Pumped Up

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A cowboy driving a herd of cattle to market sees a basket ball for the first time

Submitted: July 17, 2011

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Submitted: July 17, 2011

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Pumped Up

Circa 1872

The hot dry winds swept across the west Texas plains. Up ahead he could see nothing but more barren land as far as the eye could see. In the distance, a dust devil kicked up, and lone tumbleweed randomly blew across his path. Big Jake Purcell twisted in his saddle trying to get comfortable. It had been a long day; up before sunrise, a cup of yesterday’s cold coffee, a chew of jerky and oats for his horse Abigail, and it was back in the saddle again.

Big Jake had been on the trail for 7 weeks now driving a small herd of 12 Longhorns from Amarillo to Laredo.

The boss of the double S-T had told him the only town between Amarillo and Laredo was Uvalde, which was about four days ride to Laredo. “Here Jake," he said, “I’m giving you a step by step guide, so you won’t get lost."

“Seven weeks," Jake said to himself, “If I’d used the boss’s guide, I wouldn’t have gotten lost so many times and would probably be back at the ranch by now."

It was almost dark now as he rounded up the herd and set about making camp. He built a fire behind a rock to avoid the howling wind and put his coffee pot on. In the distance, he could see a faint glow coming from the ground up into the dark sky. After supper and feeding Abagail, he pulled out his bed roll and instantly fell asleep.

The next day around noon he was on the outskirts of Uvalde. He made arrangements with the livery stable to feed and curry his horse. Finally, when the cows were penned, he set out for town. Big Jake had $8 dollars in his pocket, and he was aiming to spend some of it.

As he walked by Johannes mercantile and feed, there in the window was a leather ball, something he had never seen before. Curiosity got the best of Jake, so he went inside and asked Mr. Johannes, “what’s that ball used fur?” “Why, that’s a basketball.” “What’s a basketball” Jake asked? “It’s a new game that came all the way from New York City”. “It’s the latest craze and everybody’s playing it.” Mr. Johannes explained how the game was played. “You blow it up with a hand pump, and you are set to go,” he said.

“How much” Jake asked? “They are 2 bits apiece.” “How about the pump?” “Well the pump is a dime, but I don’t have any right now.” “I’m expecting some in; maybe on your way back to Amarillo I’ll have one.”

“Man this is my ticket out of this cow punching gig." “When I get back, I’ll buy a bunch and then sell them for a huge profit.”

Early the next morning Big Jake rode out of town smiling.

Happy trails partner.

Unfortunately Jake didn’t know there was no such thing as an air pump and wouldn’t be invented for another 20 years, proving P.T. Barnum was right; there's a sucker born every minute

I have other stories and articles posted on skulpin.,com

skulpin

PS. Next time I’ll explain how Big Jake invented the grounding rod by wearing spurs and holding a silver dollar between his teeth during an electrical storm.

July, 2011 © article 2


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