Sunday, June 13, 2010

Can You Dig It? ...

 
I happened to run into my old friend Lamar Beefeater the other day at the flea market, he was over there scouting around for old farm implements which he collects then places in his backyard as antiques ... town officials where Lamar lives tried to force Lamar to put up a high fence all along the front of his house to block the public's view because they considered those antiques as the beginnings of a junkyard ... well, Lamar acquiesced to move all his priceless pieces of antiquity to his backyard so as to squelch potential hard feelings with the public, but more importantly to keep from putting up that expensive high fence ... the town did give in just a bit and permitted Lamar to leave just one object out front if he promised to keep the grass from growing up all around it, which he gladly did ... that one object happened to be Grandpa DooLittle's old plow ... so since I had recently shared the story, I figured I would ask Lamar if he remembered Grandpa DooLittle's acquisition of the Shakespearian mule ... now for those of you who may not have read my earlier post entitled "Shakespearian Mule," the story touched on an often stubborn mule that would only obey human commands after having a bit of William Shakespeare read to him in a calm and soothing manner ... Lamar Beefeater burst into a sidesplitting belly laugh until he was nearly out of breath and had to go sit down on the front wheel of some feller's John Deere tractor until he regained some measure of composure ... I looked down at Lamar who was almost convulsing and told him that it was sort of a humorous story--but not that danged funny! ... Lamar looked up at me as each breath he took in flooded more color back into his ashen face ... finally when Lamar was able to speak again he let me know in no uncertain terms that it was not my story that had brought about his sudden burst of cachinnation ... then he told the following tale ...

To the best of Lamar's recollection, early one spring morning Grandpa DooLittle had summoned Lamar and his close cohort Luther DooLittle over to his place for the purpose of hiring the boys to do a bit of manual labor ... in dire need of ready cash for the many upcoming summer activities the boys anxiously rushed right over unaware of what the nature of their work might entail, but willing to do almost anything to earn some money ... upon their arrival Grandpa informed the pair that he needed them to retrieve picks, shovels and buckets from the toolshed then proceed to the furthermost corner of the lower field near the riverbank where the soil was less stony and dig a pit large enough for that Shakespearian mule ... the boys looked at each other as sadness crept over their puerile faces at the thought of the demise of the old mule ... Grandpa DooLittle appeared to be overwrought too, and as a lone tear trickled down his whiskered cheek he demanded "hurry along now fellers, time's a wastin'" ...

Lamar and Luther gathered the required tools and headed toward the lower pasture bemoaning the death of the grand beast all along the way ... they dove into the task at hand with mixed feelings ... on the one hand they were certainly grief stricken at the thought of that dead mule ... on the other hand they were glad to be earning some money ... the boys worked all through the day in the beaming heat of the sun and finally flung the last shovelful of dirt from the now enormous hole ... now where was that poor dead creature and how in the world would they get him moved into that grave? ... about that time Grandpa DooLittle showed up to inspect the boy's work ... "good work fellers, that there hole is deep and wide, it ought to do just fine" ... elated at Grandpa's satisfaction with their efforts, they then enquired as to where the Shakespearian mule's carcass was located and how they were going to get nearly fifteen hundred pounds of dead weight moved from wherever it was and into that big hole? ... somewhat bemused at the question Grandpa DooLittle looked at the boys and replied "well fellers, if I can manage to coax that stubborn critter out from under the shade tree and down to the edge of this hole with a bucketful of fresh carrots and sweet feed ... and somehow convince him that his book on William Shakespeare is lying at the bottom of the hole ... and if you fellers will shove on his hindquarters at the same time he hangs his head to look fer his book ... I think he'll drop straight in as soon as this here gun goes off!" ...

Not to worry, the Shakespearian mule went on to live out his full natural life ... you see he was spared when Lamar and Luther talked Grandpa DooLittle into giving them the old mule as payment for digging that pit ... Grandpa tossed in the book on William Shakespeare in the deal too ... Lamar and Luther spent that entire summer reading it ... to that Shakespearian mule!


--sja

4 comments:

Pam said...

Lamar and Luther rule for saving that mule! Loved that story. :) Pam @ Sallygoodin

sja said...

No Pam, those boys weren't much for brains, but that had big hearts!

Coleene VanTilburg said...

Hello, I read through three or four of your blog postings. Absolutely loved your characters and stories and your writing style. Your pictures are great too. Thanks for posting the video by Johnny Cash as well for Flag Day. Come visit my inspirational blog any time! Your new bloggy froggy friend, Coleene

sja said...

Thank you Coleene, I will certainly visit your blog ... if you would like to read more of my stories please check out the archives at the bottom of the main page, there you will find nearly 70 additional posts ... thanks again!