Used to be there was a dam just outside of Fredonia, back when Kanab Creek had enough water in it it did you any good to try and irrigate. That dam was meant to hold back what ever water came down during the hot months, and it backed up into what we used to call "the slew." Maybe it was a "sluice", but I never heard of nothin' like that back then. All around that was a good place to hide out. You could find frogs most days, and once the side of the bank caved in on some big boys who was diggin' a cave into it - like near to killed one of them, too. Yeah, those were some good times. But even the finest things have their dark side.
I already mentioned the frogs, which actually was toads but we usually just called 'em frogs. Which brings to mind a side-story I'm justgoing to have to mention. See, Shawna, she heard somewhere about how real fancy folks like those that live in France and hold their little finger out all the time when they's drinking, they ate some funny things. Like frogs. Dang true story. So Shawna, she figured they wasn't really no better than us, so if frogs was so good maybe we out to fix us up a mess of 'em.
The doin' was easy. Frogs was plentyful, so we just snitched an old coffee can outta Slim Latham's sheep camp, and headed on up the wash about a quarter mile so's nobody would get upset about smelling smoke. We had us at least a good clean dozen of the old jumpers gathered in 'fore you could scratch an itch, so's we just boiled 'em up. We tried to cook 'em live, since Shawna was sure that's how all the "gormet" cooks done it, but we was having a real hard time keepin 'em in the can. So finally Shawna just started bashin' their heads it. She said you was only suppose to eat the legs, anyway (she was really educated about this stuff) so it didn't hardly matter if their brains was all squished in.
We weren't real sure how long to cook them frogs, but Shawna figured once their legs stopped twitchin' they was ready to eat so after about ten minutes or so we took them outta the can and dumped them into the creek. Even those we was only plannin on eatin' the legs, they was still attached to the bodies so you did kind of have to pull out the jounts some to get a good bite. I don't know. Maybe they just needed salt or something, but I figured pretty quick that them French fellers didn't have nothin' on a good hamburger. Shawna, though, she knew how to appreciate good cookin', so I just let her have the whole can of em. Well, turns out I guess this story don't have too much to do with squishin' pollywogs after all. But you do know if you're going to have frogs, you got to start with the wogs, so maybe you can find a connection.
Well Em, she's not one to be daunted - 'specially by some belly crawlin' critter thatlives primarily on the same level her boots would normally be walkin'. But this time was an exception. I suppose maybe it was the darkness of night, or could be the fact she was wearin' irragation boots 'stead of her usual cowboy stompers, or, shucks, you could just blame it on the moon.
Whatever the reason, Em swears she'll eat her hat if there wasn't abig ol' rattler swimmin' out there in the middle of the pasture. Says it come up outta a golpher hole, and was doing a breast stroke right for her, tail singin' and firey eyes shooting sparks into the night sky. Took a minute to star bathe on top of an alfalfa clump, and Em litout holloring, screamin' her pretty little head off and dog paddlin' toward the fence.
I told her, "Em, hon, rattler's ain't really much for swimmin'," but she weren't havin'none of it. She swears that ol' sidewinder was a virtual Esther Williams among reptiles, and there just weren't no talkin' her out of it.
Em still refuses to go into that pasture. Won't have nothin' to do with no night time irrigation, neither. Oh well, I guess anything's possible.
Watch for new adventures!