When I was just a young girl my mother would always talk about how her cousin Wally Ann always wanted to be a cowgirl. She wore cowboy boots, a hat and gloves with a belt and buckle. Mom said, it was always the cowboys and cowgirls that won the battles and got everything on television. I know she thought that was why her cousin wanted to be a cowgirl. I remember thinking that it might not be a bad idea to be that rather than an Indian. In the town I grew up in Indian’s were not treated very well. Today it is called discrimination and racism. That was the most racist town I ever lived in.
When I got a little older, I remember asking Cousin Wally Ann why she wanted to be a cowgirl and she told me that it was because she liked this boy that lived on a farm, and he always wore cowboy boots and a hat and looked so nice that she wanted to marry him. Just as simple as that. Sometimes we can think things that are so far from the truth. And she told me that it did not last too long as she went to his house once to play with his sister and he treated her so badly that she decided that it did not matter how he dressed or how he looked, he would not be the one for her. She said the worst part was he pushed her down in the barn and his sister Donna and her turned on him and made him cry. She said it was not all wasted time as she found a best friend in his sister Donna and a great place to play.
Wally Ann said, "The barn had a swing that was rigged up so that they could swing around in the barn. There was a rope strung from one rafter to another that they could slide across with a block and tackle set up. It was cool in the hot summer and warm in the coldest of days. There were animals in there and they all had names and I learned them right away. There was a dog that spent hours in the barn with us and her name was Bella. They had a couple ducks most of the time and it didn't matter if they were the same ducks or not, they were always Matilda and Mathew. There was an old horse that was ridden very little and he loved carrots and apples. His name was Samuel. Over time there were always barn cats and sometimes kitties that we would name. They would come and go too. They were Red, Paw, Maw, Kitty, Blue, Sara and Mel. The old barn was perfect and we spent many days, months and I believe years in that old barn."
Wally continued, "One day as we were playing in the barn, we smelled something burning and when we ran out of the barn we could see a small fire coming from the house. As we started to head in that direction, the smoke started to billow out of the window. Pretty soon there were people hollering for help and others carrying buckets and blankets to try to get the fire out. The fire was not going to be stopped and the house was not going to be saved. No one was injured in that fire although the family lost most of their possessions. I thought for sure they would be moving now."
Then Wally Ann said, "Donna's family decided to rebuild and to stay in the barn while they did that. Our barn became Donna's family’s temporary house. That changed everything for us. Now, we would go to my house to play. We had a barn too, but it just was not the same old barn that we loved. I was sure we would have fun no matter where we played but that was not true. Nothing was the same after that. My friend felt really bad that all of her things were gone now and she believed she had to start over. I did not understand and perhaps I could have tried to be more supportive. We drifted apart and did not reconnect until we were graduating from high school and her party would be in the old barn. Of course I went and had a great time and we realized we were both going to go to the same college. We decided we would room together in the dorms and we did just that. The farm and the old barn would be in our life forever as her family fixed it up for local events and it was fun for kids and adults alike. Donna was married there and when her family decided to rent out the old barn and large yard for events, I was married there also to her brother Lyle, the cowboy, who was no longer a cowboy!"
About the Creator
I am married with 7 children, 27 grands, and 12 great-grandchildren. I am a culture consultant part-time. I write A Poem a Day in February for 8 years now. I wrote 4 - 50,000 word stories in NaNoWriMo. I write on Vocal/Medium weekly.