Tuesday, August 19, 2008

a family story...

My brother was the author of a story my family has told from year to year. I wasn’t yet born when the story came pouring out of his mouth. My brother was a small tyke riding in the back seat of my parents large 1950 Chevrolet on the way to visit family who lived in a farming community.

The roads were quite a challenge to navigate. It seems when the state proposed the farm to market roads the farmers did not want their land to be divided by asphalt owned by the state. So the state was forced to build in between the farms leaving just enough room for narrow two lane roads to wind around the edges of corn, peanut and watermelon crops.

One of the curves was really a ninety degree turn requiring drivers to come to a slow creaking roll. It was at this turn in the road where the scene outside my brother’s back seat window came alive. His version of the story was spoken with a bare minimum of words. All he said was, “Cow in the tree!” As children do he repeated his announcement several times. “Cow in the tree! Cow in the tree! Cow in the tree!” Certainly, if a cow had literally been in the tree, that would be a sight to see. My parents had just enough time to take a look and sure enough they saw the tree and the cow. Good stories do not need to be over analyzed they just are. The beauty of my brother’s story is revealed when told the way he first told it with four simple words, “Cow in the tree!”

When my sister married she move to the farming community where my grandfather’s sisters lived which meant I became very familiar with the road where the cow in the tree was first sighted. Every single time we come to that sharp curve someone in the car yells, “Cow in the tree! Cow in the tree!” We all laugh as we drive on.

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