Heroes for a day, rascals forever | Constant Curmudgeon

By John Pierre | Jul 31, 2014

Another kid story? Aaaarrrggggh! Oh well, what the heck. Why not? Nobody is obliged to read it.

I usually write about my brother Dan and me. Though there were eight kids in our family, Dan and I were almost like the Bobbsey Twins.

We did everything together with Dan being the instigator, with him being almost two years older, and me being the follower.

We lived in a little valley on a small farm in Tumwater, lower than the rest of the village above.

Our school bus was scheduled to pick us up at the top of the hill looking down on our small basin.

On a particularly inviting day, even though fall was coming on, Dan and I trudged up the hill to catch the bus.

Knowing that our mother could see us from our home below, we waited until the bus was approaching before we eased down into the ditch, adjacent to the road, and waited there until the bus departed.

Feeling safe, we emerged and crossed JoBee's (his name was Joe Bill but everyone called him JoBee) recently cut hay field and went down the grade to the railroad track and on to "our" river the Deschutes and it's related swamps where we had various rafts hidden away.

We ate our lunch almost immediately upon arrival at the river where we planned on a day of adventure. Soon it began to rain.

In the fall, rain was inevitable, but this rain began to increase into a near storm before we found a large hollow stump to scroonch ourselves into.

It did little good, and soon we were soaked to the bone.

Recently our mother had bought each of us a stocking cap from the Sears and Roebuck catalog.

Dan's was blue and mine was red for easy ownership identification.

The rain soon caused streaks of blue to come down Dan's face, and I pointed and laughed until he told me that streaks of red were adorning my mug.

We became so miserable that we finally elected to walk the extra quarter of a mile up the track, and up the hill on the crossing country road to take our punishment by going on to school.

We were fully prepared to be stretched over our desks to receive the usual several, deftly delivered, swats with a thick yardstick ... the kind with the holes in it.

Hays School was situated in such a way that we had to enter right next to Mrs. Jewett's desk and in front of all four grades (about 25 kids).

As unusual as it may seem, Mrs. Jewett began to hold us up to the other students as good examples: "Just look at these Pierre boys. Missed the bus and walked all the way to school in this downpour."

We reveled in our newfound hero status, though it only lasted one day.

The next day we were the school rascals again.

 

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