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!
Well, Christmas is just about here-the middle of next week-and, as usual, I ain't ready. I reckon everbody in Gump Holler's ready 'cept me. I put everthing off to the last minnit. But somehow or other I always manage to get everthing done. I guess that sounds strange to some people, specially them that gets their Christmas shoppin' all done way early. You know what I mean, them Christmas early birds that go around with their I'm-done-with-Christmas-shoppin' grins pasted on. But I bet they'd wipe them smug looks off if they had to get a Christmas present for a mule.
I mean, what are you s'posed to get for a mule? Somethin' to wear? A nice dress maybe? A pair of pants? Yeah, I'd like to see that. I'd like to see you go in some store down there at that mall in town and tell the clerk you want to see about gettin' a nice Christmas dress for your mule. Or about anything else for your mule as far as that goes. You know what they'd do? Sure, you do. They'd tell you to hit the road.
Okay, we've ruled out clothes, but how 'bout some nice jewelry? You don't have to tell 'em nothin' about it bein' for a mule. But it can't be no fanger ring. Mules ain't got no fangers, y'know. And it can't be any kind of pin either. What're you gonna put it on? Rosebud wouldn't go for pinnin' somethin' to her hide. And the same goes for earrings. Them little clip-on things would fall right off and I know she ain't gonna go for gettin' no holes poked in her ears. But there's other kinds of jewelry, you say. How about a nice necklace? Or a bracelet? You don't have to punch no holes to wear them things.
Well, a bracelet is a possibility. She's been droppin' some hints that she'd like to have one. I got her a wristwatch once, one of them little girly-lookin' ones, all fancy lookin' with shiny glass diamonts all over it. And I got one with a stretchy band so she could slip it on over her hoof and wear it on her front laig. Then, when she wanted to see what time it was, she could just bend over and look at it. It sounded like a good idea. Rosebud likes girly stuff like that so I figgered she'd like a watch. And I was right. She did. I think she may have liked it better than anything I ever got her.
So, you say, if she liked it so much, why not get her the bracelet? Well, I'll tell you why. There was a problem with the watch. The first thing she done, she sprung all the little springs in the band tryin' to get it to stretch it out enough to go over her big ol' hoof. Then, with the springs sprung, it wouldn't tighten up like it was s'posed to and it just sorta dangled there at the end of her laig. It didn't have no stretch left in it at all and the watch part ended up draggin' on the ground. As soon as I saw that, I got a real bad feelin' about it. I don't know how, but I knowed somethin' was gonna go wrong.
Oh, it wasn't that Rosebud didn't like it no more. No, she was just as proud of it as she could be. The band was all stretched out, but that didn't matter to her. Not one bit. She pranced around with it on, lookin' down at it, cockin' her laig this way and that, watchin' the little glass diamonts sparkle in the light. She couldn't have liked it no better if they'd been real diamonts instead of them little glass ones. Like I said, I think she liked it better'n anything I ever got her.
Then my bad feelin' come true. Bless her heart, one day when she was wearin' it, she accidental stepped on it. I guess she forgot about havin' it on or somethin' and was walkin' along and it flopped on the ground and her big ol' hoof come down on it. And of course that busted it all to pieces. She looked down at it and I could just see the hurt in her eyes. It broke her heart. The thing she'd been proudest of was now just. . . well, just junk. It would've still been okay if it'd just broke a little, enough to make it stop runnin' but so that it still looked like a watch, but that wasn't what happened. The back popped off and all its little watch-guts squirted out and just hung there. I'm tellin' you, it was awful.
I thought she was gonna cry but she didn't. She just stood there lookin' down at it for the longest, not movin', not sayin' nothin'. Then, ever so slow, she retch down and picked it up and carried it back to the house. She put it in the box it had come in and took it to the barn and put it with all the other treasures she's got squirreled away down there. Sometimes when I'm out in the back yard, I'll see her down there lookin' at somethin'. I figger it's that pore little dead watch, but it's too far away to tell. And I won't ask her.
So, my friends, there won't be no Christmas bracelet for Rosebud. Not from me. But don't worry, I've got somethin' else real good thought up to get her. And I'll get it, but not just yet. I've plenty of time.
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