Smart little Bandy Hen

One of my favorite stories is about Uncle Charlie, and his pickup truck.  He had a little Bandy hen (that is a breed of chickens that doesn’t grow very tall but they have a lot of spunk, could be said they have the little man syndrome.  Think they are ten foot tall and bullet proof, very independent.)  Oh I have to mention that the little hen had lost sight in one eye, so she walked sideways so the good eye could see everything going on around her.  She walked with her head held high and always extra alert.

With the loss of the one eye, she probably had a hard time flying up in a tree and landing on a limb to sleep for the night.  She was also extremely independent refusing to go into the hen house at sundown to be closed up for the night for protection from predators.  Somehow she discovered a little spot on Uncle Charlie’s pickup, in the bed, way up near the cab under the toolbox. At sunset we could see her fly up on his pickup and make her way through the debris and tools and disappear down into her nest.   Uncle Charlie was a carpenter and had a little of almost everything he had ever used in his work on the back of that pickup.  It just looked like a pile of stuff but it was organized. He knew where everything was when he needed it.   No one else could find a thing, unless he directed the search.

Uncle Charlie was not a fast man anymore at this stage of life, probably never was, so in the mornings the little hen always had lots of time to get out of the pickup before he left the farm, either before Uncle Charlie got into the pickup or when he stopped to open and close the gate at the main road.  At any rate she was always  out without any attention from Uncle Charlie.  He would just see her doing her thing, a good arrangement for both.

As fate would have it, one morning for some reason, either the little hen slept late or Uncle Charlie got up early.  But the real problem was that the gate at the road was already open and Uncle Charlie drove through the gate and did not stop to close it.  Once he had started the pickup, he left the farm without a stop;  never thinking about the little hen.  He drove about five miles to his first stop sign at the intersection of 414 and Hwy 77, at Country Corner.  When he stopped the pickup, the little hen flew out and ran like the wind.  She was scared and confused; uninterested in Uncle Charlie calling her to come back.

At that time Country Corner was a little beer and soda water joint where the owner and his family lived in the back of the store.  They had a few chickens running around, so every evening that week as he drove past, Uncle Charlie looked at the chickens to see if he could see his little hen.  He kinda missed her company; but he never saw her.  As he had no intention of chasing the hen to capture her to take her home, he did not stop.  After all, during the week, Uncle Charlie didn’t make a habit of stopping there.  But Fridays were different.  On Friday evening on his way home from work he almost always stopped and treated himself to some liquid refreshment, German Soda Water.  Most of the male population in the area also stopped for a cool brew on Friday.   Oh my,  when Uncle Charlie drove up that Friday evening there were about 15 to 20 pickups in the parking area.

About sundown he was sitting facing an open window, talking to his friends, and finishing his refreshment.  He saw his little hen passing by the window.  She was walking like usual with her head held high, leading with her good eye like she had a destination in mind.  Staying out of her sight, he watched her.  She went out to the parking area and started sizing up the pickups there.  Didn’t take long, she spotted his pickup, walked up to his pickup (out of all those pickups) jumped up on his pickup bed, and crawled down into her nest and then they rode home together.  He didn’t stop till they got to their farm.  He thought she would fly out when they got to the farm.  But no, she slept there all night and got up in the morning like nothing had happened.

If she went to check out the parking lot at sundown on Friday, it would stand to reason, that during that week, the little hen probably went out in that same parking lot every evening about sundown and checked out the pickups.  When she did not find his pickup, she had to find a place to hide to sleep or subjected herself to going into the chicken pen with the other chickens to find safety to avoid being eaten by predators.  So I can imagine how glad she was to see his pickup on that Friday evening.  I bet she said “I knew he would come back for me!”

 

 

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“Fancy”

In this story, a mother and daughter were members of a religious group that believes in accentuating natural beauty, no self-aggrandizement, no make up and simple clothes.  Both mother and daughter used the same gynecologist and made their yearly exam appointment on the same day so they could go together.  The mother came to the daughter’s house and they left from there.

