I married at the ripe ol age o thirteen to a man jus as mean as an ol rattler, his mamma called him by the name o Ted, which I never thought was all that cowboy like. Said she got the name from some big cattle driver come down from New York, couldn’t tell you why a man of such wealth and culture would want to come live out here in the dirt. He’s even got himself an education. Says he went to college, whatever that is. Well, ol Ted went down to the rose bud fur a beer one day, he says that’s his office on account o that’s where he does all his business. I reckon Ted musta been feelin a little more surly on this day than most others cause he went and got himself in a arrgument with the town preacher over who the girl that sits in the front pew every sunday would go to the corn huskin dance with that comin Friday. Well, they had a small scuffle and she ended up goin with Ted, on account a he had more money than the preacher. Ted said she had eyes jus as perrty as a cows eyes, and even asked for her hand in marriage. They’d been courtin for a month or two when she tells him she gon have a baby. I reckon that’s probably why Ted headed back to New York. No one round here ever heard from him again.
Bout eight months later the neighboring indian tribe decided they was gon come try n steal some horses. Some o the young men from town thought they’s gon be able to fight them off while all the women and youngins took cover in the basement o the general store.Well, that little lady Ted had left behind found nothin better to do than eat some ol jerky that had been sittin down there since God knows when and nex thing y know she’s haveing her baby and that’s how my husband was born. Doc says it was all the excitement what made her start laborin, but I say it was that jerky. And I say that tough ol meat’s probably the reason Ted Jr’s got such a mean disposition.
Me n ted got ourselves a peice o land and we plant a crop o beans every spring. Every fall when we harvest we load up the youngins and the dog on the wagon and we go yander for three days. We sell the beans stock up on supplies and travel back home. Ma comes and visits every sunday after church and talks bout how that rich man left her and if he’d stayed she wouldn’t be married to that ol pennyless preacher. Ted has his whiskey every night before bed, he says he don’t never drink durin the day but for the life o me I can’t figure out why that man can’t walk a straight line. I figure that must be due to the jerky too.
I read the bible to my boys at bed time. They always giggle bout the people bein naked in the garden. Jus the other day I cought the youngest out peakin through a knot hole in the out house wall. I tanned his hide and asked him where he got such curiosities as to go peakin at girls while they’s doin private business in the out house, he says he dunno. The very nex day I caught Ted takin a peak. I reckon this mus be where the boy got the idea, and sure as rain I tanned his hide too. He says he learned it from that ol preacher his mamma married. I asked that ol preacher jus what he thinks he’s doin. He says Gods eye’s are always on us, but sometimes he gets tired and bein a man o the cloth it’s his job to help him out. One day I’s sitting in the out house when I notice an eye lookin through the hole and I jabbed my finger through it which was follered by the most God awfull howl you ever did hear. I pulled up my britches, tucked down my skirt and leaped out the door expectin to find that ol preacher man but to my surprise it was the blacksmith. I declaire! The men in this town are as refined as a horses ass.
Ted say’s when he goes with the Lord to dig the hole with post hole diggers that a way he can be burried standing up like a man. I said to him, “Why don’t we just did a giant hole and shoot ur horse so’s we can bury you on it’s back, saddle spurs and all” he says that’s a good idea. And yesterday he bought me a brand new shovel so when the time comes I’ll be ready. I reckon me n Ted’ll be sittin out on the proch one day shootin the shit about way back when we was young and did things like throwin cow patties at eachother jus fur fun. Or the time I caught him dancing with some hussy at the rose bud and shot him in his backside with his own gun.
I reckon me n Ted’ll spend the rest o our days here in this little town, tending to our beans watchin our boys grow. And Ma will spend the rest o hers with that dirty ol preacher man. And I don’t quite know if after we’ve gone to heaven if anyone’ll remember us or think our story is good enough to tell. But if’n they do n you hear it, I’m sure you will agree that Ted ain’t a very good name for a cowboy.