lies our mother told us
Those of you who have met Arlene Thompson know her to be a woman strong in spirit and character. If you also have considered her a woman of absolute truthfulness, I’m sorry to be the one to dissuade you. For on at least one occasion, to which my sister Marilyn will attest, our mother lied. And when busted for the untruth years later, she couldn’t stop laughing.
Nor could we.
It all had to do with the shared Angus livestock and farming arrangement between my folks and Uncle Tom and Aunt Lois. The two farm houses were an easy quarter-mile stroll for two little farm girls, and we loved knowing there was a warm welcome and a treat or two waiting. At ages eight and almost-six, Marilyn and I would walk the first half of the mini-journey under Mom’s watchful eye, whereupon Aunt Lois would take over for the second half.
At just that midway point, however, was a slight overlook. It was here that Uncle Tom’s massive black Angus bulls would stand, bellowing, when they were herded over to our property. There are potential dangers about which farm parents intentionally, protectively, scare the dickens out of small children, and these bulls were prime-time, prime-beef examples.
So, in addition to holding our little breaths as we tip-toed past that section of the gravel road, we asked the obvious: why do the bulls have to come to our place, anyway?
To which our mother responded, without pause: Uncle Tom has run out of hay.
I believed her until I was nearly 10.
Liar, liar, pants on fire.