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Adventures of Ron Huckleberry, # 9
Young Ron Huckleberry loves staying with Aunt Jane and Grandmother and Aunt Anne, but they always worry too much about his safety. He understands that they have his best interests in mind and also that his mom and dad have asked them to take good care of him.
Regardless, Ron often wants to do things with his friends that he is not allowed to do. It’s true that most of the gang is a bit older than Ron, but so what. Ron feels he can take care of himself.
There are times that his friends finally convince Grandmother or Aunt Jane that what they will be doing is not dangerous…and some times Ron happily joins them for fun and adventure.
He recalls one time especially that brought tears of laughter to their eyes when he returned home a much darker shade of color than when he departed. In fact when Ron got home a little before supper time everyone smelled him coming before they saw him.
Ron knew that he needed a good hosing-down before he could come into the house, but when Grandmother opened the door she immediately instructed him to run to the back yard and wait. She did not want the neighbors to see…or smell him.
Ron walked to the rear of the house and near the back door and waited. When Grandmother finally arrived she had already phoned Aunt Jane and explained the situation. She wanted Auntie to see Ron before the hosing-down.
It was a hot day, which added to the awful smell that accompanied Ron. The only real nice thing Grandmother did when she finally opened the back door was to give Ron a large glass of iced tee, which she politely sat on the back steps before she backed several feet away from the little stinker.
Grandmother seldom showed excitement and her actions now were very calm. She stated that she was glad he got home before supper and that Auntie was on her way.
Auntie arrived so quickly one might think she had police escort. When she came to the back yard and saw Ron she went into complete hysteria laughing. She immediately knew what he had been doing, because as a kid she had come home stinking a few times.
Within seconds Grandmother was also in tears laughing with Auntie.Anyone seeing Ron would be in tears. He was near totally covered with cow-dung (cow-potty). This sad state occurrred during a friendly game of soft-ball.
When farm kids play soft-ball in fields, they scout around and find piles of cow-dung that they use for the bases. Naturally they prefer very hard dung, but this day they had to use what they could find...and it wasn't totally hard. These piles were hard enough on the outside to be easily carried to the play area, but, except for an outter crust, the inside was very soft.
Farm kids are also know for pulling tricks on the younger kids, especially green-horns like Ron. They instructed Ron that there were strict rules that they played by. If he hid the ball and ran to a base he must always slide onto the base or he was considered "out".
Ron had never been invited to play with this group before and certainly wanted to follow all of the rules. Naturally they set-him-up. The pitcher insured the ball was slow and just where Rond could hit it every time. Then he had to slide on to 'first base'. Then they insured that Ron was able to steal a base, which meant he had to slide onto another base.
By the end of the day Ron and demolished all the bases. Everyone was pleased with his eagerness to play by their rules and by the time they finished the game there was more dung on Ron than in the area where the bases had once been.
Finally Auntie and Grandmother stopped laughing and explained that he needed a bath. They had no hose, but Auntie walked to the well and sent the long metal cylinder down the well and into the water. She was soon turning the crank and pulling the water container upwards. The long container held enough to fill two smaller buckets, which Auntie had sat by the well. She soon had the buckets filled and had again lowered the container for a refill.
Auntie instructed Ron to remove all of his clothes and stand on the grassed area of the lawn. She then slowly poured the first bucket of water over Ron’s head. Grandmother poured some shampoo on his hair and Ron rubbed it in real well. Grandmother then handed him a well soaped rag and he sponged himself well. Auntie slowly poured the second bucket of water over Ron. They repeated the process three times before Auntie was satisfied that Ron was clean and not stinking.
After he had dried himself he slipped into a fresh pair of shorts and followed Auntie and Grandmother into the house. Auntie was still laughing. “Ron”, she asked, “Did you guys have a nice ball game today?”
“How do you know about the game?” Ron asks.
Still laughing she states, “I was your age once and I too played ball then as you did today…and we had the same ‘bases’ then that you used today, but we tried to always use hard cow-dung, which you obviously didn’t use today…right?”
“That’s for sure, Auntie. But you don’t know half of it…”…Interrupting Auntie states, “I bet I do know. The older guys gave you your cow-dung initiation today…didn’t they?”
“Oh Auntie, you know everything don’t you. It was awful. David Banks and Robert Cleves held me down while the others scraped up what was left of the bases and wiped the wet cow-manure all over me. I thought I was going to throw up. Then they all stood over me and began singing the ‘club-song’…and they all yelled that I was now a member of the “Roaches”…our club-name.”
Both Grandmother and Auntie were smiling. “Young man”, Auntie said, “I bet you’re proud to be in the club and deep down you feel it was worth it…don’t you. I remember when my club did the same thing to me when I was your age. I was mad for awhile, but it was worth it just to be a member of “Monkies”…our club name.”
Ron held his arms out for Auntie just as she was reaching for him. Auntie hugged him tightly and Grandmother gave him a big kiss. “Shall we go see what we have for supper?” Grandmother asks.
“Yes mam.” Ron says as he holds Grandmother’s hand as they enter the house.
Auntie states that the supper has to wait a couple of minutes. She hands Ron a large paper sack and instructs him to carefully put his stincky cloths in the bag and put the bag in her car trunk. Auntie is the only one with a washing machine.
(c) Gene Hudgens
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