Lisa Hamblen Hood: Through the Fence 12-3-12
“I’m not laughing at you,” they say; “I’m laughing with you.” I always thought that was a lame excuse for rejoicing at someone else’s misfortune. Invariably, the person was indeed laughing at me because I wasn’t laughing at all. Either I was hurt or just terribly humiliated. But sometimes the incident is just too funny. Like the time my son Landon and his friend Logan were playing with fireworks. Landon emptied all the gunpowder from a Roman candle into a box, then absentmindedly leaned over it with a lit punk in his hand. After the quick flash of flame went out, Logan couldn’t contain his laughter to see his friend’s face smoking.
It’s one thing to have your buddy get a laugh at your expense; it’s quite another when it’s one of your parents. But that’s what happened to one of my junior high students the other day. Young Colton had helped his daddy gather and pen about 150 head of sheep that needed to be wormed. They had been turned out in a large pasture for several months and were not used to being confined and handled.
The sheep were agitated and restless and bleating loudly. They were doing whatever they could to avoid being forced to take their medicine. Somewhere in the back of their minds, they had a fuzzy memory of the foul tasting purple liquid being squirted down their throats.
Colton had the hard job of running the unwilling critters up into the squeeze chute where his dad, Kolby would grab them by the head, pry open their mouths and send four or more putrid cc’s down the hatch. It was going as smoothly as possible. Colton had just grabbed a ewe by the hind leg in midair as she sailed past him. As he dragged her around, another big ewe came galloping up and butted him right between the legs. He let go of the first one and sank to his knees in agony as the second sheep scooted by. I’m sure he let out a few choice words he wouldn’t want his English teacher to hear as he rolled around in the dirt with his knees drawn to his chest.
When he finally caught his breath and sat up. He looked over at Kolby, who was choking back his laughter. He knew the boy was hurting, but the sight was just so comical, it was hard to hide his amusement. In a few minutes, Colton had recovered his senses and was about to get up when another disgruntled ewe broke rank and ran his way. She hit him full force in the cheek and nearly knocked him over.
By that time, Kolby lost it. Colton looked over at his dad, and said, “Gosh, Dad, I can’t believe you’re laughing!” His father would’ve replied or maybe offered some feeble excuse, but he was doubled over unable to catch his breath because he was laughing so hard. Every time he tried to get a word out, he’d just start over. Colton wasn’t mad, though, and when he thought about how it must have looked, he had to agree it was pretty funny. And his dad’s hysterical laughter was contagious. Pretty soon they were both guffawing.
It had been an ambitious project to get all the sheep doctored before dark anyway. And since Colton had become a sheep punching bag, he wasn’t going to be much help that day. They still had about 50 head to go but decided they’d done enough for one day. Besides, what was more important — drenching sheep or having a good father/son moment and a good laugh together? ❖
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