The daughters appointment was first.  When the mother came back into the waiting room after her appointment, she was very upset.  She encouraged the daughter to her feet by taking her arm and pulling her up as they headed to the door.  The mother said, under her breath, “I am never coming back here, I have never been so humiliated in all my life”.  The daughter was completely bewildered.  “What happened? Mom”.   “I’ll tell you in the car!”.

As mother calmed down, she told her daughter what happened.  She was up in the stirrups ready for the exam with the sheet draped over.  ” The doctor came in and greeted me like always.”   When  lifted the sheet to begin the exam, he said “Mmmm, Fancy!” ” Then he went on with the exam like always, never explaining his comment.”  Mama was just mortified that anyone would use the word “fancy” in reference to her.  “Why would he do that?”

As they talked and the conversation turned to other things.  The mother said, “Oh! I was going to remind you that your feminine deodorant spray in the kids bath is almost empty.”  Daughter answered, “Mother I have never had feminine deodorant spray in the kids bath!”

They headed straight to the kids bath when they got home to see what mama had used before they left for the exam.  It was spray face paint that the kids had used for Halloween.  It was  florescent spray paint in bright orange!!!”

The mother did not know if she should go and explain to the Doctor or just never show her face or anything else in that office again.

Bar-be’s little boy

When the Sunday School teacher told Craig (Bar-b’s little boy) on Easter Sunday that Jesus had died on the cross on Friday.  Craig said “Oh no, your wrong, he died last year already.

Later that day when Barbie said something that Jesus died.  He told her “Mom, don’t worry, I know how the story goes, He lives!”

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Bar-b took Craig to a funeral for the first time.  It was the first time he had seen a dead body.  They sat in the back of the church.  He looked up at the woman in the casket and asked his mom what she was doing laying up there.   Bar-b said “She has died-she is dead.”  Craig started looking around the church with a bewildered disappointed look and said with a questioning tone “This is heaven?”

Sonic Booms

There was always a steady stream of family and friends visiting at my grandparents home, especially on Sundays, and holidays.  The company would come right after church.  The children had to change clothes immediately, out of their Sunday best into play clothes.  The men would leave their coats and ties in the car.  However, the women only had time to take their Sunday hat off and put on one of Grannie’s aprons, to protect their best Sunday dress.  They didn’t have time to change clothes, it was time to prepare the noon meal, known as “dinner” to be eaten around noon.

One such day stands out in my memory, some of Grannie’s sister’s families and a bunch of others were there, people everywhere laughing and talking a mile a minute.  The men playing dominoes or 42 in the living room and the big back porch.  The kids  were playing games inside and outside, and the women were in the kitchen cooking up a storm.

This was in the early 50’s when Jet airplanes were relatively new, their jet streams across the sky and the loud sonic “BOOMS” were a source of wonder and excitement.  When we heard a sonic BOOM all the kids and even the adults would run outside or to a window to catch a glimpse of the airplane and its jet stream.

Looking back, I know there were a lot more sonic Booms than, sometimes several times a day.  Today that is not the case, I wonder if technology has progressed or was that sorta like the adolescence of Jet Flight.  Were they loud just because they could be to get attention, or was it like a new toy to them.  Like it was for us.

On the day I am remembering, Grannie was at the stove stirring her cream corn, my Aunt Lil was at the sink pealing potatoes, one of Grannie’s sisters was right next to her icing a big chocolate layer cake with “Seven Minute” icing, the new recipe that was the latest rage.  To get the icing fluffy white and tasty was a challenge, so the ladies took real pride in having it extra fluffy, not everyone could do that.  I can remember they were all marveling on how wonderfully white and fluffy the icing the sister was spreading on the layer cake had turned out.

About this time we heard a loud sonic BOOM and the excitement was on!  The kids ran out the back door. and all the women went to the windows behind the kitchen sink to get a glimpse of the plane causing the commotion.  They were all craining their necks to see the plane, because after the boom we could then hear the actual plane motor so we could locate it in the sky.  With each encounter, there was like an unspoken contest, the winner was the first one to shout they had spotted the plane.  I don’t remember if we actually saw the plane that day or not.  But I will never forget when the Sister straightened up. She just shirked with laughter and the look on her face was pure shock.    All over her generous bosom was fluffy white icing and even some chocolate cake.   That once stately chocolate cake with the fluffy white icing, was sitting there all lop sided, mashed flat all the way to the plate on one side.  The side that was left standing looked like the leaning tower of Pizza!

