Grandfather and the Bear
If you didn’t have a grandfather that asked you to pull his finger, then you never really had a grandfather. Mine did that and a whole lot more.
He was a retired railroad welder from the old well known MKT line. Or, the “Katie” line as the old timers called it. He and Grandma spent their retirement nestled in the beautiful Ozark Mountains. Of course, they were both born there too. Our family in that part of the country dates back to the early 1800’s.
It was in the mid 1950’s when mom farmed me and three other siblings out to them. She had become ill and unable to care for us for several years. It was to be an adventure for us as we found out. Not that we didn’t worry about and miss our mother.
That’s when we found out what a prankster our granddad really was. He was a “Hoot”!! There was never any shortage of fun while he was around. Seeing as we were way out in the country only added to our delight. And it was the greatest place for him to pull his pranks on us.
For example, picture this scenario. Four kids, aged four to seven, curled up on the living room floor carpet totally engrossed in their favorite television show…”Gun Smoke”. Granddad sits on the sofa reading the newspaper.
Suddenly we’re startled by his thundering voice. “Hey!! You guys turn that television set down. I can’t hear the man on the telephone.” We all swiveled around to see him holding the telephone. We exchanged quizzical looks between us. Had anyone heard the phone ring? No…but it must have since he was talking on it.
The conversation went something like this. “What’s that”? “A bear escaped from the zoo”? “Well, where is he now”? “Coming our way, you say”? “What”? “You say he has a cow bell around his neck”? “Well, that should warn us if he gets around our neck of the woods”. “OK, thanks for the warning”.
On that note he casually sat back down and resumed his reading. Since he didn’t seem worried, we weren’t either. So we returned to our television show.
Twenty minutes later we had all but forgotten the incident. We also didn’t notice granddad was no longer on the sofa. We were beginning to doze off in front of the television when were jolted back awake by a strange noise outside the window. It was a clanging noise. Just like…just like… a cow bell!
The speed at which we disappeared to the storm cellar would have had to be measured in warp speeds. This scenario ends with a gale of uncontrolled laughter from granddad. Now, that’s a REAL grandfather!
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