Snippet from Always in My Heart

T.J. had invited his friend, Sam, over to the farm on Saturday. The seven-year-old  boys had finished their noon meal and were ready to go outside to play again…..

T.J. and Sam followed the men out and walked toward the barn. They had spent time before dinner preparing for a good old corn cob fight, and they had their ammunition tucked away in various hiding places. They looked at each other, nodded, and ran for it. The fight was on; running, throwing, ducking, hiding, hunting, all the time ready to let a cob fly at the other guy. It was more fun than snowball fights in the winter.

When they tired of that game, they sat down to rest a bit. T.J. noticed old Sadie out in the barnyard. “That has to be the most mule-headed cow there ever was,” he informed Sam.

“Ah, cows aren’t stubborn, they’re too stupid to be stubborn,” Sam disagreed.

“Well, Sadie is,” T.J. insisted. “You can’t get her to do anything she doesn’t want to. Just try to get her to move out of your way. There’s no budging her!”

“I bet I could get her to move if I wanted too.”

“I bet you couldn’t!”

“Could so.”

“Could not.”

“Yes, I could.”

“Then prove it, let’s see if you can get her to give you a ride.”

“Sure I can,” Sam stood and walked over to the cow where she was standing next to the fence. He talked quietly to her, rubbed her neck, and then he grabbed hold of the back of her neck and swung onto her back. “You’re going to give me a nice ride, aren’t you, Sadie, old girl?” He kicked her in the ribs and nudged her with his knees. She turned and walked slowly, making her way through the muddy barnyard.

“See, I told you,” Sam called out. He sat a bit higher and gave T.J. a triumphant stare. “Good old, Sadie,” he said and patted her.

Sadie walked straight over to the small pond of runoff water that had been there so long it had turned green and was full of sloppy mud and cow manure. With a quick twist, she threw Sam right into the slop.

Sam landed on all fours, up to his elbows in the nasty mess, the foul muck splashed in his face and all over him. T.J. couldn’t help it; it was so funny he had to laugh.

There Sam stood, right in the middle of the puddle, dripping, and watching T.J. break up with laughter. Finally, he said, “Okay, that’s enough.”

That made T.J. laugh even harder, he bent over and roared until his sides hurt and tears ran down his face. “I told you that’s enough,” Sam warned. Again, it just made it funnier and T.J. couldn’t make himself stop laughing.

Sam had had it; he ran his hand down his arm until he had a handful of slop and flung it. T.J. had only enough time to turn around before he was splattered. Now Sam laughed too and waded out of the puddle.

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