I called Him Just-A-Few

I Called Him ‘Just A Few’

We lived on the outskirts of town, not exactly in the country but right in between the two. Far enough out to be considered semi rural but close enough to the city for close neighbors. Since we were not “in town” our streets were not all paved, the one l lived on was gravel. It was only a block and a half to the bus stop so it was not a long walk, but there was a pitfall along the way.

These were my grade school years, you know marbles and tether ball in the spring and summer, snow balls in the winter. Walking home by myself was kind of lonely yes but there was always one sure thing that I could count on every school day. The neighbors up the street from us had a horse and the neighbor on the opposite side had a couple of cows.

Now being a farm kid, this sort of thing really didn’t bother me. I played baseball in the pasture, I lived around a dairy herd, there were chickens, pigs and a even a few geese. What kind of problem could an old flea-bit stable horse be to me? This one had an attitude I guess, because there was not a day that went by he didn’t make sure to greet me.

He was about 200 feet from the corner where the bus dropped off us kids, and I was the only one who went past him on my way home. Why he picked on me, I don’t know. Maybe he thought I had done something to him. This old sway-back would see me coming and would position himself along the fence that ran along the road where I would have to walk. He was very good at determining which way the gentle breeze blew or he just waited until the right moment. Either way, he was not only nasty, he was accurate to within a few feet.

The reason I called him Just a Few was because as I got close, or at the right time he would lift his tail and let her fly, it sounded like “just-a-few”… and gad-free, did it stink! Oh man, every school day, right on schedule he gassed me good. I tried to run by him, I tried to walk across the road away from him, it didn’t matter, he always got me.

I tolerated that old piece of slaughter house reject for almost two years, until those neighbors moved and took old Just a Few with them. Not to say that the new neighbor that moved in were any better, because these new folks were from Arkansas. In that pasture where the horse was, old man Leo Sr. grew field corn, and you’d probably guess why. Yep, Leo Jr. and I found it stashed in the shed one day, it was hot going down and I thought it had a muddy corn taste, what do kids know?.

I do want you to know, I never did anything to that old nag, maybe little Leo did. All I do know was, this really was the occasion for me on that road in my school days. Please come back by and find out more on “What Happens at Pop’s Perspective.”

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Here’s some more fun for you…21 Funny Things You Didn’t Know About Horses!

Barnaby

I was a farm kid in the early years, and some events were comical I thought. This one is one of those episodes. My grandmother was quite religious but granddad, not so much. I didn’t know she was making wine in the kitchen one day when I wandered in to see what was going on.

“Just cooking some grapes to make jelly.” I didn’t give it another thought, making jelly was always a specialty grandmother had and I always enjoyed her soda biscuits with home made jelly. I went on about my business. But wait, what was this little table setting in a corner by the dinning room table? I’m a kid, I’m curious so I go over to see what it is that is under the towel. I was surprised to find a one gallon glass jug and some other weird apparatus attached to it.

I went back to the kitchen to ask about the jug and when I did grandma about popped a cork. She said that if I was to look at that I would go blind, I was to leave that absolutely alone! Of course I just walked away in the opposite direction of the living room and went outside. I wasn’t blind, I had taken a look at it and there was nothing there that I could see that would blind me. When dad was welding out in the shop, it was easy to understand how you could be blinded watching the arc of the welder, but this jug had nothing like that at all. Maybe she was just trying to scare me.

A short time later, when I was messing around on the front porch, I heard a rooster crow. I never gave it another thought, they did that all the time. But the next time he crowed, it went a bit longer like the howl of a dog, that was not usual. This rooster was obviously causing a ruckus for some reason, but it didn’t really bother me all that much. But grandmother, well now that was another story. She was in the kitchen and she could hear the rooster real clear and it didn’t sound right to her.

She came out the front door and asked me to go find out what the heck was the matter with that rooster.

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So I went off to see where he was and to find out what was going on. I could hear him crow, but I couldn’t see him anywhere, it sounded like he was in a pipe or maybe inside a piece of farm equipment that was stored close by. I went through the combine, crawled all over it trying to find that rooster, but he wasn’t in it.

He crows again, and now he sounds like he might be down in the basement, and off to the basement I go. Its dark down there, and damp but no dang rooster anywhere. As I came up the basement stairs he crows again, now it sounds like he might be somewhere over by the trash barrel, but where? Heading toward the trash barrel I heard the flapping of wings, from somewhere close by. It must be that rooster jumping around or trying to get out of that barrel. I was shocked to find the old bird in the bottom of a big pot that was setting next to the trash barrel.

He had gotten up on the edge of the pot and was standing there kinda wobbly, then he does that crazy crow, and falls back into the pot. It only took me a few seconds to figure out why this old bird was crowing so crazily. The bottom of that pot was covered with old dried out grapes from the kitchen that grandmother was making wine out of!

