One of Hubert's and my favorite pass times was stopping in the horse corral and checking the oat box. If we worked it just right we could raise the lid and the mice would scurry out of the corner. There was a large crack in the corner. I would hold the lid and Hubert would try to stomp the mice as they came out. It cured me from enjoying the game when a Chipmunk scurried out and Hubert stomped on it's tail. It's tail came off under his foot. Since chipmunks were considered playmates this was very offensive to treat them like that.
Another story about a munko-munk is a sad tale. We had a cat that had caught one and after he played with it, he would then stash it back in a box under the bed where it couldn't escape. He didn't kill it but saved it for another time! When we discovered what he had been doing, we felt really bad for the poor little fellow, which had been badly mauled and could not see by then. We rescued it and set out to nurse it back to health, but of course the children were not always privy to the adult solution for a problem. It is likely mom disposed of the chipmunk to put it out of it's misery.
Where there are children, in the summer, they are likely to find a swimming hole. In the summer the water in Schafer Creek would dry up until there would be a mere trickle joining the pools of the creek bed. Hubert and I spent much of our time playing in the creek. We discovered what a delight it was, fishing with our hands. We would probe under the rocks and catch the trout, which were trapped in the pools. A good afternoon would furnish enough fish to feed the hungry crew .
Being innovative children we decided that if we dammed the creek we could stock it and have our own supply of fish. Hubert had a little red wagon which we filled with water, caught the fish, placed them in water in the wagon and transported our fish. It was what seemed like long distances. You can imagine our pride as we watched our catch grow in the pool. We made trip after trip. Our prize fish was a trout that was bright blue. Then disaster struck! A thunderstorm came during the night and washed the whole enterprise down the creek, blue fish and all. I've never caught another fish that color and have watched for one all of my life.
Hubert had an inventive mind and loved to make things. One time he built a little sawmill out of milk cans. I was real impressed. Dad had irregular boards at the sawmill called tailings. We used them for wood and various other things. Hubert decided to build a play house for me and Looking back, I can appreciate the ingenuity it took for a boy 10 year old to accomplish this. I guess ...as dad had built the cabins for the crew, Hubert had taken it all in, because he framed a two room house with windows, door, and a roof with rafters. It would have been quite an accomplishment for a boy several years his senior. In fact I've known men who had less idea as to how to accomplish such an undertaking. This proves, "Monkey See. Monkey Do", and the importance of children working with parents to learn skills.
Hubert and I received a movie camera for a Christmas present. I remember it was made of tin and had a little handle on the side that you turned by hand, which projected pictures. At one of the cabins down along the creek, which was vacant, there was an old cellar. We made that our movie house. We placed a bottle with kerosene with a twisted cloth sock in the neck, for a wick. Of course we had seen relatives extend the life of the wick in a lamp in this manner. We had our own light. We felt we were very wise. We knew Aunt Dorothy had burned her leg severely by not handling gas right, while cleaning paint brushes. We took great pains to handle it right.
I remember especially the trips to and from the "Valley". These were the beginning of the WW11 years, so every trip counted. Usually the trip out would be to haul lumber out to Horseshoe Bend to the big sawmill there. The rides seemed to be interminable, the truck literally crept up one hill and down another. One trip that I recall vividly was Christmas Eve, After laboring over hill after hill, we finally reached what should have been the easiest part of the trip. Time to a small child can really drag and it was Christmas Eve. We were on our way to The Grandparents in Star for the holiday. All at once the truck coughed and stopped dead. We were out of gas. Dad had to walk on a country road to the nearest phone and call Granddad to bring gas. I remember on more than one occasion when we waited after running out of gas. The Christmas Eve trips were the high light of the season. We would arrive to a tree alight with "real candles" The tree ornaments were old friends and cherished. Beautifully done birds with a fiber tail , hand blown glass bulbs, frosted and painted etc. I received my Shirley Temple Doll from under that tree and another year a set of quintuplets. The little china set, waffle iron and mixing bowls that l still have were waiting another time. What a magical world, coming from a non electric world to one of Christmas brilliance.
They utilized each trip both coming and going. On one of the trips during the winter or spring, Uncle Bob Lenaghen was returning with a load hay. Perched on top of the load were the groceries which included a crate of eggs. Somehow he lost control of the truck, slipped off the road and overturned the load. Appalled at what we might find, we started searching for the groceries and the eggs. You can guess our surprise when we located them, perched in the crotch of a tree, near by on the down side of the road. Evidently they had settled gently there when the load tipped, because after careful examination, we found not one egg had been broken.
I remember on one of the return trips during the winter, we had fought the mud to a stand still. The truck hopelessly bogged in the adobe mud. We had to wait for Dad to walk into the mill, harness the logging team and return to literally drag us on into camp.
Ordinarily the great horses were used to skid the logs onto the landings. From there they were rolled onto the trucks so they could be trucked to the mill . We were always delighted if we could talk dad into giving us a ride on the way to the corral. Our little legs stuck out almost horizontal, their backs were so broad. We were very careful to not get near the teams when Dad was not there.
The horses were mammoth "Morgans," ... not sympathetic to children under foot. I recall one very traumatic time when the horses played a very major role in helping Dad. He had taken the horses to the woods, it must have been a Sunday or a Holiday because he was by himself. As he was skidding logs, one of the logs rolled and trapped him beneath it in the snow. As luck would have it the snow cushioned the tremendous weight. He finally was able to dig with his pocket knife and get from under the log but he was still far from home and bruised excessively. He coaxed the team near enough so he could drag himself upon their backs, pulling himself up using the harness and turned their heads toward home. Like homing pidgins, they returned to the corral and Mamma.
Far from a doctor and used to doing what ever had to be done in an emergency, she soaked him in the large galvanized tub. The hot water and Epsom Salts seemed to accomplish what was needed. I don't recall how long it took to recover.
Another emergency arose when Dad almost cut his thumb off at the sawmill. He refused to go to the doctor to get stitches that time also. This was in the days when you did it your self, if it was done at all.
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