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Chapter 40

Kids Will Be Kids...Or Something

This tale is about little kids and some of the stunts they have pulled. I also confess to something I was not very proud of when I was six. The tale begins about ten years ago when my next door neighbor discarded a rocking horse. The couple had three sons, one who considered himself a scientist at a tender age and even appeared on David Letterman's show with his dog and his invention. His parents gave him a lot more leeway than I would have but as his dad explained, they didn't want to suppress his creativity.
Nick and YeeHaa
Nick and YeeHaa

The horse is manufactured by Wonder Horse and was fairly expensive. When new it had a device that made horse sounds when the horse rocked. Matt, the scientist, wanted to know where the sound came from and removed the synthesizer. He took that item completely apart and overlooked something because it didn't work when he installed it. The couple had a rule. If it didn't work, toss it - put it on the curb. I brought it inside, applied a fresh coat of paint and had a new toy for our small grandchildren.

Dani was the first to enjoy the new toy and also named it "YeeHaa." Every grandchild under the age of ten and many of their friends have spent hours riding YeeHaa across the open range chasing cows and outlaws. When grandson Nick came along and was old enough, he also learned to ride on this old nag. The picture shows how much he loved to ride. It was taken November 21, 2001, cold as a walk-in freezer but he insisted on riding.

UV rays started taking their toll and the first thing to go was the tail. I fashioned a saddle from skirt leather to smooth that surface and it appeared that YeeHaa would make it until Nick's brother was able to sit on it for a portrait.

Last Friday, Dani called wanting to spend the night and Nick set up a howl to come along. In for a penny, in for a pound, I always say - the more the merrier. We had a grand old time Friday night. Nick had brought along his Hot Wheels Garage so he and I could play cars. Dani had a movie she and Nonie watched. We always let them stay up when they are here but they were asleep by ten. Next morning I prepared breakfast, worked the crossword puzzles with Dani and then retired to the office to catch up on some email.

The kids were on the back porch, Nonie was cleaning up after breakfast. Dani came in to report that we should see what Nick had done to YeeHaa. He had taken a wrench I use to change butane bottles and beaten the side out of YeeHaa. Just a huge gaping hole. He didn't deny it and wanted to know if I was mad. To tell the truth I was. I was mad enough to jerk him up and tan his hide but instead I said, "No Nick, I am not mad but I am very disappointed." That brought the tears. We still have figured out why he would do such a thing. He has never been destructive, keeps his toys in good order. He just snapped.

Sixty-four years ago, when I was six, I pulled a similar stunt. My great-grandmother had taken part of her Old Age Pension and purchased a new tricycle for me. Top of the line Western Auto and I was pretty proud. My dad had put a Model T chassis on blocks in the back yard. One day, I ran in to the side and for some reason derived a great deal of pleasure from the collision. I kept it up until I had bent the wheel on the trike in to the shape of the chassis. You can imagine what kind of ride that gave me. Dad didn't do anything to help for a week or so. He managed to straighten the wheel but it still bumped.

Thinking back, the same thing that caused me to mangle my trike must have infected Nick. YeeHaa still has one good side and we can use that for the picture of Nick's brother Adam. After that, YeeHaa will go to the big toy heaven. Sure gonna miss that old nag.

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