Lazy Days of Summer
by Fast Eddie
I grew up spending my summers on my grandparent's farm, tucked up in the NE corner of Texas. In that area there's little for a youngster to do, save fieldwork! And that didn't appeal too much to me during my summer vacations.
Now don't misunderstand, my grandparents were some of the finest people I'd ever known. They spoiled me at every turn..apple & peach cobbler, fried chicken, mashed potatoes..well, you get the idea.
But, between all those delights, there just wasn't much to do on a working farm...especially if you didn't want to work!
Attack of the Beast
In the barn leaping from one hay bale to another, I must have stepped on one of the tails of the many cats that hung around farmhouses. This old critter reached up and put a 6-in. gash in my shin. That was a big mistake! For the cat, I mean!
I decided to teach this angry feline a thing or two. At age 10, a boy can conjure up a multitude of ideas. And I came up with the whopper of all time, I thought.
Cats in the Cradle
A farm in those days had no inside plumbing. All water came from a well with a windmill. Restroom facilities weren't in the warmth of the home..rather outside 25 yards away where a covered little house stretched over a deep and dark hole in the ground nearly 15 feet down. I'm sure you know what I mean!
This screeching feline beast was on his way to a real experience. Yes..I dropped him down the pit, slammed the door and within 15 minutes forgot all about him.
"Edddddieeee..Edddddieeee", I could hear my Grammie calling (Texas has a way of slurring every word). I came running to the call of this most wonderful and loving soul. A deeply religious lady that I'd loved and respected greatly. "Honeee, have you seen the gray and white cat?", she asked. Oops.in a flash my memory came flooding back. In fact, I could hear faint screeches coming from the outhouse direction. "No, Grammie. I haven't". Oh boy; I'd never lied to her in my life!
Well, Grammie knew better and gently asked me to come to the outhouse with her to see what the noise was. Never raising her voice, she said, "Edddddieeee, what's that down in the hole?" Knowing full well, I peeked inside that smelly pit that had probably been in the same spot for 25 years. Floating in the bottom, trying to climb up the sides and producing a very slight and faint squeal was this vicious beast that put a bloody stripe down my leg.
Gently, Grammie said, "Honeee, I think you'd better get the ladder and bring the cat up". Oh, Lord; can you imagine? I wedged the ladder through the door and down the pit. Somehow climbing down without succumbing to the aromas, grabbed the cat by the back of its' neck and marched up as quickly as I could.
From that day forward, I haven't returned to any outhouse. I don't much care for cats either! Sense of smell can be a real reminder of moments in time.
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