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Skinny Fatty

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					              Skinny & Fatty
                A Red Necks True Story

   Being old and close to my last days. I didn’t want to
take the story of my best friends to the grave, without
others knowing about thems. So being eighty-six years
young, I’ll try to thinks back to the moments. Fatty was my
best friend in people, and Shorty was my best friend in
dogs. Never forget the day I met Fatty for the first time. It
was down by the creek, I was in the water catching a trout.
Loved catching things to eats, frogs are my favorites. Sure
do miss those legs.
   Back to the story, got lost in those frog legs. Never
forget the night Fatty slipped in the mud, as I tried to get
the frog. It had been raining and I told Fatty,
   “We have enough bullfrogs.” But Fatty said,
   “We can never have enough frogs. Heck I cans eat all
we have without you. Do you want some?” I wanted some
so we continued hunting for more frogs. Fatty was walking
the higher banks two-feets above the shoreline. I was
walking in the pond. It was nighttime. We had them lights
on them frogeyes and they stuck out like reflectors on a
bike. I couldn’t even carry the frogs. We had our sacks so
full. It was a great night. The towns record for one night,
I’m sure. Wouldn’t be sure until we gets back to count
them.
   Well we was about to gets another bullfrog. We both
spotted it at the sames time. Fatty stepped to shows his
light. I had my gig in hand ready. Don’t get me wrongs I
like bullfrogs, buts those legs, I likes more then I likes the
frog. Other wise I’d never hurts one. Well I was getting
ready to gig it, and Fatty slipped, as I gigged, his foot went
right downs on that frog.
   You see the frogs are blinded by the lights and are easy
pickens, you know, since they can’t see anything. Well
Fatty’s foot squished the frog to the ground. It was too late.
I saws his foot. But I was already committed. My gig went
through his foot, pinning the frog to his flip-flop, on the
other sides. I told him to wear them their boots, before we
left. Fatty always did what he wanted. I think this was
why we was best friends, the kinds that never ends.
   I was speaking about when I heard a new guy moved
into our neck of the woods. The locals were already
speaking about him. They’d saw him moving into the old
Axels Mill Farm. It was a big hunk of land. Had a trout
stream. Love them trout. Oh yeah, I was speaking on how
I met fatty the first time. I was in the creek I was working
on catching a big trout.
   We lived back then in the mountains, some call it the
hills, I called it home. So I heard about Fatty. They all
said he was big. I’ll never forgets the day he walked up on
me swimming in that trout stream. I had a biggen. It was a
trout. I had it pinned in the rocks, in the stream with my
hands. I didn’t have it yet.
   I came up from under the water, and the first things I see
is Fatty. I knew who he was the moment I saw him. I had
no time for introductions, back to d’at trout. I knew it had
lived in this stream and seen it many times. I was trying to
catch it with a rod, all types from fly to spinning. Used live
bait, fished day and night. That fish, it was my wish.
   You have to know when you live where we lived you
knew the land. I had seen this trout surfacing for a longs
time. But nothings I could do could get him to bite. Here
he was in the shallow pool. I don’t know what he was
doing there. I slipped into the creeks ice-cold water. I
saws hims swim under this rock. I knew he might be
pinned.
   I comes up for air with both hands still holding the trout,
head stuck in the rocks. I wasn’t going to let him go. I had
to get to his gills. This was a monster for this stream. It
might be around fifteen pounds. Had to be a brown. I
never saw it close up enough to find what type of trout, but
only browns get this bigs. I was thinking then.
   Well while I was sucking in some air to dives back under
the water, Fatty saws the tail flapping. I saws his eyes.
They opened wide. Before I had my breath completed to
dives under. Fatty was under the water, had both hands
around the head. He stuck his fingers into the gills. I still
sees this, and whens he stands I falls away from the fish.
   Then some of the kids that go to school started coming
up the path. Fatty and me never went to school. We didn’t
fit in, you could tell. Every one always looked at us like
we was different. Looking back, I can sees we were. I
don’t think anyone lived like us. We was like a bee and a
flower, like April was to a shower. We was always meant,
our friendship was set in cement.
