DAVID KIRBY'S PINE CRIK TALES - "They Are Just Poor Dumb Brutes"


A Pine Crik Hollow Home

By David Kerby

The weather was awful – half rain and half sleet that changed back and forth to snow. The mud roads were fierce. Deep tracks and long mud holes, some as long as 50 ft. or so.

We were in the ton-and-a- half Chevy, with duel wheels. Tracks were deep enough in some places that the differential was starting to drag. Through the mud holes mom would hold on to the gear shift boot, and I would hold up under the metal dash board with my right hand, and turn my shoulder into it if we lunged too hard.

The mud holes were also problematic from a visibility standpoint, because the windshield wipers, operating from the vacuum manifold, would stop at full throttle. Not that you really needed to see, because once in the tracks you were either going to stop or continue going down the road.

Dad felt he was dressed up when he had on a pair of shined shoes, a Stetson Hat, a clean pair of corduroy pants and a plaid shirt. Today he had on the shoes, hat, and his brown suit. That made it a special occasion – we were going to a funeral. Otherwise we would not have driven out in such weather.

We got through most of the worst mud holes; with only one major one left, and came to a stretch of road we called the “new road”. Dad let up on the gas, the windshield wipers started working, and we could see. Low and behold, we looked across the creek, and the cattle had broken through the fence surrounding a hay stack.

Dad looked around for his 5-buckle artics but he had left them on the back porch. I said “Dad, why don’t you just leave them to it?” He said “No – they are just poor dumb brutes. If I don’t chase them out and fix the fence they will gorge themselves on that hay, trample what they don’t eat into the mud, and will go hungry before the green grass of Spring.”

He came back in a little bit, having cobbled up the fence. He had mud on his shoes and pant-legs, but we went on to the funeral (we could not have turned around anyhow until we got to the mouth of the holler).

Gorge, gorge, gorge. The environment and the economy. I wish Roy Kirby were here to help mend the fence. Some deny that Winter is even coming. It is going to be a long time ‘til Spring.