The Messenger

We have all had them- you know, that message from someone. A person you might not know, but they delivered a special message to you at a time of need. They come in all types, especially now a days. There is the text message, voice mails, postcards and special deliveries. It’s the kind of message that calms your nerves and touches your heart. I got one of those messages, it was special delivery at a time when I needed it the most.

I was cooking on a ranch in Texas and had set up camp in early April for spring branding. Everything was good.The weather was about 70 during the day and 40’s at night-  good cooking weather. And good sleeping weather, with the kind of nights when you must have a little cover on the ole bedroll.

The crew was like family and it was going to be an enjoyable week. But things can change just like the wind in west Texas and by the time the middle of works came I got some news that broke my heart and took all the wind out of my sails.

That Wednesday morning my heart was elsewhere and sure not on cooking. I’ve cooked so many meals for cowboys and can do it without thinking, but I couldn’t get this off my mind and out of my heart. The bossman had asked the night before if I would mind cooking a little something for his daughter’s kindergarten class for a noon meal. They were having a field trip to watch cowboy’s work cattle and see a real live working chuckwagon. I had to get through it and I started on my task of fixing them some beans and cornbread, then I would feed the working cowboys their regular noon meal.

I just didn’t feel like a lot of company or visiting too much at the time so I got everything ready and went back to gathering up a little kindling and filling the water barrel. That ole 10 gallon water can is hard to get above your head and dump in the water barrel on the wagon and I spilled about 2 gallons on me all across the front of my britches and down my legs. When I went to sit on the front of the wagon tongue and try to think my way through this problem I was having this little feller showed up. He was a freckled face kid who looked up at me and said, “You having problems sir?”

“Not too bad,” I said,  “just spilled some water on myself.”

“It’s ok… that is what I tell my teacher when I can’t hold it in anymore.”

“No youngin’, I did spill water on me.”

It’s all right.  You don’t have to be sad, it happens to all of us.”

He turned around and wandered back to all the other kids. I just sat there feeling like I had been hit with a ton of firewood and didn’t know how to get it off.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like little ones. They’re so honest and true,  because no one has corrupted them yet. But the news I had was still eating at me even though the little feller did make me laugh a little. I sat there with my head in my hands wondering what to do and what to say and wished I was somewhere else. A few tears had made their way down my cheeks when I had another visitor. It was another youngin’ with a flat-top haircut that looked like it had been worked on with horse clippers, and a mouth that looked like he made fortune off the tooth fairy.

He nestled up right next to me and looked up at me with these big blue eyes, “Don’t be sad cowboy someone loves you, really they do.” With my head in my hands the tears began to running down my face like the water I had spilled on me earlier. He took his little finger and started to try and push the tears up my cheek and said again, ” Really cowboy, someone loves you.”

“Yes sir little feller,” I managed to say,  “I know she does.”

“Is it your grandmother?” he asked.  “My Grandmother really loves me.”

“My grandmother has been gone a long time, but the one who loves me the most is Shannon.”

“Is she your grandmother?”

“No she is the love of my life.”

“Are you sure she isn’t your grandmother?”

I never really got him convinced it wasn’t my Grandmother, but while all the other kids were off playing, he sat right next to me, patting my knee assuring me that everything would be ok.

He got up to leave when everyone was making their way back to the school bus.  He turned around one more time and said, “Hey mister cowboy, don’t be sad someone really loves you.” I never saw that little feller after that moment. A messenger I needed, but sent from where? Was he an angel or just a little boy with a big heart? I have witnessed a lot of things around an ole cow camp but never anything like that. That little feller with the bad haircut and very few teeth had touched my heart and soul when I needed it the most.

Just as the west Texas winds calmed so did my troubles and all things have a way of working themselves out if you give them enough time and patience. But to have a messenger to console you during your troubles, calm your fears and push back the tears sure does help no matter what size they come in.

Things change and things happen sometimes without a warning. Troubles come to us all, but I will always remember that little feller and his words and those gentle little hands. Messages come in all different ways. Keep on the lookout because someone or something might be trying to share one with you.

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