(Recollections of my daddy)
Now, it took, maybe, half a second ‘r two fer my Daddy to take charge. Folks was all jest lookin’ on till he took the wheel.
“Lester, get a wagon over here! Tucker, give him a hand! All you fellers over there, get on yer horse! Get me some burlap to cover this man, somethin’ to use to carry him! C’mon! C’mon!”
Well, it took less time for spit to hit the bucket ‘fore Daddy had ever’body running and totin’ and fetchin’. Lester and Tuck, them fellers had us a horse hitched to a bantam wagon quick as a lick an’ was leadin’ the big ol’ bay gentle and steady toward my Daddy who knelt in the dust, whisperin’ somethin’ into the still man’s ear.
I shore would like to say the man, right then an’ there, he stood up and shouted “Glory!” but he lay still, still. Not a movement, not a tic. Never was certain if Daddy, he had faith, or if he had him a premonition. But he kept a’whisperin’ whilst the horse and wagon was brought ’round. The other veternarian, he knelt down beside o’Daddy, too, but he wudn’t doin’ nothin’ but prayin’.
Guess cattle docs draw the line at bein’ people docs.
Slow but sure, some hands I didn’t know wrapped some ol’ bags round some skinny posts, makin’ a makeshift gurney. Daddy swept most ever’body out the way, ‘ceptin’ the other vet. He give that man a hard black look, the kind we Goodwells youngins don’t relish seeing, and lo and behold, that cow doc unbent his haunches and gentle as can be reached his hands under that twisted and contorted mess o’man and him and Daddy slid his person onto that gurney then onto the wagon.
Ploddin’ and purposeful, several o’ them hardened hands walked that horse and wagon out the corral, then out to where some ve-hicles, mostly manured encrusted pickups and such, was lined up in fine orderly rows.
Then Holy Moses, what?! That big ol’ shiny black Caddy what was driven by Judge Huger, it peeled into the lot sideways, sendin’ dirt and grime and grass a’flyin’. It shuddered to a sudden stop, quiverin’ still when the Judge his ownself hurled his size 44 extra large out the driver’s side.
“Get that man in the back! Go on!” And scurry them farmhands did, still with care, but not as careful as was Daddy and the doc. Door slammed and the Judge, he popped that Caddy in gear and fair flew out the lot, tires screechin’ and screamin’ as he turned on the NN highway to-ward the hospital down to St. Joe.
Dust settlin’, we all, we just stood there.
Daddy, he just stood there.
Ain’t no place fer heroes.