ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT
AND SOME THAT AIN'T
Howdy folks! This here's ol' Pete and Rosebud comin' at you again!
I had a funny thing happen last week and I don't know just what to think about it. It sorta puzzled me. What it was, I happened to run into Uncle Herman down at Silas's store. He ain't my real uncle, but I always called him that 'cause he's older'n me and my mama and daddy learned us young'uns to call old folks "uncle" or "aunt" out of respect for their age, y'see. Anyway, Uncle Herman said he was worried about me and it sorta took me by s'prise.
"Why're you worried about me, Uncle Herman?" I said.
"You're talkin' way too much to that mule of your'n," he says. "There's a lot of trail riders out right now, people gettin' ready for Western Weekend over in Woodville, and a grown man like you ort not to be talkin' out loud to his mule all the time, specially not out in public where people can hear him. They'll think you're odd."
Well, I didn't know I was talkin' to her. I mean, not that much anyways. I reckon I do talk to Rosebud but if I don't say nothin' atall to her, how's she gonna know what she's s'posed to do? I've got to tell her ever little thing. If I don't, she won't do nothin'. Either that or she'll do 'zactly what I don't want her to do. So I ain't got no choice. I've got to talk to her.
Well, I guess I could carry 'round a pencil and paper and write little notes to her. But that'd be purty awkward, now wouldn't it? Can you pitcher it? Like, we'd be out on the road goin' down to the store, and when we got here, I'd have to write out "whoa" and show it to her. Knowin' her, if I didn't she'd prob'ly just keep right on goin'. No, writin' notes would be a lot odder'n just tellin' her what to do out loud.
Besides, there ain't nothin' wrong with talkin' to her. There ain't nobody else on the place up here. Who else am I gonna talk to? Myself? If I did go around mumblin' to myself all the time, Uncle Herman would have somethin' to worry about. Specially if I got to answerin' myself. But I ain't doin' that. I'm talkin' to my mule and there ain't nothin' strange about it.
I told Rosebud what he said and she was like me. She didn't think it was odd atall. Said it was just one of them quirky things I do. I think that was the word she used, quirky. I don't know exactly what it means, but I don't think it means odd or strange or nothin' like that. I took it to mean that she don't think I'm no odder'n most other human beans. I kinda get the idea she thinks all of us are a little on the odd side. And I don't know that I'd disagree with her.
You want odd? I'll tell you about odd. Take that ol' boy me and Rosebud come across on the road the other day. He was ridin' one of them four wheel motor-sickles like they've got. I say ridin', he wasn't doin' no ridin' when we come up on him. In fact, his four wheeler was danglin' from the end of a steel cable, hangin' from a limb on that big whiteoak down there at the curve. All four of it's wheels was up in the air. He wasn't goin' nowheres, but he was shore givin' it a good talkin' to. He was callin' it things that I can't even tell you about here. Yeah, there he was, standin' there lookin' up at it and givin' it the worst cussin' I ever heard anything get.
Come to find out, he'd been ridin' it up and down the ditch line, playin' in the mud, and buried it plum up and got it stuck. No big deal, he thought, it's got a winch on it. He'd just hitch the cable to that big overhangin' limb up there and winch it right on out. I don't know what his idea was for climbin' the tree and hookin' it to a limb way over his head, but I guess he had his reasons. Anyway, he hooked the cable up, clumb back down and flipped the switch on that 'lectric winch. Then he stood back to watch it do it's thing.
The trouble started as soon as he got it winched out of the mud. The winch wouldn't turn off. Somethin' was the matter with it, y'see. He started flippin' the switch on and off, doin' this, doin that, but it just kept goin' til it pulled the four wheeler plum up off the ground. Then it stopped and he couldn't get it to go back'ards. That was about the time me and Rosebud come along. For the world, it looked like he was fixin' to field dress it. And from the way he was talkin' to it, I reckon he was thinkin' about it.
Now to me that's odd. It's odd that he'd get hisself in a mess like that to start with and odd that he'd stand there and cuss the four wheeler after he did. But when I got down to Silas's store and told 'em about it, there wasn't none of 'em down there acted like they thought it was airy bit odd. And I thought that was a little bit odd. I mean, how often do you come across a four wheeler hangin' in a tree?
And Uncle Herman says I'm odd 'cause I talk to my mule. Ain't nothin' odd about it. It's them other people that's odd, not me. Well, no matter. They can all think I'm odd as a square aig if they want to. Maybe I am. But I ain't fixin' to quit talkin' to my mule. No, I ain't.
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