Cousin Rufus Remembers Friends


Dear Cousin Cletus,


Hain’t it been quite the summer! Just when mah corn and beans in the garden did good, the deer come along and et ‘em up. Other than that, life is about the same here in the holler.


Me an’ Ol’ Bozo, mah hound, are spendin’ lazy days, sittin’ on the porch and sweatin’. Ah swat skeeters and he scratches fleas. Ever since ah came back from visitin’ mah grandson Harley and his family for a month, ah get lonesome more than usual. Do you suppose it’s the friendship that ah’m missin?


Did you ever wish you could invent a friend?


Last night ah wuz sittin’ on mah porch, watchin’ the sunset, and thinkin’ of the good friends ah had since we were kids, and why they wuz such good ones. Here’s what ah come up with.


Do you ‘member Charlie Smeltzer in third grade at the one-room schoolhouse? Charlie wuz the one that stood up to the school bully for this scared little boy—me. ‘Member how ole Horace the bully used to drag me behind the outhouse and punch me in the stomach? Well, Charlie had enough of it, and dragged HIM behind the outhouse one day, and told him he’d better leave me alone, and scared him so bad he never messed with me again.


Charlie wuz one of mah best friends after that. Good friends stick up for you when you’re too weak to help yourself.


And then there wuz our teacher, Miss Miller. ‘Member how she used to give us part of her lunch when we wuz too poor to bring our own? She wuz a good friend, helping kids she saw had needs.


Ah can’t help thinkin’ bout mah dear departed Matilda, bless her soul. She wuz not only mah wife, but mah best friend. Ah could tell her anything. Ah miss sittin’ on the porch, talking to her after chores were done. She had a special way of knowin’ when to offer suggestions and when to shut up and let me talk. That’s a good friend, too.


Yep, Cletus, we’ve had some first-rate friends through the years. Ah appreciate the ones whut know just what a soul needs to get past a trouble spot in life. Ah’ve had folks the opposite, always tellin’ me whut to do and how they would do it if they wuz in mah shoes.


I like the other kind better, the ones whut just shut up and listen. Especially cause ah don’t talk that much to begin with.


Well, that’s all that’s on mah mind this week, Cletus. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for, with the friends the good Lord gave us.


Your cuz,

Rufus


What about you? Any comments on friends you have had? Use the comment box below.