george gurney

Battle Creek, Iowa, USA

My Brother And Me

I was here thinking about way back when
I guess maybe when I was seven or eight, or maybe ten. Thinking about the time when we still lived back on the farm,
Recalling my thoughts of all the fun we always had in the barn. We made tunnels in the loose hay from one end to the other,
Then in the bales was our hideaway, "for me and my brother" There was a pig shed, chicken house, and cattle barn a metal top,
A smoke house, car shed, and holler where we went to shop. But one of the things I seem to remember most of all,
Was that big old cottonwood in the pasture, it must have been a mile tall. We could see it from the house looming out there above all the other trees,
With the top sticking way up there moving to and fro in the breezes. If daddy was going out to work and not going to be gone all day,
Like, when he was going out to mend fence or to get a load of hay. Daddy would us off by this tree so could play, "my brother and me",
He would tell us to stay close and play near this big old cottonwood tree. The limbs were too huge for us to get a hold of and too far off the ground.
Its trunk looked so big, I bet it would take forty kids to reach 'round. Then that fatal day during a tremendous rain and lighting storm,
Lightning struck so hard, bark and fire flew, the next day it was still warm. This grand old tree had survived hundreds of lighting bolts before,
But after daddy had inspected it, he said "it just can't any more"! The day came when daddies friends came with their axes, mauls, and wedges,
I recall the men stopping often with their axes to sharpen their edges. Each time the ax would swing, a big hunk of the tree would fly from the tree,
When the men rested wo would pick up the chips, "my bother and me"! Then down to business, one-man on each handle, no fooling around now,
They traded off one after another, non stop, back and forth, oh wow! Along about ten mom arrived with some home made rolls, coffee, and iced tea.
At noon, back with chicken, bread, cole slaw, and salad of bean and pea. Soon there was some creaking, cracking and groaning, daddy said "RUN!"
He pointed the way and began gathering sledges, wedges and said "its done." Every body just stopped and waited, someone said "its gonna be a winner!"
Then every one took a deep breath and said "all together now"
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