The Two Older Brothers….. Some Pranks And Some Stories.

It seems like my memories of my oldest brother were of him not living at home.  He was 13 years older, so I do not remember him being at home with us much.  He did visit all of the time, though. Or maybe he was living there, I honestly do not remember.  I remember having the mumps and he gave me some awards that he had won and they were on his boy scout uniform.  He pinned them to my pajamas.  I was so proud to have them!  I remember him playing with me and making me laugh, but most of my memories are of him grown and I have plenty of those to share later! This brother is the one who came up with the idea to walk the barrels.  He was full of ideas and such fun!

My little brother was three years younger than me.  He and I had to get immunizations. I was on the exam table and my brother, being so young, was on my mother’s lap.  The doctor gave him his shot in the butt and he started screaming and crying.  He cried so much he quit breathing.  They all went running out of the room.  It seemed I was on that table forever!  I kept thinking if only I could jump down or if I could just reach this or that.  There was some pretty interesting stuff on that tray and counter and all shiny, too! What a long time I sat there. It got very dark in my room because the hallway suddenly went very dark. I wondered when they would come back in.  It turns out, they all took off for the hospital which was just up the road. The doctor told my mom that he was sorry and pronounced him dead.  She screamed at him to do something!  It turns out, the doctor was able to clear my brother’s throat from mucous and bring him back to life.  My mother said that he stuck a tube down his throat and sucked it up into his own mouth and then spit it out.  My little brother checked out fine, so he sent my mother home with her baby and called the office and told them to close up!  Hey!!! What about me???  No wonder I am like I am.  Left, locked in and forgotten about! That could cause a complex!  She got home and asked my older brother where I was.  He said he thought I was with her. She thought he took me with him when he left.  They made some calls and they found someone to check the doctor’s office.  They found that I was, in fact, at the doctor’s office, locked in, all by myself.  My brother came and picked me up.  The nurse or receptionist, someone who let him in, asked if I would like a sucker and extended a little jar of suckers for me to pick from.  I said I wanted the whole jar.  They both laughed and she gave them to me.  I had like a little bouquet of suckers and I felt that I deserved them.  It felt so good to hold my little bouquet.  When I got home my mother said she would keep those suckers for me.  Yeah, right, I didn’t get very many of them. You know, too much sugar and blah, blah. I have a newspaper article about my little brother being pronounced dead. I am sure glad they were able to save him!

My next to the oldest brother was 10 years older.  Mom and dad use to have him  babysit while they went shopping or on errands.  Boy do I have memories of that!  As soon as they left he would make us clean up the house and he took the credit for doing it.  Mom and Dad just thought it was wonderful how great he was to do that!  They loved it!!! Of course, we knew better than to bust him out for it and admit it was us.  Believe me, later in life we told them it was us!  Who wants to go though life without credit?

If we misbehaved he would have us stand in the corner and put our noses up to the wall with our hands behind our backs.  After a few seconds he would say something like don’t you move, but, uh, oh, there is a spider crawling down that corner right by your nose! Yep, we were scared!  After a few times of this happening, we knew to ignore him.  He would have my little brother do something like wrestling with me.  He made an area to use as a ring and he would have us wrestle there until he ended the round.  I think we had to go only 3 rounds or so.  He would read a magazine and look up from time to time and say round over. He would forget once in awhile to stop us and my sister would get mad at him and he would say round over. Sometimes he would have us put a piece of bread in our mouths so it looked like we had mouth guards in   He was not brutal, do not get the wrong idea.  He was just being an older brother. He was fun and we loved him.

We were always in the woods playing.  I remember going down there with my brother this one time and I was so totally excited when I found these huge sand piles.  Someone had piled them up into great big hills.  I went running for them and my brother was telling me not to.  He was not babysitting today, so who did he think he was?  I jumped right into the big hill of sand and kept jumping and jumping.   It was such fun.  My brother was running up to get me and I wondered why he did not want me to play in the sand.  That was just mean of him.  All of a sudden, I started screaming and screaming.  My brother picked me up and ran up the hill with me and started taking my clothes off.  I was screaming my head off.  Mom and dad came running out of the house and my brother told them I had been jumping on an ant hill.  My mom took me in and put me right in the bath tub. No wonder he did not want me playing in the sand. Man-oh-man, can those things bite!  I do not know what they really were but we called them army ants. Well, that is the story my brother told anyway.  He told me I was so lucky because those army ants were called that because they pulled soldiers down in to their holes and ate them.  He told me it did not really matter if you were a soldier, they would eat you anyway and thankfully he saved me.  I had no idea about these things and had  never seen them before.  There were 4 or 5 of those huge “sand piles” in the woods. I don’t remember seeing them much after that so I think that Dad must have done something to get rid of them.  They were something to see, though.

