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In the Year of our LORD Jesus Christ
-- As of January 20, 2017
A Sigh Of Relief With The Inauguration Of Donald John Trump as President of the United States of America, And Hope For A Prosperous Future For All United States Citizens (we who are a nation called "the melting pot of the world"). We shall be great and exceptionally great again.

It is likely that the entries to this blog will be less frequent than in years past. I do intend to keep this blog active, and to offer insightful information and/or opinion (and sometimes humor and/or entertainment on occasion) when I do post.

Peace and Liberty. Semper Fidelis.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Recollections of a Western Deputy (1871 -1897): Friday, October 24, 1879 Celebratin' Our Little Neighborhood Hero: Fanny

Recollections of a Western Deputy (1871 -1897): 
             Celebratin' Our Little Neighborhood Hero: Fanny

Friday, October 24, 1879       One of the things I enjoy lookin' at is when a child or a group of children in their innocence remind me of me.  I don't mean they look like me or are kin to me, but that some of the experiences I get to see them go through are a lot like the ones I had as a young 'un.    Take 9 year old "Fanny" Magnusson.  This little blond haired and blue eyed girl who Scottish Family traced back to the Vikings,  led about a group of 6 or 7 children about her age down to my eldest son Winchester's age of 6.  When I was a child, my hair was very light brown to an almost blond in summer, and it would darken in the winter.  Later on, it turned a medium brown and stayed that way, but one of my childhood friends was also a gutsy little blond and blue eyed female, who when she got older, moved away as she began changing into a beautiful woman, and dashed the hopes I had of askin' her for marriage, though she was just a year older than me and I was 12 and she was 13.  I heard tell she married a month before I left to serve as a scout for General Lee for a while, bein' reassigned with the highest honors and recommendations from a genuine Christian gentleman and shrewd soldier who had only recently commanded at West Point, and used to happily chuckle how he would have loved to have had me as one of his fine young cadets at West Point, as if it were a prayer and a wish that could somehow someday come true.  
That aside, come to think of it, I've been callin' this 9 year old little girl "Fanny" for so long, and so have her friends, I forget what her first name really was.  No matter.

  About a year ago, Winchester had adopted a Momma house cat with the kittens, and that was when he and little "Fanny", a neighbor from down the street who was 8 then and Winchester was 5, well that was when these two children took a gleam to one another and became friends.  They was so close, you would have thought they was kin, like me and my cousin Beth.  It was really cute to see these two together, and they never argued with one another neither.    A few days after Winchester found  this Momma house cat who had her litter over by the big tree next to the horse stall, some 40 feet from the kitchen side door of the house later, a group of 4 wild cats attacked the Momma Cat and her litter in front of a frightened  and screamin' Winchester, and killed them all afore the wife could run out of the house and kill one of them wild cats with a meat cleaver toss and them grab another by its back and neck skin (as it jumped to attack as the other two skedaddled).  Well sir, the wife bein' who the real fine woman that she is, she brought that wild and clawin' cat around head  high and vertical, and then she kicked that cat in the rear end like it were a ball near 30 foot up that tree over by the covered horse stall where I generally keep my horse "Reindeer" at.  The neighbors all up and down the street heard that wild (might as well be an alley cat)  critter's dyin' scream and came a runnin'.   But by then it was all over.   The cat sunk its claws at just over 29 feet up that tree, and died clinging.  A few hours later I returned home, hearin' the news from every neighbor as I slowly rode up the street.  A couple of the neighbor's children boast smilingly how "Mrs. B.  kicked the cat!" , and "Mrs. B. saved Winchester's life!" afore bein' chased or called inside the house by one of their parents.    I was concerned over that last utterance.  But when I got home, the wife came out the Kitchen door and told me what had happened.   I climbed up a ladder and used a pruning hook extension, I pried the dead wild house cat off the tree, and we watched it fall to the ground and bounce a few inches and come to rest.   Sure enough, it was in rigor mortise.    Well sir, there was one sole survivor in that litter that those wild house cats didn't kill, and Winchester named him "Danny".    That was last year.

