January 27, 2012

Country Characters

Characters. Small towns are full of them and our small town is tiny enough to have characters in abundance.

I just happened to glance out the window as I passed by. What I beheld outside stopped me in my tracks. Frank (His name has been changed to protect his identity. I don't know if he reads my blog!) was standing in the middle of the road staring at the car stopped before him. I wondered briefly if he had been drinking. I could tell he wanted to walk past the vehicle, but every time he tried, the car moved to block him. Frank moved left, the car moved left. Frank moved to the right, and the car did the same. He backed up, the car inched it's way toward him.

"What in the world?" I exclaimed. Hearing me, the children gathered at the window, voicing their questions and concerns, everyone speaking at once.

"Mom, what is Frank doing in the road?"
"Is that car trying to run him over?"
"Nah! Frank's too big. The car would be totaled."
"Frank's making his move! He's going for the fence!"
"I didn't know Frank could jump, did you?"
"He can't do it. The fence is too high."
"I can't look."
"He did it! He's over!"
"No, wait! He's down! Frank fell."
"He can't get up. Is his leg broken?"
"Oh no! Poor Frank."
"This is awful!"

Frank was indeed down. He'd landed hard on his side, legs flailing in the air - all four of them. Did I forget to mention that Frank is a steer? Well he is. Was. Is. I think... I haven't seen him today. Anyway...

With great relief, we watched Frank heave himself up and to his feet, uh, hooves. He took a few hesitant steps then stopped to shoot an indignant look at the farmer who was just getting out of his car. How had he escaped this time? The farmer seemed to be thinking the same thing and began to walk the fence line, looking for a break. Frank stood his ground, continuing to give the farmer dirty looks.

Tired of all the attitude, the farmer waved his arms and shouted at the naughty steer. Frank took off, prancing up the field, nose in the air, apparently mocking the poor farmer.

"You didn't foil my escape plans. I wanted to come back. So there!"

The fence was fixed and a few minutes later we watched the rest of the herd enter the field from the gate closest to the barn. Seeing Frank they rushed toward him, but as they drew near lost courage and began to thin out, reaching him not as a group, but rather in a single file line. Frank's nose was still in the air.

Not sure if Frank was in a talking mood, the beast nearest him began by clearing his throat.

"Ahem. Umm... Hey, Frank. Soooo, how's it goin'? Ummm... I see you're still here. Me and the boys were just wondering if you were planning to head out again... later."

Frank didn't so much as twitch his tail. Uncertain how to continue, the steer standing nearest turned to the others behind him.

"He's not talkin'. Now what?"

Frank had had enough of such foolishness. Attempting to preserve what was left of his dignity, he lowered his head and charged the steer who had the nerve to speak to him. The entire herd (sans Frank) ran back to the gate as quickly as they could, begging the farmer to let them back into the barn. Frank, with the field all to himself again, turned his back on them. What was going through his mind after that we may never know. He remained silent for the rest of the afternoon.

Of course, I am of the opinion he used that time to plot his next escape.

Only time will tell...

by Gary Larson


Anonymous said...

I've missed your posts so much, but this one was worth waiting for! Not what I was expecting...life in the country has so many unexpected perks, doesn't it? Thanks again for your creative insights on the humorous side of life. Love you!

Anonymous said...

I am extremely glad that you've answered a question that I've had for years: "Where do beef Franks come from?"

Your insight/insights really incites/incite an appreciation of creativity and humor which can be found in the little gifts which are to be found in ever day life.

As a Pop of a brood of eight, it is always an amazing thing to see how own children have grown up through similar experiences and are still finding their own memories in the lives they've chosen.

You seem to enjoy each day's joys and struggles.

Be Well in all that you do!!!