   Fatty comes up out of the water with my trouts. Holds it
up in the air and dives at the same times to the banks.
There he throws the fish on land, while getting out of the
water. Then he picks up the fish. I think all froze for a
moment to see what it was. It was no brown trout. It was a
brook trout! When we took it into town, it tilted the scales
at nineteen pounds four ounces!
   That’s not all that happened back at that shoreline. I will
never forget Fatty’s face when he saw that trout. Like the
guts was gone and it was roasting on a stick, over an open
fire. Bys the way that’s what’s happened to that trout, I
think fatty ate the bones.
   Oh yeah back to Fatty. Me seeing Fatty for the first
time, I heard he was big. But no words could describe him.
He was that big. I stoods up, looked at him, and said,
   “Yous must be Fatty?” He smiled, laughed pointing at
me replying,
   “You must be Skinny.”
   I tooks the trout and whacked him with a stick. The stick
broke and Fatty hit it with a rock, smashing my fingers.
Dam d’at hurt. I laughs looking at my finger he hit back
then. That finger is still different looking from that fish
kill. I yelled at Fatty,
   “You hit my finger!” Jumping up and away from the
trout. I remembers Fatty reaching for the fish, which still
was alive and bouncing its way back to the water. When I
woke up. Oh yeah I have to back up. I don’t know why
every times I get hurt, I pass out. Been this way since I can
remember. So when I woke up, Fatty had the fish. It was
dead. Fatty was dripping from head to ground with water
holding the trout by the gills. I asked,
   “What happened?” Sitting up looking at Fatty and the
fish.
   “You passed out.” Fatty held the fish for all to see. I
said,
   “What are you speaking about? You smashed my
finger.” I held my bleeding finger up for him to see.
   “Maybe the case. Your finger had the damage done.
Mistakes happen. But d’at fish was getting away. You
would have lost it.” I looked to the fish then to my finger.
I fell back to the ground, faint. I guess Fatty thought he
was helping me. He held that fresh killed trout over me
and let its slimly waters drips to my face. I was too out of
it for a moment to tell hims to stops. But finally I gots my
senses about me and yelled,
   “Fatty. Stop! What are you doing?” He bent down over
me. Looking at me close, saying,
   “You don’t look so goods. Never saw anyone turns
white like that.” I sat up asking,
   “So what’s the fish dripping on my face going to do?”
   “Didn’t knows what else to do. Didn’t want to sits here
and do nothing.”
   Yeah that was our first day. Never forget in gym class.
All the boys took Fatty’s pants and four climbed into them,
two kids each leg. They suddenly jumped out of those
pants when they hads a whiff. Mans they must of stunk by
them faces.
   We had a bet Fatty smelled so bad do to he was fat and
sweated all the time. But some of us thinks it was because
we never saw him wear another pairs of pants. It was the
talk of the town. I was starting to gets up set. I could see
Fatty was sensitive and they was hurting hims. This is why
we cut school. The bugs and animals in the woods never
would hurt you, most of the times, and most we could eats.
   Yeah back to that fish. The brook trout, turns out it was
a record fish. But Fatty ate it so they couldn’t make it
count. They never did give the credits for it. What was
funny I never tolds nobody it was my fish. From those
days forth, Fatty always seemed to end up with the credit
for everything I caught. Don’t know how. It just ended up
that way. Never did either of us say anything. It was the
way it was all of our lives. What was I saying? Oh yeah,
back to Fatty’s pants.
      It was said he couldn’t find another pairs that would
fit, many used to joke. Found out later he had two pairs of
pants, but they were the same. Figured this out when he
ripped one of the knees, then we saw him with the other.
We thought he gots new pants, I should say pant, since he
only gots one pairs, we thought then. Buts then we saw
him a week laters wearing the ones with the hole, in the
knee. Each week he’d switch. So I guess they climbed into
his pants d’at day, at the end of the week. This is why the
smelled so badly. This is what I figure.
   Back to Fatty. Was the nicest guy you’d ever want too
meet. Do anything for a friend. Heck I can tell you what a
great guy he was. I’ll never forgets this. We wents fishing
for catfish, sures do love those cats. Fatty caught one nine
incher. We had been fishing all day and hadn’t eaten.
