The Present
Chapter 2

Copyright© 2018 by UtIdArWa

Dinner was a loud, boisterous and a happy occasion. We were joined by the working crew. 5 guys and what surprised me, a lady. She was about 26 or 27 and was obviously physically able to do the job. Agnes told me later that she, Lois, had a hard time convincing everybody she could handle the job. But she had held her end up. Even when she was handed the shitty jobs that a cattle ranch can offer.

Both Suzy and I were introduced and a couple of the old hands remembered me. Most of the evening was spent telling war stories and outright lies. Both of which were sworn to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth (Sort of).

While all of this was going on, the kids were being kids, making up some of the most outrageous games and scenarios. Most of which involved running, jumping and yelling. When Donny discovered Shadow, I watched closely, I wasn’t quite sure how Shadow would react. It took about 2 seconds and my fears were forgotten. They were obviously best friends and I realized that had a new problem. How was I going to break it to the kid that Shadow was going to have to leave with me? This was going to require some thought. In the meantime, all of the kids were having a great time.

It’s kind of confusing to me about the world today. You take a kid, park him in front of a TV or a video game and he’s hypnotized. A zombie and as far as their parents are concerned that seems to be fine. But with country kids, turn them loose in a pig sty and they’ll have a gay old-time making mud pies and raising imaginary porkers. These kids were doing things that in the city would require years of psychological counseling and medication. In my opinion most country kids are smarter, stronger and more emotionally adjusted than their city cousins. But what do I know, I’m just a broken-down country bumpkin, one of the fly over people.

Around about 9 o’clock things started settling down and breaking up. The kids were sent off to bed. Donny had to, reluctantly, abandon his new best friend. to both of their objections. The crew members also started drifting off to the bunkhouse. Morning comes early on a working ranch.

Marsha had joined the kids when they were sent off and all that remained was Bruce, Suzy and Myself. Bruce reached into the cooler that had been sitting, unopened, under the picnic table and brought out his mason jar of apple pie. “Just a nightcap folks. Anything more and I’ll be sleeping on the couch.” He poured a shot for all three of us and sat back in his chair.

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