This was hilarious, a drunk rooster! I grabbed him out of there and set him down on the ground. He just sat there and wobbled around, he wouldn’t move. I gave him a kick which made him squawk real loud and off he run. Squawking and flapping, away he went toward the equipment shed where dad and my granddad were working, raising all kinds of a fuss. This drew the attention of grandmother, she had stepped out of the kitchen on the back porch and now saw Barnaby stumbling off down the driveway.

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She asked me what was wrong with that rooster and I told her he was in the big pot eating grapes. Oh boy was she mad, “there is not going be any drunk roosters anywhere around here” and she started hollering for my grandpa Tim. Dad and grandpa came outside to see what was all the fuss all about and saw Barnaby acting crazy. This was funny to them too, because they also thought he was drunk. My uncle had set the pot down by the barrel, he was supposed to put the grapes into the trash. What happened to that poor rooster? Dinner that night was chicken dumplings and green beans with mashed potatoes.

Thinking back on those days is a lot of fun on a hot summer evening setting out on the back deck, listening to all the crickets and frogs.  It brings back memories.  Stop by again and share the shenanigans, adventures and true stories of It’s Pop’s Perspective.

Deer Hunting and the Cougar

Short Story about a cougar, a deer and young hunters in Oregon

As usual, when deer hunting season came, the men in the family all took off hunting. I couldn’t wait for this, it was going to be my first real deer hunting trip. Some would say those days would be bonding moments with your dad. One thing for sure, I do remember this one occasion quite well.

In our group of fellas, there were uncles and some of dad’s friends from work. The air was crisp and the fire felt real good in the morning. Everyone decided where they were going to go and gradually departed in that direction. Dad and I went for the large mound about a quarter mile away, out near an open meadow.

Being young and ambitious I climbed a the mound a little faster than dad could, and as I came up over the top I spotted 4 deer standing in the brush below. Buck fever hit and I panicked, I turned and ran back down the hillside to where dad was coming up. There are some deer just over the ridge I told him, at least 4. “Any bucks he said?” My reply was “I thought I saw one!”

Hurriedly we scurried up the side and slowly came around a big rock. There right below us were 3 Doe and one big antlered buck. When one of the Doe saw us, they all started to scatter. I told dad to shoot, they were getting away! He fired maybe three times and of course he missed. But the excitement, oh my I couldn’t move! Finally, after all the ruckus settled down, he sat down and said “the next time you see a buck, hide and don’t let him see you.”

Later that afternoon when everyone else came back in, we exchanged stories of what we encountered. Dad told everyone about our surprise encounter with the 4 deer over that mound earlier. Dad’s friend Al said he knew something was up because of all the shooting. But no else one had even seen one. My uncle Cecil saw one but it was a Doe and said he didn’t have a Doe tag.

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Just to be clear, this is not a Doe

It was hot that afternoon so it was decided it was time to give it up until the next morning. The boys pulled out a 22 caliber pistol and started to do some target shooting at some old cans they found. After all that was over, I went over and picked up the empty cartridges, just for fun. We built a fire and I dropped several of the cartridges into it, never thinking there would be a problem. After the fire started it didn’t take too long before one of those cartridges exploded with a very loud pop.

Everyone thought it was pine pitch in the wood. But there was a problem, Al had been hit in the lower jaw with a fragment and he thought it was a small piece of rock. When uncle Cecil took a look, he spotted a small piece of brass and said it wasn’t a rock that hit him. They figured it was an old cartridge that had caused it. I felt bad because I knew that it was me who had dumped a couple of old 22 cartridges in the fire. I thought these guys were gonna tie me up and put me in the back of the truck for the rest of the trip, but they eventually calmed down and let me stay outside.

Of course several days later, the group had managed to shoot two bucks and had them hanging from a long log strung between a couple of big trees away from the campsite. Al had the camera and wanted to take pictures. I asked if I could stand between the deer and get my picture taken too. It was alright with everyone else so I walked over and wrapped my arms around the carcasses.

When dad went to pick up those pictures for Al, the guy behind the counter said he had a surprise for him. He came back with an enlargement of one of the photos, the one of me with the deer. He gave the small picture to dad and asked if he saw anything. Dad and I took a look and we didn’t notice anything odd.

The fella put an enlargement up on the counter and pointed to a large branch way up in the tree above the hanging deer . He said “see that?” At first we didn’t see anything but a closer look at the enlarged photo showed it plainly, a big cougar was setting on the branch right above the deer and me. I wish now that I still had that photo.

Read more about the controversy between predator vs. prey from the Oregon Outdoor Council.