Fatty even shared some of that fish with me. He gots the
best parts, but he gaves the belly meats. He was just that
kind of a guy. He caught the fish that day and by rights he
didn’t have to give me none.
   We weren’t into school since that day when Fatty started
to cry. It was a sad day for me. I loved to see Fatty smile.
Those kids back in school really know how to get Fatty to
hang his head low. I comes walking around the corner and
they had him in a circle. I don’t know what they was
saying. Fatty had this look that broke my heart. That’s the
first times I wanted to fights. I was pissed. When I see him
looking at me, and he couldn’t do anything against those
other boys, even a girl, making fun at him. That girl said,
   “If you pushed Fatty down a hill, you’d have to have
something at the bottom to stop him, or he’d never stop
rolling away. I think if he didn’t hit anything he’d never be
found. He would roll that far.” I was watching. One other
kid and he was not so skinny says,
   “Yeah. That’s funny. If Fatty fell down during the
winter he’d make a snow ball.” All those kids was
laughing so hards you couldn’t believes it. I wanted them
to stop. There was nothing funny in what they were saying.
So I walked up to the group and they could sees I was mad.
They backed down, walking away singing,
   “Fatty and Skinny sitting in a tree, first comes love then
comes a fatty carriage.” It was something like that. I don’t
really remember. They sung out of sight and Fatty and me
we walked to the woods. That’s where we spent all of our
school days. But we weren’t dumb. We could live off the
lands, no problems. We always had something to eats, and
to do. Nothing we did was bad, and we had, the best times
we could find. I found we lived life like it was a sailboat
and we was coasting along.
   We did things to our own beat. I have to say we sang a
different song. I’m so happy Fatty came a long. I would
be lost if it weren’t for him. For Fatty what he did, Fatty he
set me free. We never looked back from that day. When I
saw Fatty look up at me, those tears in his eyes. I puts my
arm around his shoulder, and we walks into the woods.
    That day changed my life. I never learned to read or
write. But I sure could catch a fish or a frog. Fatty and Me
we got our way. We found each other everyday. It was
like it was Gods will. Then he through in another friend I
will speak about. Fatty and me on this night we laid back
there it was a half moon. I think of all those smiles that
bring me to my last miles, and I hope I see Fatty soon.
    Spent most of our days in the forest looking for things to
eat. Fatty needed to eat. I think every moment he could.
He ate anything we could find. Never forgets the day in the
small mountain stream. Them crawdads were thick as
maggots on piles of dead fish. We must have had about a
hundred of them in our boots. Took both our boots to holds
all we caught that day. Fatty didn’t even wait untils I had
the fire burning to cook them. He started ripping the tails
off and ate them shells and all. Fatty would eat anything if
it fit in his mouth it was said. I saws it and I says that.
    Never forgets the day we gots into a fight with them rich
boys down the next farm. They was teasing Fatty about
how he looked and smells. I saws the hurts in his eyes, and
this always gots me pissed. Those rich boys will never
forgets the way I charged them. I was so scared the only
things I could do is scream. It was the highest of pitches
while runnings at them. I must have had them worried.
They packed up their tiny white butts and ran for a
moments.
    Then they turned to fight us. Well I should say me. I
was looking for Fatty and he was running away from me. I
saw his butt flapping with his fat. That is why the rich boys
was turning to fight me. I thinks back and every time it
was better for Fatty, he ran and left me to fight his fights. I
didn’t knows how he did it. Every thing goods that
happened in my life, Fatty was there to takes the credit.
Every time Fatty gets into troubles, I would takes his fall.
Never failed looking.
   He’s gone now, and there is not a chance this can
change. Fatty always was shinning like golds, and I was
always looking like the coal. It didn’t matter. I loved to
see Fatty shine. So I took the back seats, while I watched
Fatty smile for bits. I think he needs these moments more
then me.
   Fatty was disappearing out of sight, I turned to look for
him, for help, from the two rich boys, and he was gones. I
looked at d’em their rich boys. I knew I was in troubles.
Today I was about to be in a fight for the first time. So I
gots up the guts and I put my hands up. Next things I know
Fatty is standing over me trying to get me to my feets.
