Sold to the highest bidder
July 6, 2010
Recently, I read some memories that my uncle John had jotted down to be shared with our family. He had secretly kept them to himself for many years. As I read his short story titled, “A Pony and Me,” it made me laugh.
Following is a brief summary of what he wrote, “After I graduated from grade school, Dad and I used to go to the farm sales. At one of these sales, there was a gray colored pony. It had a long mane and a long tail. I had my eye on this horse. Out of the blue, I was bidding on him. The other bidder got him for $30.00. Dad did not see any of this taking place. I wonder what I would have done had I gotten the horse without his approval. I had no money.”
While this was going on, I’m sure the auctioneer continued talking his fastest. He more than likely didn’t know that the young, eager bidder didn’t have permission to up the bid.
Based upon the information Uncle John gave, I estimate that the humorous incident probably happened sometime in the early thirties. Money certainly was short then. Knowing how strict my grandpa could be, I am fairly sure that he would have been rather upset with his young son’s actions. If my uncle had gotten the bid by chance, he probably wouldn’t have been riding the pony like he’d wanted. Instead, he likely would have gotten a good scolding – one, which he would remember for years to come.
In my uncle’s defense, I can easily see why he acted as he did. He had gotten the “auction bug.” Everyone else in the crowd appeared to be bidding on something they wanted. Why shouldn’t he join in on the action? Besides, he could picture himself riding the gray pony. It would be a lot of fun.
My uncle concluded his story like this, “Speaking of horses, we had a dozen. When Mom and Dad left the farm, we would round up our workhorses and ride them around the yard. To be a might braver, we’d put the calves in the barn and tie a rope around their belly. One of us would climb aboard, open the barn door and ride out into the corral. We didn’t ride very far before we’d say hello to Mother Earth.”
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Like Uncle John, I always wanted a horse to ride around the farm. One day, Dad surprised us kids when he came home from the sale barn with a Shetland Pony. Sometimes, I went to the sale with him; but on this particular day, I had to stay at home. If I’d been there, I would have been so excited, knowing Dad was bidding on the horse. I might have even been scared that one of the other bidders was going to get “my horse.” It sure would have been tempting to raise my hand like Uncle John did years ago. I might have thought Dad needed a little extra help in getting the bid.
I know one thing – it sure would have been disappointing to me if the auctioneer pointed to someone else in the crowd and said, “Sold!” After all, you only get one chance to buy the pony you have your eye on.