We had always known about the dirt in the Panhandle and its use as a clod weapon. Up until this here day, though, we had never known just how painful they could be. We threw them at rabbits that we chased (though we never hit any) but never at people and this day was the first time we had been the target of a “Panhandle death clod.” I’m here to tell you they hurt like the dickens.
Now that we knew and felt this awful truth, Stewie was quick to suggest its use, “We are going to have to re-take our ground one way or the other which means we have to be willing to use the clods and maybe even rocks.” That was a given, but, now the ground was occupied by, what, a thousand ornery kids? The reality was there was two different groups of fifteen of them compared to the ten or so of us (depending on who was grounded on any one day). We had no clue how to retake our slice of the Panhandle. Among the many ideas, Larry had the best. “We need to go out to the far south end of the field (that’s where the sorghum bull lived) and gather up a bunch of clods and hide them along the fence line”, Larry said with supreme confidence. “We know the sorghum bull is in his barn at that hour having supper so he won’t be a problem.” We all figured it was a perfect plan.
“I ain’t going nowhere near that bull,” Max said while on the verge of tears. His little brother disappeared one day and Max had always figured that the sorghum bull had got him. The truth was he got too near to the haunted house behind Larry’s house and a ghost got him. That’s another story for another time. Larry stood up, puffed his chest out, looked Max right smack in the eyeballs, and said, “You need to avenge your brother’s death and now is that time.” None of us knew what avenge meant but we thought it sounded tough so we agreed with Larry. Max didn’t say a word but nodded his head. We figured that meant he would.
All this took place in early spring and we were still in school. We had to wait until Friday to make our move when we could stay out later. We had decided early on that our headquarters was to be at Stewie’s house as it was right across the street from the eastern border of our field. We knew the farm where the sorghum bull lived was bordered by a barbed wire fence. That fence caught a lot of tumble weeds and made a natural fort. So, long as the sorghum bull didn’t see us we would be ok.
Next week: setting the trap.