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Cowboy Humor

Crying Wolf - and Love

Coyote by Hannah Rose MillerLeft: Coyote, by Hannah Rose

Cowboy Humor by Ben Marshall

When you spend a lot of time mending fences, sometimes your mind wanders a bit.

And sometimes these places your mind wanders to are unexpected.

I spent a whole afternoon last week tryin' to understand the purpose of telling someone the story, The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

It seems pretty clear as to what is being said.

If you sound an alarm and it turns out to be a false alarm, nobody will ever believe you again for the rest of your life.

It gets worse. In the story, a wolf eats the boy.

This extreme punishment doesn't seem to have a justification.

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Anyone who's ever stood guard duty can tell you they'd rather err in the direction of a false alarm than go the other way.

It isn't so much they would be unable to call out an alarm for their rest of their life so much as, the truth is, they possibly wouldn't have a rest of their life.

Which brings us to the topic of love and Valentines.

I won't bring up the similarities between crying wolf and giving someone a Valentine. After all, everyone knows Valentine died a horrible death in prison after professin' the love of a taken woman. No, I won't go there.

It seems to me, a more important caution would be, don't cry wolf when you are selectin' the people who will be gettin' your Valentines.

Oh, I know some kind person probably came up with the idea of givin' Valentines to a whole bunch of people you don't really know to help everybody love one another but I'm not sure he thought it completely through.

For six long years, I suffered an annual event where I had to write love notes to all the girls in my class. In the middle of the seventh grade (and puberty) the tradition was abruptly cancelled with no explanation from school officials.

The truth is, No boy in grade school ever wants to write love letters to anyone. Ironically, that urge normally comes upon us in junior high, far too late to take advantage of what is basically a good idea.

I was in the sixth grade when I fell in love with Cookie Jones. Unfortunately, it was after February 14th so I had no vehicle available to transport my love to her. After all, she didn't have pigtails to pull.

I assumed, incorrectly, the once-hated Valentine tradition would be somethin' I could use in the coming year.

Alas, my love was unrequited and continues so until this day.

I finished with the fence a little bit more at ease about my search for love.

But I still can't imagine why anyone would ever tell their children the story about the little boy who cried wolf.

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