Thursday, December 9, 2010

Big Brother

He was two years older than me, and for a time it was just the two of us.

We were Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, riding our stick horses around the yard singing Happy Trails To You, or Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette, singing Back in the Saddle.  We snacked on leftover breakfast biscuits as we played, he shooing the chickens away as they tried to snatch my biscuit out of my hand. 

"Get outta here!" he yelled, stepping between me and the culprits, "Leave her alone!" 

By the time Pitty Pat, and later Mary Ellen, joined us, we were Tarzan and Jane; they, "Boy" and "Cheeta."  We roamed a little wooded area near our house, happening upon lions, tigers, venomous snakes, and natives of the jungle intent on boiling us alive.  (He always came swinging  in on a grapevine, saving us all and yelling that Tarzan yell). 

Sometimes we were soldiers, fighting valiantly against Hitler and the Japanese, he jumping from being the good guy to the bad guy.

"Tat-tat-tat!" he yelled, waving his stick machine gun in the air, "Tat-tat-tat!" 

He usually arrested us and took us to Hitler who sentenced us to hard time in the screened-in front porch.  But it wasn't long before he charged over the hill and busted us out.
When we sisters became bored by rough-and-tumble games, we retired to the side porch where we served tea to our dolls.  He showed up, sooner or later, pisols drawn.  
"Come out with your hands up, or I'll shoot up this place!"
We scurried here and there, trying to protect our dolls.  Despite our best efforts, they were all hit by flying bullets, which necessitated turning our tea-party area into a hospital.  They recovered.  But not always right away.  I seem to recall one doll lying around for weeks, a rag tied around her head. 
During the wintertime, one of the games we played was "Bank."  He was the banker; Pitty, Mary Ellen and I proprietors.  We snipped pages from Sears & Roebuck and trimmed them into shapes of bills which we presented to our younger brothers and sisters with instructions to shop at our stores.  When the business day was over, we took our money to the bank.
"Y'all have got to save your money," he said, counting our money and writing receipts, "And the place to put it is in this bank." 
Sometimes he donned his lawyer hat, and we lined up at the desk for legal advice.  When things got out of hand, we went to trial where he presided as judge.  Things were usually resolved without incident; however, I was once banned from the court room because of my "big mouth."
One day, a major problem arose.  The subject was an old setting hen who had been trying to flog some of the little ones.  We often had to rush out and rescue them and run her off. 
I suggested she be taken into custody and put on trial.  The judge agreed.
Pitty, Mary Ellen and I were on the jury, as was our younger brother, Ted.  The hen was found guilty and sentenced to three "dips," which meant dunking her head three times in a bucket of water.
Mother soon put an end to the dunkings.  But that hen never tried to flog anyone again.   
One election year, he and I were Presidential candidates.  We stood on an upside-down wash tub in the back yard, making numerous campaign promises.  He was Dwight Eisenhower and I was Adlai Stevenson.  The little ones sat in a circle around the tub, clapping and cheering after each speech.  (One day I walked off in a huff.  They were cheering louder for my opponent!)
Those are just a few of the fun things we did when we were kids down on the farm.  And it would not have been the same without my big brother.
Happy birthday, Terry.  I miss you more as the years go by. 


Grandma's Place said...

love all the fond memories you write about. You do it so well. I can just feel my childhood creeping up! Check your blog out a couple times a week. It is always a thoughtful pleasure.You just have that southern touch! So glad you are keeping your blog going. Merry Christmas!! Judy in California

Brenda said...

Thanks so much, Judy, and a Merry Christmas to you!

Suzanne said...

Lovely tribute.

met said...

Thanks for reviving old memories. I sure wish "Mark Malloy" was still around; he was the best big brother ever, anywhere, at any time.

All words and pictures © 2008 Brenda G. Wooley