bedstead hooked on a stump, the horse collar broke, and she was free of that contraption. The bedstead was pretty bent up, the horse collar broken, and the ropes were now knotted impossibly tight. What to do? Fortunately the whole mangled heap was located next to our fence line and just a few feet away on the other side of the fence, was a an abandoned dug-well. That presented a pretty obvious solution, so I dumped all the junk in that well and replaced the boards on top.

    Did I mention that it was also my job to milk the cow twice a day? That evening I managed to coax her into the corral with a little extra grain and hay. I got the lead rope back and examined her, she was a little skinned up and tender in places, but otherwise, okay. She didn’t give much milk that evening though.
     
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  8. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    I have worked on soe of those Southwestern New Mexico farms, in fact, lived in New Mexico several years, You write good stories. i admire a good story teller.
     
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