My brother and his friend were burning the trash one time and some how the woods caught on fire.  It was the woods, but several of our out buildings were nearby and then our house. My older brother was called and he came right over. I have no recollection really of how it happened but what I do remember is that there was no volunteer fire department then and the city fire department would not come out to the country  My mom just called the radio station and people started arriving with shovels and gunny sacks.  They would wet the gunny sacks and swat at the fire.  We had to pump water from the well. Trenches were dug beyond the parameters of the fire to hopefully stop it from spreading but the fire just kept spreading.  The radio station kept announcing updates and asking anyone who could come to come out.   More and more people arrived.  It was unreal how many people showed up.  How nice everyone was back then, so kind and loving and willing to help.  We need more of that today. There was a back hoe parked over in a field and someone suggested calling the owner and asking him to come help since the hoe was just right there.  They called and he came too.  The fire was finally extinguished without damage to any homes or buildings.  Whew!  So thankful that people were so kind. It sure makes you thankful for the volunteer fire fighters!!!!!  If any of you reading this remember this, please comment.

Both of my older brothers were hunters.  Although the older brother did not live at home, he would come over bright and early in the mornings and go rabbit hunting with my other brother.They would hunt in our woods and bring back rabbits and immediately clean them for breakfast.  My brothers had these green coats with huge pockets and they would fill the pockets with the rabbits they got.  I never liked seeing that.    Sometimes, I was elected to hold two of the legs while they gutted the rabbit.  As you can imagine  this was not my favorite thing to do at all! It took two people, one to hold the front legs and one to hold the back legs and then stretch tightly.  The third person would cut it up the middle and gut it. Mom would make fried rabbit, biscuits and gravy.  How would you want to eat that after witnessing the cleaning anyway? I would never eat it after only one time of tasting it.   I did not care for the flavor, but the rest of the family loved it.  My mom, at some times, would try to trick me and tell me she made chicken.  I was not that stupid.  I have never seen a chicken leg have that bend in it.  I would tell her I knew she was trying to trick me and that chickens did not have elbows or knees in their legs that bent like that. She was so frustrated, she wanted me to like it. To me, that meat had an unforgettable twang to it. People call it a gamey taste.  Well, apparently I do not like a gamey taste!  I could not even tolerate the taste the rabbit gave the gravy. What a cruel thing to do.   Homemade gravy is the best, how could you ruin the flavor of it with rabbit?

You may not like this story, but I still to this day think this is a good story.  Rabbit hunting was done in the winter and Christmas is in the winter.  The whole family loves a good joke and we are a bunch of pranksters.  My big brother was always there when we did this, too. My dad came up with this idea of leaving a wrapped present alongside the road and watching out the window to see who picked it up. This present was always the fanciest wrapped gift you would ever see. They put the nicest of ribbons around it and a beautiful big bow on top. The trees had all lost their leaves so we could place the nicely wrapped gift a bit down the road from our house and watch the cars stop and get the present. Not a lot of cars came by so there was a little bit of a wait. Not one car ever went on by, though.  Some may accidentally  pass it but they would screech the brakes and back up! They would open the door and get out and look around to see if anyone noticed them.  They would try to nonchalantly pick up the present and put it in their car. Inside of that nicely wrapped gift  was a box full of the rabbit guts!  Terrible, I know, but so funny.  When the cars stopped to get the present,  they could not stand to wait and they would  hurry down the road and turn at the first  corner and park the car to investigate their wonderful treasure. They were parked where we could perfectly see them.  It never took too long for them to suddenly open the door and throw that gift right out in the ditch and speed off!  Oh did we laugh! Hmmm, I suppose you should not take something that is not yours.  What if some poor person had lost that gift and came back looking for it?  They may have learned a lesson.  No, I doubt that they learned a lesson, I bet they were just furious! That thought made us laugh even harder. In fact, we still laugh today, just thinking about it.   You may disagree with our joke, but well ….we all had a lot of  laughs over it. It certainly helped to pass a winter day and there is an old saying…. it is better to give than to receive.!?

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