Cathy Waldron (aka Tootie) and Bill Bishop (aka Commando) are co-authors of this book. Our wish is to make you laugh and cry, then leave you in a state of uncertainty of what will happen next. We invite you to follow along chapter after chapter with your feedback and recommendations for improvement. As always, thank you for reading, best wishes wherever you are, and God Bless. Respectfully with Admiration, Cathy and Bill.
"Come quick, Angel," called Grandma from the cabin. "Your mother has been bitten by a brown recluse spider." Bret and I ran up the hill to help; yet, my momma called, "It's okay, Angel, 'cause I slapped the spider away before it could inject the poison into my hand. I'm all right! So, you two steal away to the meadow, spread the blanket under the willow tree, cuddle up, then whatever!"
"Mind what your momma said, Angel. Hurry along, 'cause if you don't, the blond across the mountain will steal your cuddling place."
"Oh, she will not, you silly gander! 'Cause she loves cuddling on the hay like your Grandpa and Grandma does, remember?"
I ran like a purebred horse in a derby. Bret ran in close pursuit. Of course I had to slow down so he could catch me in the tall grass, lay me on the blanket, cuddle, kiss my lips, then . . . "Any suggestions, Friends?"
Some words in our book are written in a way that is appropriate for Smoky Mountain folks; yet, are not always grammatically correct. Characters will reflect earlier scenes in their lives and shall, as well, talk to the readers at times. Although Angel and Bret are only 16-years-old at the beginning of the book, they appear and act much older. Wider spaces between words are due to full justified formatting.
Oh, I caught her, alright; yet, I'll not say what we did then, 'cause Jesus is listening.
"Geez! Just look at the size of that rabbit over yonder, Angel."
"Wow! It's a whopper, Bret. Good thing you brought your shotgun, huh?"
"You, betcha! Don't move, Beautiful."
As I blew the smoke from the end of my shotgun barrel, we watched the rabbit do its final earthly hop.
"Yay! It must weigh ten pounds, Angel. So, I'll hang it on the tree limb over there, then pick it up on our way back to the cabins."
Slowly walking, quietly stalking, we moved from the meadow into the woods. We saw three squirrels on the limb of a tall oak tree. Boom! Boom! Boom! Once again, more fresh meat for the table--yummy, yummy! It was around two miles from where we stood to our little log cabins; so, before we started out, Angel and I answered nature's call. I stood my shotgun against the tree, then we began our business. Of course, Angel squatted in the tall grass, and I stood behind the tree. (That's the best we could do at the time, friends.)
Suddenly, we heard a growling sound from behind us. We turned and saw a grizzly bear charging our way.
"C'mon, Angel! Get behind me while I get my shotgun and shoot the critter."
"Look, Bret! It's running away. Why?"
At that moment, we heard a baby bear crying; then, momma grizzly ran into the woods.
"Aww, she's gonna feed her baby--how sweet! Do you realize that baby bear saved our lives, Bret? Kinda strange, wouldn't you say, Handsome?"
"Well, you know best of all that God works in strange ways, Beautiful. Otherwise, He'd never have chosen you to try and keep me outta harm's way."
"Oh, why do you say that, Bret?"
"Cause I could never figure it out. Therefore, you're gonna have to ask God."
"Okay, I'll ask Him; yet, there are times He just smiles and says, 'Have faith, My child! Jesus will explain to you the reasons why someday at His supper table over a glass of wine.' But, Bret, God knows I'm not of age to have any wine yet!"
Angel sighed and left my side. She walked a few feet away, knelt down in the tall grass, looked up toward the bright blue sky, and softly cried while she prayed, "Father, will you please tell me why You chose me to care for Bret? He sure can be a handful at times, not to mention his wandering eyes when any girl with a skirt passes by! Of course, you know his Grandpa passed along to him his gene of attracting attention through his exuberance, confidence, the desire to be the center of attention, and the love of being provocative. So, can You help me handle him, God?"
"Hmm! Keep the faith, Angel! Once again, I'll pass this on to Jesus to explain things to you and help you with Bret. I'm confident He can; yet, He'll probably need a second glass of wine in order to do so."
"Bret, there's dark clouds forming in the west. Don't you think it's best we get on home?"
"You, betcha, Darlin'!" Quickly retrieving my shotgun, gathering up the rabbit and squirrels, we headed for home. The two mile walk became history; yet, what we did on the blanket under the willow tree remained a mystery.
After Grandpa and I cleaned the fresh meat, hung it in the smokehouse to cook, the sun said goodbye, and the moon said hi. I did my barnyard chores, then hurried indoors, jumped into the ol' bath tub, and scrubbed all the places I could reach. I was exhausted from the day's activity and went to bed. Somewhere outside my window a whippoorwill called for its mate. Getting no answer, it must've went to sleep. "Good idea," I whispered to myself.
In my dream, the years of my life came soaring back like an eagle. I was attending school, church, tilling the soil, planting corn, cotton seed, and praying for rain. God was awake, heard my prayer, then sent the rain down all around. I whispered, "Thank You, God," as I watched the beauty of my labors flourish.
The beginning of my tenth year was suddenly before my eyes and, to recall, it was heart-wrenching. That year, my Grandpa's brother died suddenly while telling me a story about Santa on my birthday. All of the family gave him a funeral the following Friday afternoon.
There were a heap of folks who came, including farmers in overalls with white shirts and black ties. Most of their wives wore pleated skirts with white blouses and bonnets trimmed in black. There were a half-dozen who wore coats of many colors to protect them from the cold.
On my eleventh birthday, Grandpa's sister flew up to join her brother. Oh, what a happy reunion it must have been. In the stillness of the night, I seemed to hear angels singing, "Glory, Glory Hallelujah, we're together again." The remaining months of my eleventh year were like a prison; it was near impossible to escape the memories of yesterday.
"Rise and shine, Bret," Grandma called. "Breakfast is on the table. It's Saturday, there's no school, and Angel's already here waiting for you."
Golly! "Did I sleep that long?" I whispered to myself. Quickly jumping from bed, I pulled my clothes on, then headed for the kitchen.
"Yay, yay! We're on our way. We're gonna lay in the tall grass on our blanket. Then off we'll go to see a show in the cave. So, before you go and fly away, Angel, let me show you 'round today."
"Oh, for heaven's sake, Bret! Stop fooling around, 'cause you're gonna embarrass Grandma."
"No way, Baby Baby, 'cause Grandma's had her day in the hay with Grandpa."
"Oh, my God, why have You forsaken me? I need help to control this sixteen-year-old flirty mountain soul, remember?"
"My child! As I said before, I'll pass it on to Jesus; yet, He hasn't any wine left, and I don't think He's ready for this one."
Angel and I played the game, "Catch Me if You Can," on our way through the meadow. Of course, there were a couple of times she asked me to behave as we sashayed on into the cave.
"Wow! Quite an astonishing sight to behold, Bret!"
"Why of course, my pet! Now, let's move back along the pathway from where we came, okay?"
"Oh, no! I'm not believin' this, Bret. Did you hear that? It sounded strange. Could it be an illusion? It appears that the entrance to the cave has been sealed off by fallen rocks, and we're trapped inside. 'Why, God?' What are we gonna do, Bret?"
"Well, for a start . . . we can buy Jesus another bottle of wine, Angel."
"Aww. shucks! Our leaving you hanging
was Cathy's fault. Hope to see ya in Chapter 5. God Bless.
Cathy and Bill