Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Night The Barn Burned Down

When I was a youngun kids found things to do, even if it meant getting into meanace a time or two.

My brothers were no exception, I can attest to that. Like my pap used to say " they could pull meanace out of a hat".

We had a cousin Ralph that stayed at out house alot and it seem when cousin Ralph paid a visit, trouble got more hot.

"Meaner than a stripped snake", is what my mama always said. "You put them younguns together and you're the same as dead".

Back then people loved to visit come Saturday night. Shoot the bull awhile and some stayed all night.

My brothers and cousin Ralph like to take advantage when the grownups were otherwise occupied. They'd sneak off somewhere and get into something and hide.

My mama always kept them big kitchen matches that she used to start a fire in the cookstove hidden away, for fear that somebody would burn the house down someday.

One particular Saturday night I'll never forget. One of them boys slipped in and stole mama's kitchen matches and we still don't know which one did it yet.

They slipped up above the house where the barn stood. They'd decided to build a campfire in the barn, roast marshmallows and get into more meanace if they could.

They got the biggest fire going you ever did see. With all that hay it wasn't hard, just one match did it real quickly.

The fire got bigger and they began to get scared. The bigger it got the more commotion you could have heard.

Cousin Ralph grabbed something over in the corner, which happened to be a feed sack. They took turns fanning that fire, never once thinking of old Bessie our cow that ran out the back.

About that time down at the house someone glanced up and hollored "fire in the hole". I was scared to death, for some reason pap grabbed a pole.

It took pap and them men the rest of the night, by the time they got that big fire out the barn was gone and it was close to daylight.

When they all walked through the door all we could see was the whites of their eyes. Mama said "where's them younguns at and I ain't gonna stand for no lies".

Pap said "you'll have to wait ur turn, when I get through with em like the barn their hind-ends are gonna burn".

They'd run into the woods and hid out in strife afraid to come out for fear of their life.

As far as old Bessie our cow was concerned, she was found in the pasture chewing her cud disconcerned.

They stayed in their hiding place until after dark the very next night. They drug in starved to death looking for a bite.

They eat their belly full and fell into bed, thinking they were in the clear in their pea-brain head.

Midnight came and sleep became their best friend. Well wouldn't you know it, that's when it all begin.

Well you can figure out the rest of the story yourself. By the time pap and mama got through tanning their hides there was hardly anything left.

From that time on when cousin Ralph stayed at our house and they decided to get into meanace they were quiet as a mouse.

                                    Susie Swanson

Oh well I know what you're thinking, "man she sure is a country hick". Folks I couldn't help myself on this one, I agree I got a little carried away. Yeah, some of it's true and some of its not, I'll let you figure that part out. One thing's for certain I do have a cousin Ralph and they did catch the barn on fire with a big campfire. And I'll admit I did use words that you won't find in the dictionary, I checked it out. Mercy me what kids won't do is tore out of the book as my mama used to say. I sure do hope my brothers don't ever read this one or I'm a dead duck...Oh well hope you enjoy...Blessings, Susie


  1. Wow! I guess kids have always done stupid things! I liked the part where you mentioned friends coming and spending the night. I remember our whole family staying overnight with some neighbor friends and sleeping on palets.

    Also, when I was little, I tried to melt a piece of glass with matches, right next to the hen house. When it didn't work and I went back to the house, I dropped the matches, so my "secret" was out!

  2. Thank you, glad you liked it and can relate. I know what you mean, some of the things I got into was pure stupid. I'd be afraid to tell it today for fear people wouldn't even believe it. Kids found things to do back then.. Thanks again, Susie

  3. We used to have our children's friends stop over at times and the antics they got up to was unbelieveable. I enjoyed reading your post Thanks for sharing though if told now could lead to much trouble.

  4. Thank you Yvonne, maybe they'll never find out..lol..

  5. Honey Chile ---I grew up with folks who talked like that... I understood every word!!!! ha ha ha....

    I had to laugh because my high school boyfriend was named Ralph... I never have liked that name ---so glad we went our separate ways!!!!! ha

    Thanks for a great story, Susie.

  6. Oh my! Boys will be boys! I'm glad no one was hurt, especially old Bessie. Apparently my sister caught her mattress on fire with matches that she decided to play with ~ Before i was born... She doesn't remember either lol!

  7. Thanks Betsy, good to know there's a whole lot more country folks out there besides me..I don't necessarily like the name Ralph either..lol

    Thanks Helena, yeah boys will be boys is the ultimate words. They were meaner than a snake but had a good heart. We've talked alot about the things that we all did growing up . And now we can laugh about it. Wasn't funny back then..
    Glad your sister wasn't hurt.. Kids really love to play with matches.. Thanks again, Susie

  8. Hi Susie! Wow, this was a hoot! I loved the "meaner than a striped snake" line. My brother and older cousins used to get into mischief too sometimes when we were growing up. I also laughed out loud at the part where they came home and went to bed thinking they had got away with it. :) I don't know if parents were just "smarter" in the old days, but I know nothing got past my mama and daddy either! This is a great story, I'm so glad you shared it with us. And...if I ever have my nieces and nephews over for a visit, I'll be locking up those kitchen matches from now on! Delisa :)

  9. Susie, this is such a cute poem. Made me giggle. I enjoyed this one.

  10. Oh, my golly! Sounds very familiar in our times. Loved it, too realistic not to believe it. You are sumpthin' else, Susie.

    TY for your note. I will convey your wishes tonight.
    Have a beautiful eve ~
    TTFN ~

  11. That's quite a story. When my mom was young, her family used to go to a friends house on Saturday and listen to the Oprey on the radio on Saturday nights. Cousins are something else, always fun and always getting into things.

  12. Susie, we're living in the south now on the VA eastern shore after relocating from NJ and I can relate to the dialogue used in this post. That was some story and I'm unsure which part was untrue.

  13. Awww, thank you Marydon, Janet and Beatrice.. there's nothing like being a country girl.. So many memories. I'm glad yo all can each relate to it.. Thanks for stopping by..Susie

  14. Well I loved it!! Doesn't matter to me if it's true or not-its a great story-and very well written!! And you know I talk like that too : )

  15. Thank you Tipper, I knew you talk like me and I'm glad you like it. Most of it is true, just stretched it out a bit in places..