The Sister was such a good sport,  she laughed as hard as any of us.  It was one of those unforgettable laughs when sides began to hurt and we physically leaned on each other while we laughed.  All day long, when someone would bring it up, we would be get into fits of laughter again.  I wonder if Sister ever got the chocolate out of her best Sunday dress?  I am sure she would have said the memory of the laughter was worth more than any dress.

Bowler Hat Brim

My Dad has been gone for years, but I can still remember him telling the story of he and a bunch of friends going somewhere in the friends new car.  I can’t remember if it was a model A or T, but it was one of the first cars.  Everyone was dressed to the nines.  One of the friends, Arthur, had on one of those straw bowlers, one of those round hard straw hats with the flat brim (the kind barber shop quartets like to wear).  It was an expensive hat at the time and really in style, so Arthur was quite proud of it.

Anneyway (a local pronunciation of anyway), they were going too fast for the road.  As the car went over a bad bump in the road, they all hit the top of the car.  They looked around and the friend had the brim from his hat hanging around his neck.  All their lives, they all laughed about it as one of the funniest things that they could remember.  Arthur laughed about it as hard as the rest of his friends.

T Model Wreck

My Dad, Ludwig and two of his brothers Isedor and Eric were on their way to play baseball in a summer community league in Loebau, Texas.  At that time Loebau was a prosperous clean as a whistle little community in Central Texas.  The baseball team was called the Loebau Jackrabbits as the local country boys could run like Jackrabbits.  They had thought about calling themselves the Loebau Gophers as it aptly applied as well, as a good catcher was never sure he could catch a fly ball.  As likely as not he could step into or trip over the dirt mound of a gopher hole, missing the ball and dang near breaking a leg.  Not to mention being laughed at by the spectators and his friends.

“Anneyway” (a local pronunciation of anyway),  The Knippa boys were driving along in their Daddy’s new Model T with a canvas top when a cow ran out in front of them along about the York Place. Uncle Isedor was driving.  In trying to avoid the cow, the car slid sideways and turned up side down in the ditch, coming to rest on the top.  All three boys crawled out, except for some scratches and torn clothes they were fine and dandy, no worse for the wear.

Their cousins, the Lietko boys from Dime Box came along on the way to play in the same ball game.   With all those strong young men, they took the car and turned it back up right on its wheels on the road.  They straightened out the top some and got back in, started it up and it ran like nothing happened.

When they got to the game, one of the Lietko boys drove it around the bases with the smashed top, got lots of laughs.  Ask old timers about it, and they will still smile and chuckle, maybe even laugh at the memory.

As the game came to an end the cold hard truth of facing their Daddy with a messed up new car started to weigh heavy on the boy’s minds.  All the way home they discussed how they were going to explain and how upset their Daddy was probably going to be.  As they got home they were relieved to have a temporary reprieve.  Daddy had gone down to the bottom (low fertile land along the Yegua creek) to evaluate and admire his crop and plan the next week’s work.  With great relief the boys drove the car into the garage, closed the door and went to the house, not realizing that someone had already stopped by that afternoon to tell their Daddy the whole story.  They did not have phones but news still traveled fast.

Much to their surprise, when Daddy came home from the fields, he walked directly to the garage, opened the door, went in looked at the car, closed the door and came up to the house.  All he said about it was “Boys, I am sure glad none of you got hurt!”

My First Post

I am Agnes “Aggie” Hannes, a writer living in Central Texas.  I love telling stories about funny and interesting events that happen in everyday life.  I feel that real life is funnier than fiction.

We have a friend that likes to ask at a dinner table “What is the funniest story that has ever happened to you?”.  What fun.  Come join me on my writing journey to tell stories that I have heard or experienced.  Life is so much better when we laugh!