Friday, October 13, 2006

Of Pioneers and Snarls

9 out of 10 great-grandchildren of pioneers agree: Ol' Pappy would have hated reading this account of pioneers and snarls. It prods way too many painful scars with a rusty knife of truth and historical accuracy.

From the archives - February 27, 2006:

Of Pioneers and Snarls

The trouble with being a hardy pioneer on the savage edge of the American Frontier was that every time your pigs screamed in the night you were obligated to go out to see what was bothering them... and more times than not, whatever it was had claws.

You'd walk out on the porch and then turn to face your wife.
"How old is our eldest son?" You'd ask, shivering a bit at the mortal chill that just blew up on the wings of a fanged snarl.
"He's six." She'd reply.
"Never too young to become a man." You'd mumble under your breath.
"What?!!!" Your wife would demand.
"Nothing." You'd sigh. "Hand me my rifle please."
"Powder and lead costs money." She'd say and hand you your pitchfork instead. You'd stare at the pitchfork with much dismay.
"A pitchfork?!!!" You'd exclaim. "But listen to that snarl. Do you have any idea what that snarl is saying?"
"Well go on and tell me, you're planning to anyway." Your wife would reply.

"Damn right I'll tell you--that snarl, that particular snarl, just happens to be saying:
'Hello, I'm a slavering beast that is easily two and a half to three times too large, quick and fierce to be dispatched with anything short of a goddamn cannon. A rifle might give me pause, but I am definitely eating the face off any man who comes at me with a spindly pitchfork.'"

"You can tell all that from just a snarl?"

"Hell yeah I can woman! Shit, you stand out here in butt-flap pajamas with nothing between you and a snarling death but a pitchfork and the balls the good lord dangled and then tell me you wouldn't want a rifle."

"Tell you what." Your wife would say with a calm that means she's about to be fair and just. (Even though that's a lie if ever there was.) "How 'bout we stop buying a six-pack of ale every night of the week and twice on Friday? That should probably leave us just enough money for powder and lead to shoot at every single creature that happens to snarl in the night."

"Well, hold on a minute now."

"No, no Dear, give me back the pitchfork and let me fetch your rifle. You go down and shoot whatever that is and when you get back I'll have a nice pot of willow bark tea waiting."


And moments later you'd be trudging down to the livestock pens, scratching your butt through the open flap on your pajamas, grumbling at your pitchfork and hoping like hell it's not a grizzly bear tonight.


At 2:40 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Well Latigo it's plain to see that women haven't changed much over the years.
Or could it be I just happened to get tangled with a couple of pioneer women?

At 5:42 AM, Anonymous ATD said...

Why is it that I always imagine that your women have those 'reefahnd Suthaahn Georgia accents'?


At 3:27 PM, Blogger The Production Manager said...

where can I get myself a pair of those butt flap pajamas?

At 10:15 AM, Blogger MJ said...

When I was a teenager I was absolutely enthralled with red butt-flap pajamas, so I asked for some for Christmas. Wouldn't you know, Santa Claus managed to find some for me!

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Ari said...

I love this one.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

nMight as well be a grizzly as willow bark tea.....

At 12:19 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Jeez, some guy's willing to risk his life for ginger ale?

At 12:20 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

I think both could be true Peter... in fact, I'm rather sure of it.

I don't know ATD... I'm not Freud.
(That was mean, I didn't mean to say that... But it was also funny, so maybe I did.)

They don't make 'em any more P.M. I'll rent you mine though. (Leer, leer.)

And just like that you're there again MJ. Had any good hikes recently? (Butt-flap pajamas or no.)

Thanks Ari. I do too.

That's what I reckon too Old Hoss. I'm glad you're still alive. I know you feel you same about me, no need to say it.

No man I've ever known LBB!


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