|This is legit.|
History be damned. I'd watched the Discovery Channel. I knew what was going on over there. It was obvious there was a very small part of that strange world across the ocean colonized by people with funny accents, and the rest had been left to grow wild because there was no one cool enough to tame it. That's where I came in.
|Shut up. I'm adorable.|
I was going to be a hero.
All heroes need to learn somewhere, however, so most of my time was spent exploring a large field in my grandmother's back yard. I roamed in the relative safety of the early 90's, marching through weeds and Texas cactus where my greatest foes were the rarely seen snake and terrified rabbits. I slayed bushes, making the part before me dramatically with my trusty stick, and each day I made it my business to sneak just a bit farther from the house. I probably never would have made it more than a half block away at that age were it not for the help of my father.
On a drive home from the store my Dad slowed as we passed a wide field, split by a valley, and pointed out the window. In that moment, he told me something you should never tell a kid who grew up watching Indiana Jones over and over in an effort to learn everything about exploring they could.
|That's a Native, not a redneck. Just so you know.|
I was entranced. Instantly. Suddenly, my adventures no longer needed a trip across the ocean or even a driver's license to get to. I had been ignorant to the treasure in the back of my very own home. How had I been so blind? So closed minded?
|Look, if you owned a hat that awesome you'd never take it off either.|
There was gold out there! The early settlers in this common Texas town had to have missed most of it. They weren't as clever as I happened to be in my ten years of intelligence. There was gold and I was going to dig it up. I figured it could be used to fund later adventures, and if there was enough I could use the left over to buy my family something nice. I could see it all now.
|I blew the entire blog budget on this to add color.|
|Why don't children consider how fat they'd look as a balloon?|
|I swear. He's native. Ignore the hippy vibe.|
I didn't see these ideas as being unrealistic at all. If anything, I was being reasonable or maybe even underestimating the wealth. So, after we'd gone home and had a simple family dinner, watched TV, and I spent the night laying in bed and plotting my new outing that was going to take me at least a whole mile (A MILE!) from home, I walked out my front door the next morning with purpose.
First off was supplies, which I gathered easily enough.
|Anyone else think of Boondocks?|
And then I was off. I marched bravely down the dirt road from the house and began my quest to find gold. Once I'd found it, I could probably carry a good bit back in my bag and maybe make another trip tomorrow or that day after. We'd have all we needed then. This plan was fool proof.
After what was probably a half hour of walking I was tired and convinced I'd covered twice as much land as the car my Dad was driving had. I'd probably made better time too. The only problem was I couldn't quite remember where exactly the gorge was.
|Master of the cow-eyed stare.|
To be honest, I couldn't readily remember the way I'd come from either.
|Nothing over here.|
Or the direction I needed to be going.
|Nothing over there.|
And then the real world sank in.
|I hope you can understand the drama of this moment. A WHOLE MILE.|
I had done it now. I'd wandered to far from home and now I was never going to find my way back. I was going to die. It was the end of everything. The promises of gold were forgotten as I began to run, crazed, back the way I thought I had come as fast as possible while doing my best not to cry.
|That's right, I fell, got up, ran into a fence, rolled down a hill and ended up the the ground with a tumble weed. Don't hate.|
And walked more.
And walked more still.
And then, the metaphorical clouds parted and I found what I'd come for. Waiting for me at the far end of the gorge, right before I rock slide that could lead me up and out was the most amazing thing. It /had/ to be what I'd been meant to find. What could be better that what lay before me? In the span of those few seconds I fell in love with my discovery. I had been given a treasure. Something I'd always wanted, just never known I'd been missing until that moment.
|This is a goat. No. Legit.|
I instantly named it “Rosie.”
I liberated the rope from my pack, mindless to how dark it was getting outside, and fashioned a nice collar for my new sidekick. The rope was looped around the goats neck with ease, and with new found determination to rescue my four legged friend I began to climb the land slide wall to exit the gorge. The climb was long, hard, and tricky (Thought the goat seemed to have no real problems) but as the sun was going down I managed to make it out and began leading my pet toward my home. Or where I thought home was. In reality, I wandered down several side streets and back pastures dragging the oddly obedient goat along before I happened across my grandmother's house right about the point that she was setting dinner on the table.
|I don't know where the rest of the kitchen furniture went. We were poor, dammit.|
My grandmother was in shock. Not only had I been gone all day, but I had stolen someone's livestock. That was still a hanging offense in backwater Texas. Sadly for the goat owner, I couldn't retrace my steps the next day to tell anyone where I'd gotten my pet from. So, instead, my grandmother placed the goat in the large chicken pen she kept at the back of her farm land. Over the years Rosie the goat eventually began to believe that she was a chicken herself and lived out a long and happy life as champion of the chicken pen.
|That goat was a hero. Title stealing goat.|
Rosie fended off skunks, snakes, stray house cats and wild dogs from her precious chickens, providing for a small profit for my grandmother as she was able to sell off the sudden surplus in birds. It ended up being the best bit of thievery I'd ever done even if we didn't become rich. The best part was some of the extra cash went toward me getting one of the best presents of all time.
|[insert Zelda 'received item' sound here]|
But that's a story for another time.
Once again, our art is thanks to the same wondrous lady as last time. It's amazing she puts up with my requests.
[Edit: Fixed spelling errors. Nothing like hardcore comments to make you realize you shouldn't post at midnight.]