Conversation with a Future Cowboy (7-3-14)
On Thursday, after the rodeo, JR and I were hanging out with some of the Rodeo Association folks and volunteers. A cute little tow-headed boy named Tucker, the son of one of the volunteers, was glued to the side of one of the Association members. This little boy had a long sleeved button down shirt tucked into his jeans which were belted with a big shiny belt buckle. He had on the tiniest paddock boots I’ve ever seen. Tucker was talking about how he had seen the bulls before the rodeo. I asked him where they were located that evening. He pointed to the far side of the grounds and asked me if I wanted him to show me where. How could I refuse?!
We walked down the back side of the Rodeo grounds and as we passed each animal, Tucker would describe them for me. “There’s the steer, there’s the broncs (they’re not mad now), the sheep, the bulls” etc. etc. As we walked, we had a little conversation. Since he was wearing his belt buckle, I asked him if he had participated in the mutton busting that evening. He said, “Noooo.” (Big pause. I could tell there was a story here). He continued sadly, “I did that two weeks ago. I got a mouth full of dirt. I spit it out though.” In a nut shell, here’s our conversation:
Me: Do you want to be a bull rider when you grow up?
T: Yes. I want to ride bulls in Alaska and North Dakota.
Me: Where do you live?
T: Absarokee. (He then detailed the local highway routes they used to get to Red Lodge – very cute).
Me: Did you drive here?
T: No, not til I’m old enough to get my drivers license. Where do you live?
Me. In Luther. How old are you?
T: I’m four, and then I’ll be five, and then I’ll be six. Where does your Dad live?
Me: My Dad? My Dad lives in Georgia. Do you know where that is?
T: No. Do you live with the Video Guy?
Me: Yes, he’s my husband.
T: Where does he live?
Me: He lives with me in Luther.
T: Oh. (About to climb over the pen railing) Do you want to pet the sheep?
Me: No, I think we should stay here and just look at them.
T: Okay. Do you want to see something cool?
Me: (Wondering what this could be) Yes, of course I do!
Tucker definitely delivered. He took me over to see two foals in the pens with their Mamas. They were so pretty. We sweet talked them for a little bit.
T: Do you want to see something else cool?
Me: You bet.
We walked into the grounds and up to the bucking chutes. This little kid, all of probably forty pounds soaking wet, reaches up, grabs onto the heavy metal lever that opens and closes one of the chutes, and with all his might pulls that lever all the way down and opens the gate.
Me: Wow! You are really strong!
T: I know. I’m probably stronger than you.
Me: Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
T: Do you want to try it?
Me: That’s okay. Maybe you are stronger than me.
After that Tucker caught sight of his older brother, their Dad, and some other kids lighting firecrackers so I was old news. I shook Tucker’s hand and told him it was nice to meet him and thanks for showing me around. He was a sweety. He’s going to be quite the cowboy when he grows up.