I Hate To Brag, But…

by Kevin on September 27, 2012

“We know what we’re doing!”

These words rang in my head as I cried and pulled a piece of gravel out from under my eyelid. Sometimes we get too big for our own britches and now my britches were tattered and torn.

A cousin and I were bored one day so we decided to have some fun. I think this is how every cowboy story usually starts out and the endings end up the same in some form or fashion: A hard lesson learned.

Sitting on the fence down at the pens, we surveyed our surroundings for any ideas that might liven the day up. Off to the right was a red wagon. Off to the left was a rope still attached to a plastic steer head. And right behind us was Pinto Bean.

Now Pinto Bean was a shetland pony of my cousin’s. He was a pretty good little horse and we rode that poor guy up and down places mountain goats avoided and through brush that would make a pig faint. It’s amazing how two young cowboys can take a wagon, a rope, and a shetland pony and come up with an amazing idea.

Ten minutes later, Pinto Bean was standing quietly in the gravel driveway of the barn with a rope around his neck like a harness. We couldn’t quite figure out how to keep the rope from sliding off his back as it ran back to the wagon so we ran it between his front and hind legs.

Problem solved!

We tied the end of the rope to the handle of the wagon and it was about this time that my uncle walked up.

I could see the grin on his face and he inquired, “Y’all boys want a little advice?”

“We know what we’re doing,” my cousin and I said simultaneously. This caused an all out, “Pinch-Poke-You Owe Me A Coke” battle that nearly sent Old Pinto into a dead run.

My uncle leaned up against the fence and said, “I understand. Mind if I watch and learn?”

Our chests puffed out and we agreed to let him witness history in the making.

But something started nagging at me. I wondered what his advice would have been so we huddled and tried to look at our project a little closer. Finally, we decided to untie the rope from the handle and tie it directly to the wagon frame so we could steer ourselves.

I hate to brag, but we were pretty smart kids.

We finally had to put a bucket of grain in front of our locomotive to keep him standing there as we climbed in the wagon. With a cowboy yell of “heeyah” we readied ourselves for our stagecoach ride but nothing happened. Pinto Bean just stood there and ate.

“We need a buggy whip!”

We clambered out of the wagon and raced to the barn. While in there looking for a buggy whip, I came across some ratchet straps. It struck me that the ride might get a tad bit bouncy at times and we didn’t want to fall out. So I grabbed up two of the new “cowboy restraining devices” and raced back to install them.

I was just finishing up when my co-pilot arrived back with good and bad news. The bad news was that there was no buggy whip to be found. The good news is that he found something even better! A long yellow hot-shot.

I hate to brag, but we were pretty smart kids.

We had to shorten the rope between the wagon and the horse to be able to reach him with the hot shot and that presented a lot of extra rope that we didn’t want dangling behind us. I solved the problem when I suggested that after we ratchet ourselves into the wagon, we could wrap the extra rope around us in case one of us started to fall out.

I hate to brag, but we were pretty smart kids.

With my heavier cousin in the back and me in the front with the “steering wheel” in my hand, we were nearly ready to go. Pinto Bean was down to the last of the grain and we knew that we better get strapped in quickly.

The ratchet straps ran from the front of the wagon, over our shoulders, and attached to the back. I cranked on them as much as I dared and the clicking of the ratchet was like a countdown to blast off. The end of the rope was then wrapped around both of us and tied off. We were ready to go.

Behind us, we heard a deep voice say, “Good luck boys!”

With a few giggles and unbridled excitement, we knew now was the time. My cousin reached forward and laid the end of the hot shot politely against Pinto Bean’s butt…

…and then he pushed the little white button.

I hate to brag, but we were pretty smart kids.

Pinto Bean then performed a maneuver I haven’t seen since. This little pony ran on his front legs and kicked the wagon with both hind feet…repeatedly. Due to the rope between his legs, our plan worked fantastically and we stayed right behind him…which was exactly where we didn’t want to be.

My cousin and I were very unprepared and shocked by his erratic behavior. The steering wheel was lodged up right underneath my chin and I tried to turn us out the line of fire. Due to all the excitement, my cousin forgot to let go of the little white button and when he tried to hang on to me, he laid the prongs against the steel bar that I was using to try to steer the wagon with.

Fifty thousand volts seems to attack my face like a herd of fire ants. I screamed and jerked the wheels which sent us flipping upside down. But don’t worry, we were safe because we are strapped in.

I hate to brag, but we were pretty smart kids.

Pinto Bean is still running on his front legs and kicking us with his back feet. All the while I feel like someone has duct taped a grinder to my forehead. I could feel the skin being ground away and it was at this point that I started wondering if this was such a good idea.

Little did I know that Pinto Bean was circling around and heading right back to the barn. I was bawlin’ my fool head off and I was trying to think how I was going to be able to blame this all on someone else.

When the pain stopped and a set of strong hands turned the wagon over, all I could think of is all that bragging about how smart we were.

Tears streamed from three cowboys…two from pain and another for a very different reason.

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galations 6:14 


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  • Kevin,

    I laughed till I almost had tears arunning down my leg!
    Remind me to tell you one day about mixing Tarzan and Pony Express on the black Welch/Shetland cross!!! LOL

    Keep up God’s work brother….

    Kevin Mahr

  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Nothing to add, THAT IS FUNNY~ think I might have wet myself a little on that one, laughing so hard!

  • Quinton Schmelzenbach

    I’m a late comer, reading through some of your previous blogs…
    Do you realize how hard it is not to laugh historically because of the setting your in? It makes it worse, and instead of a healthy full laugh emitting from one’s body, one gets rather a fart and a loud snort/squeal that would give a stuck pig a run for its money!
    Needless to say, this gets more attention and odd looks than a normal, hearty laugh would have.

  • TJ

    loved the uncle…. mind if I watch and learn….. lol. too funny

  • Cathy Cole

    Oh my GOSH!! That was the best visual! Still have tears!! I will have a smile all day w/that one! Reminds me of a similar time with my cousins! Boy, you sure have to thank God for those special times of survival!! Thank you!

  • I laugh and laugh it reminded me of my brother just younger than I and my self but I think my brother and I were a little bit older but we were always coming up with something to do.

  • Julie Shrauger

    Thanks for the laughs! I almost fell out of my chair laughing! Both your story and your delivery are superb!

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