    Now a few days ago, "Fanny" came over, and Winchester followed along to the front corner of the property, and then came back with her to speak to the Mrs. to ask permission to play and be kept an eye on.    Because of Winchester's age, and him bein' the first of our children,  the wife and I had forbidden him to go past the corner of the property, and if the neighbor's children was invite him to play in the road, they'd have to ask permission, as the wife would watch from the kitchen door and keep them up near a direct line of sight.  Furthermore, any time a horse or carriage or wagon came down the road, they was to call out to stop, clear the road, and not resume until it was safe to do so. Well, the wife consented to watchin' them, but was drawn away to change the undergarments of Winchester's siblings when another wild house cat attack happened again.   
This time, Danny the cat was near where the children was playin'.  He was a smart and gentle cat, that was somethin' to behold.  One time some months back, Danny the cat almost got hisself run over by a passin' horse drawn buckboard as he crossed the road.  Winchester saw it.  After which he spent weeks keepin' a sharp eye on Danny whenever he got close to the road.  He would them scoop him up, and lecture him, plant him gently on all 4 paws, and turn his head to look up the street and then the other way down the street, and carry him across.  He then got to the point where he would just shout out, "Danny!  Look!"   And sure enough, at the edge of the road, that cat lookin' back at Winchester then looked Left, and then Right, and if the coast was clear, he went.  If there was traffic, that cat kept a lookin' until it was safe and then went.  Pretty soon people could easily spot and tell it was Danny from a quarter mile away.  He was the only cat in town that stopped by the side of the road, looked this way and that to see if it was safe to cross, and only then crossed the road or street that he was at.  I even seen that dang cat at the other end of town do that look this way and that in order to cross the street and then, to my alarm,  enter under the porch at the house of ill repute that the Town Council, the Mayor, the Judge, and many others liked to think they would visit on the sly.  As I rode by on reindeer, I heard the Mayor's voice call out, "Here, Pussy!" and thought to myself, "He better not be callin' that dang cat!", as I was lookin' back to see what I could tell by the shadows on the window shade as I was passin'.  When I saw it was the shadow of a woman standin' on the bed over him..."Phew!!!...What a relief!"      

   I told the wife about it, and she gave me this look.  It wasn't just "a look," it was "THE look."    As my mind raced back to try to figure what she was givin' me "THAT look" about, she then threatened to knock me up side the head with somethin' hard when I wasn't lookin' if I put the scare into Winchester by tellin' him where his cat was disappearin' off to of late, and tellin' him some "blue story" with it.   When she said "blue story", I went, "Oh!" and knew what she meant.  (I was goin' to leave that part out anyway.)      But it still could be from bad to worse, as he could make his way over thar' and find a litter of more critters, and the town would be askin' why he would bee-line straight to a place like that, and then where would I be?  Six feet under and sent there by the wife, that's where I would be!

    Anyways,  the wife was off changing baby and infant dirties in another room, and Danny the Cat was watchin' Winchester and some neighborhood children play with a ball in the street.  Suddenly, 3 wild "house cats" attacked Danny.  Winchester immediately ran to protect a screamin' in pain Danny the Cat from three attackers and got bit and scratched on the hand and arms.  Fanny then jumps in thar' as Winchester falls back, and kicks one cat off, and grabs another up by the tail, and whirls it around over head like a ball on a rope, just as I was ridin' up the road at a distance beholdin' all this.  She whirled it 2 or 3 times over head and then smashed its head against a horse hitchin' post.  The melee then goes into the side yard of my property toward the covered horse stall and tree by it, and "Fanny" catches a second cat pursuin' and on top of Danny, whirls that wild house cat around a few times over head and tosses it head first into the tree.  The third cat then attempts to jump on Winchester's face, but one of the other children grabs it by the hind legs and pulls it back so that it lands belly flat on the ground, and then they all begin stompin' it to death.  Fanny gets herself a club shaped  (near 18")  log from the loose logs near the horse stall, and comes out and finishes the job, clubbin' that last cat to death with several hard precise blows to the top of its head.  

Some of the parents that came runnin' were upset at the first, but I hailed Fanny as our little neighborhood hero, and announced that in two days hence, all these children and their families was invited for a Barbecue of a fatted calf I would butcher and open pit cook out in the Front Yard, with all the fixins except dessert, and asked if some of the women might supply pie or some other somethin'  like that they would like to share.  This would be to honor Fanny and her savin' Winchester from serious harm and also for her savin' Winchester's cat. 

Afore I knew it, the Marshal and the Sheriff and their kin invited themselves over, and the wife invited her family as well as Beth and her young uns from mine, as well as the 4 good ole boys from the Great War and their kin.  In fact, we had over 400 folks, I reckon, perhaps nearer to 500, and of all the leftover beef I thought we would have left over,  there was only bones for people's pet dogs, or to be used as soup bones. But not one went without a good portion of beef, either spit turned or seared perfect on a 5 foot by 5 foot cast iron plate I got hold of and hadn't known what to do with until now.    It was a huge success.  I haven't seen anywhere near as much laughin', and singin', and just plain fun and gettin' along since afore the Great War.  And that only once, and not lastin' near as long neither.   From late mornin' until about a half hour after dark, it was a wonderful whole day affair.  I don't reckon I've ever seen the Mrs. and her family so proud of me as I did of them as we was puttin' the last cleanin' up touches that night, most of the folks cleanin' up after themselves, so it really wasn't very much that was left.      

--  Deputy B.

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