We had been sitting around trying to figure out how to get ready for the rodeo that was coming up soon. Spring had sprung and with the sprung spring rodeos crop up. Of course the thing about rodeos is the riding. The mutton busting, and the real riding, calf riding. This was just a miniature version of the big stuff, bull riding. The great Wyoming past time, every weekend at a different rodeo.
Max’s dad was a stock contractor for the rodeo’s so we got to tag along most of the time and most of the time we just ended up just getting in the way, but every once in a while we would get caught and had to help move the horses and bulls around the pens and get them ready. And of course we got to ride; the calves were waiting for us. In order to ride we had to practice and to practice we needed a bucking barrel.
Because we were inventive and geniuses we decided to build our own bucking barrel. Of course the fact that we had see one before helped. We found a barrel that only had some gas in it so we dumped it out so we could us it and then we rolled it to where we were going to work. We didn’t pay any attention to where the gas was at when we dumped it, we were too busy inventing.
We then found some old springs lying around. Rounded up some rope and we were sat. But one problem we forgot to find a place to hang it from. We looked around and finally found some trees that were over by the garden spot. They weren’t exactly where we needed them so we rounded up some more rope to reach the extra distance and we were set to go. We climbed the trees tied the ropes off good and high.
We then had to attach the springs to the barrels. I had seen dad weld stuff before and figured it couldn’t be too hard, so we dragged everything over to where the welder was and I got it fired up and managed to get the job done only getting knocked on my butt twice by the electric, what a trip. When we were finished Max said “You smell something?” I took a sniff, “Yea”. We looked around and about jumped out of our skins. There was a streak of fire heading toward the chicken coop, looked like we were going to have fired chicken tonight and I don’t think that was what mom had in mind. It was being fed by the gas we had dumped out. We ran over and was kicking dirt like it was a dust storm. The fire was winning, we were really panicking now. We were really kicking the dirt now soon there was fire everywhere. The dirt we were kicking was soaked in gas. It was hopeless, our only chance at life now was to join the French Foreign Legion, but at the last minute it burned out. Good thing, I don’t think the French wanted us and my Spanish was pretty rusty.
We rolled the barrel with the springs attached over to where the ropes were. We got them attached and the barrel was about three feet off the ground. We then got an old bucking rigging rounded up and put on the barrel and tightened down tight. Max got on for the first ride and I gave the ropes a good tug and it was bouncing really good when the springs broke and down he came. Max was three inches shorter after that landing. We looked it over and the welds had broke, guess I am not that good at it. We rolled it back over to the shop and decided to drill some holes this time, which went as planned. We screwed the springs through the holes and managed to bend them over a little to hold them in place. We hauled it back over and got them hooked up again when Max’s sister, the Gargoyle, showed up.
She pushed us out of the way saying “move shrimp” and climbed on the barrel. We grabbed the ropes figuring we would show her a thing or two. We really went to town jerking the barrel up and down and sideways. She sat there like she was glued to it, she just sat there laughing, cackling is more like it. No matter what we did she sat there, we finally gave up and she jumped off and told us her broom was harder to ride that that thing. I had always suspected now I knew, we would have to be extra careful from now on. She said to call when we got some muscles and a decent bucking barrel; this one was too sissy for her.
Well we figured if she could ride it we could too. Besides we needed the practice for the rodeos. I got on first and Max grabbed the ropes and springs and started giving it everything he had. I was all over the place. My feet were up in front of me; my feet were over my head and then back down around the barrel. The next snap of the barrel and my head snapped back like it was on a hinge. My nose was bleeding and my eyes were crossed but I rode it out. When he stopped I fell off the barrel, when I tried to stand up I fell down the ground just won’t stay still.
Max then got on and I grabbed a hold of the ropes and started to give it my all. He was doing a great job at it and then his sister came back and grabbed the ropes on the end and it was all over for poor ol Max then. She was whipping that thing around so high the barrel was bouncing off the ground. Max’s head was being driven down between his shoulder blades every bounce. He was standing upright on top the barrel, then he was sitting back down on the barrel, he was facing forward, and then turned around facing backward. There was even on time his feet were straight up and he was standing on his head on the barrel. How he got right side up without falling off was a miracle. Then she gave the rope and jerk and it broke. When that happened it was over for Max. It shot straight up and forward and when it hit the ends of the other ropes he was gone landing about ten feet away with his head stuck in the ground and his feet straight up. As we watched the legs and body toppled over like a tree falling in slow motion.
We ran over to check on him his eyes were rolling around and when they stopped they were looking opposite directions. We waited a minute and they came back to where they belonged, which was good, I didn’t need a friend that could two different directions at the same time.
We got him back on his feet and he said “Mom I don’t want to go to school today. Can’t I just sleep?” His sister and I looked at each other, this did not bode well. It was a couple of days before he was back to normal, or what is normal for us. In fact his mother didn’t even notice the difference. Says something about how we grew up and how much attention we were paid.