Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CHALLENGE (08/17/17)
- TITLE: Welcome To The Gang
By Phillip Cimei
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“Hey dude, what’s your name?” asked John, the leader of the neighborhood gang. His cohorts followed suit, “Yeah, what’s your name?”
“Where ya from?”
“Uh, just moved from Oklahoma.”
The boys laughed. John snickered and turned to his buddies, “Looks like we got us here an Okie, boys.”
Jake grinned. He thought he would break the ice, “Yep, but I ain’t from Muskogee.” They were familiar with the hit song.
John puckered his lips and gave an accepting nod of the head, “Ya wanna be part of our gang?”
“Sure, I guess,” Jake said reservedly.
John turned to his friends, gave a quick wink, scratched his head a little, and said, “Well we have an initiation that everyone has to go through in order to be part of this here gang. Ya will’n?”
“What do I hafta do?”
“Oh, it ain’t noth’n to much,” John said in a matter of fact way, scrunching his nose and pooh pooh’n his hands.
“Come on! You’re not chicken are ya?”
John told Jake to tell his parents he was going to camp out with some new friends. He gave him his telephone number and said they could call his mom and confirm it. It was all set.
The boys came by his house just before dark. John yelled out to Jake as he was coming out of the house, “Better get your bike, it’s a ways to the site.”
“What site? How far?”
“Just get your bike and follow us.”
Jake pondered what he had gotten himself into as they rode about five miles out of town.
It was a muggy night. Jake gasped for air as he lagged behind the gang. “Come on, we are almost there,” yelled John.
The group stopped along a fence and waited.
The sun had set. The moonless night helped conceal Jake’s trembling body. He wouldn’t surrender to the terror he felt. What now?
“Okay, here is what you have to do. See those sleeping cows?”
“Yeppp!” he said in a quivering manner.
“You gotta run as fast as you can and aim high, lower your shoulder, and knock that sucker over.”
“Are you nuts?” asked Jake.
“What, don’t they have cow tipp’n in Okie land?”
Jake didn’t want to appear naïve about childhood antics, “Well I heard of it…I mean…a…I just haven’t seen it done.”
“Noth’n to it. They won’t know what hit’em”
“Ya sure they’ll fall over?
“Just hit’em high and hard.”
They all quietly snuck over to the barbed wire fence. John held up the fence while Jake bent over and crawled through. John turned on his flashlight and spotted two cows standing side by side. He chuckled a little and yelled out in a whisper—if there is such a thing— “You can set a record tonight.”
“Those two over there,” he said as he flashed the lights on the two cows, “hit the one into the other and they will both fall over.”
Jake thought John was nuts, but who knows? Could happen. Ha! Not in this lifetime.
Jake lowered his shoulder, looked back at the boys, gave a thumbs up, and charged at the cows. Pumping his arms like an Oklahoma oil rig, he built up steam. He let out a grunt and hit the cow square behind the shoulder. He could hear a snort as it fell into the cow next to her. But it wasn’t a cow. It was Stomper.
John failed to tell Jake that this was a ranch that housed not only cows, but rodeo bulls. Big, nasty, bone crushing bulls. And he had just interrupted Stomper’s midnight, romantic interlude with Bessie.
Stomper pawed the ground, grunted out a displeased threat, and started the chase. Jake headed for the fence. Run! Run Faster! John yelled.
“Aaaaaeeeh! Jake screamed as he looked back. Steam and death spewed out of Stomper’s nostrils.
John held open the fence, but Jake imitated a 747 and flew over the top of the barbed fence—just as he felt the tip of Stompers horn hit his foot.
Screaming, laughing, and pats on the back were the order of the day. “Welcome to our gang,” John said. Stomper snorted.
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