Friday, March 2, 2018

A letter about Grandpa's childhood

Dear Children,
       Well, here I am again, writing a letter to Grandpa's Grandchildren. This time I am going to write about horses. Some little girls do not care very much for horses, but all boys love horses and dogs. Long years ago I was a little boy. My Papa had an old-fashioned pair of leather saddlebags. My Father attended to a large herd of cattle, and he salted these cattle every week, and counted them to see if any had got out of the pasture. Sometimes I would ride behind until I would fall asleep, and then he would place me around in front, and hold me on his lap. At one time after he had emptied all the salt out of one side of the saddlebags, he put me in the empty bag and covered me up. Then he rode up in front of our home, and Mother came out to see her little boy; but no little boy could be found. It was a hot summer day, and I began to feel about as warm as a setting hen. Mother was scared; yes, excited at the loss of her first-born little boy. I could see the tears streaming from her eyes, as I peeped through a small crack in the old saddlebags.
       Mother was crying and, at the same time, telling Father that he was cruel to punish her in that way. I couldn't stand it a minute longer; young as I was, I felt that a little fellow like me could have no better friend than Mother. Papa saw that I had poked my head out of the bag and was turning the horse around, so Mother could not see me; but the old Dollie mare seemed to almost understand the trick, and in turning around, made more of a turn than Papa expected, and I was brought squarely around in full view, and there I was right in full sight of Mama, sitting down in the old saddlebags, with my little black head just above the cover. Papa lifted me up, and I didn't wait to be helped any farther, but just jumped into Mother's arms. The next day Father was mowing the yard, and I was wearing my first pants. Down at the back end of the yard was a small pond of water, with a mud bottom. My Papa waded into it to show me that the water was not deep, and in this way got me to try my new breeches. I waded out and back again a few times until the water became very muddy. Finally, I fell down in the middle of the pond, and went clear under, and how much farther, I could not tell. I was not old enough to swim, but I was a wriggler, and I wriggled out, but Oh! such a sight. I was the color of mud, and my new pants! Both Father and Mother gathered me up, and I was put through some kind of a fresh-water scrubbing, and that night Mother sat up until a late hour, making me a new pair of pantaloons. I started out in this letter to write you something about horses, but I got to thinking of some things that happened to me when I was a little boy.
       I believe I am getting to be like some preachers, who always take a text, but never preach from it.

Love, Grandpa.

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