This weeks Theme for Theme Thursday is Fence. As in “give me land lots of land under sunny skies above, don’t fence me in…” Now that I have given you that nice little ear worm that is what got me thinking about today’s story. I know you think I’ve had an interesting life but honestly it doesn’t hold a candle to Trooper Bob. He is a quintessential story teller and 99% of them might be true but all of them are interesting. He shared this story with me some time ago and honestly I don’t remember the names but I remember the jist of the tale and I’m sharing my version with you. So in order to get off the fence and get this thing done, read here then go on over to Theme Thursday and find what my cohorts have offered.
This happened long before Trooper Bob became Trooper Bob. It was back when he was just plain Bob. He had aspirations of being a lawman. He could picture himself a real life Pat Garret or Bat Masterson. He imagined himself riding the range wrangling cattle rustlers and bringing in the train robbers. He was a Texan through and through. He proudly wore his handmade Luchasse boots and sported his Stetson hat. He was always mindful of someday being a real life Texas Ranger.
It was a pretty fall afternoon and Bob and his buddies were trying to make it through Coach Blackburn’s math class. Their eyes kept shifting to the golden hue of the autumn day and what they could be doing if they didn’t have to solve for X. The bell rang and there was a great cacophony of desk banging and feet shuffling as Bob and his buddies ran down the steps and out to the parking lot. Sonny and Ted had already made it to the Dodge pick-up as the rest of the boys piled in the back. They dug in the cooler and pulled out some iced down Nehi grape sodas and few stray Pearl beers. They hooped and hollered as they bounced over the railroad tracks and headed down Mockingbird and out of town. They had their shotguns ready, it was Quail season, and they were going to go shoot something.
Ted shifted the truck and stepped on the gas as the boys in the back told stories and felt the rush of the crisp air on their faces. “Hey Mack, whatcha gonna do with that rope? Lasso a Bob White?” Bob yelled making himself heard over the roar of the engine. Mack sat on the side of the truck bed and spit out a thin dark stream of tobacco juice “nope, I figured I’d get in some ropin practice.” The truck left the asphalt and skidded onto the caliche road. The boys held on as they fishtailed left then right. Freddie pounded on the top of the cab “hey watcha tryin to do? Dump us out?” Sonny turned and laughed with a thumbs up then grabbed the wheel and pulled hard to the left and then to the right causing the boys to almost topple out. It was a great day and everyone was having a fine time.
Mack gathered up his rope, made his noose and began to toss in the direction of the cedar fence post which held the strands of barbed wire along side the road. The boys got into the rhythm of it calling “wait, wait, NOW!” each time Mack would toss the rope towards the cedar post and each time he would miss. “Well you ain’t much of a goatie-roper are you?” they would taunt. Mack would spit a stream of tobacco juice and wind up his rope again. S
Sonny watching in the rear view mirror poked Ted “look at that dumb-ass. Let’s slow down a bit and make it easier for him.” Sonny left off the accelerator and watched in the mirror as once again Mack wound up his lariat and made a pass.
Low and behold this one took hold. Mack watched in elation as the noosed flew from his hand and made a perfect circle around the cedar post. He watched with fascination as the rope unwound and became taut. Then they all watched as that cedar post held fast into the ground and Mack went flying from the back of the truck. They all hooted and hollered for Sonny to stop.
The truck came to a sliding stop with dust and gravel billowing upward. Bob and Fred jumped from the bed of the truck and started running toward Mack as Sonny got the truck turned around. Bob reached Mack first and found him picking gravel from his bloody face. “Mack, you aheight? You look messed up!” Mack shook his head side to side belched “I think a swallered my tobacky.” Bob dusted off Mack's hat and put it on his head “Mack, I think you better stick to ropin steers, them fence post are a little too honery for you.” Mack dusted off his ripped and dirty dungerees “Yep, they don’t give like a steer do.”
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