   My face was hurting, Fatty saying,
   “You okay?” I wasn’t sure what happened. I looked at
Fatty for answers, and he said,
   “I comes back looking for you. I found you lying here.
Out cold.” I try to gets up and I can’t. Fatty helps me to
my feets. I thinks back while lying on the ground. I
remember I was trying to fight the one boy. The other
clocked me with a punch to my jaws. I couldn’t talk
normals for weeks. My face hurt so much I thought it had
gone through the ground plow. I did heal but I would never
look at those rich boys the same. I’s never looked at em
again. Didn’t wants to feel that way. So I avoided them at
all costs.
   I wanted to speak about the beginning. Our childhood
was about as normal as it could be. We would help on the
farm, but on our days off and during school, Fatty and me
would be sure to be spending time together.
   Years later Fatty and I caught up with those rich boys
one day. I thought this would be the day we gets even with
them. Fatty felt the same and I said to him, as we
approached those boys,
   “Hey Fatty watch it. He’s got a gun.” The one rich boy
pulled out a pistol and pointed at Fatty. I guess this gots
Fatty mad. Fatty said to me,
   “He ain’t going to use that gun on us. He’s bluffing.
I’m going to teach him a lesson.” I watched as Fatty
picked up a piece of wood and started to charge the rich
boys. That boy took three shots at Fatty. One hitting the
wood, the others doesn’t know where they went. Fatty
dropped that wood and walked back to me, he was saying,
   “Dams he shot at me. Did you see that Skinny?” We
was walking away from those boys and I said,
   “Fatty what was you thinking? They had a gun. You a
hunk of wood.”
   “I didn’t think he’d fire that dam thing at us.”
   “He didn’t fire it at us. He was firing at you. Those first
two shots missed. As you got closer I could see those rich
boys gets worried. As I did, when I saws him lower that
gun pointing it at you. You gots luck it hit the wood. I
think they may have killed you.”
   “I’ll tell you what skinny. I think I might start going to
school. There they won’t have a gun and I can get my
hands on them.”
   Fatty may have been slow. But I’ve seen him fight.
Those rich boys wouldn’t have had a chance. Fatty would
grab someone and sits on them, as long as he wasn’t out
numbered. I want you to know this is not a story about two
poor boys. Fatty and me we would raise to the top of our
town. We could buy even those rich boys in the end. But
the journey that took us there was about as believable as
pigs that could whistle. I think many of the towns folks
they’d been envious of Fatty and me.
   We became hometown heroes. To the kids we were
great and someone to look up to. For the people of our
town, this is how they saw us whens we had money. We
took on the world, became as rich as anyone. Then lost it
all in crawdads.
   One day we started catching the local catfishes by
noodling. This is swimming under the water and catching
them with our hands. We were getting our names known as
some of the best for catfish without a string and a hook.
You have to remember. I’m going back years. This is
when we were growing up. People needed foods. Many
come to buy the catfish we been catching. We caught so
many we filled that old farm pond up, with cats, the cattle
was afraid to drink.
   We never had problems with food. Soon the locals
started to pay us for those catfishes. We kind fell into it,
catfish farming and we became really good at it. We came
up with our own food-meal for the cats. They grew faster
then a watermelon on the vine. I don’t want you to think
Fatty and me are a couple of rednecks. Heck no. This
story is about two men that climbed to the top of Wall
Street, lived the fast life, and the slow one.
   I couldn’t believe it when we saw our pictures on the
front of the New York Times. I thoughts we had come far
from a couple of boys playing in the mud. I was very
proud that day.
   When we was growing up, berry picking was high on our
list of things. Even after we gots rich we still couldn’t wait
for berry season. The blackberries were Fatty’s favorites.
Mines was the raspberries and blueberries. The bears loved
them also. I’ll always remember they day we walked up on
the mother and her cubs. This was not one of our finer
days. Fatty couldn’t run so goods as I said, but me I could
run like a raccoon with hounds on its tail. I was gone,
tooks off and left Fatty behind.
   I was running for my life. I turned to see what was
happening to Fatty. I truly forgot about him when I saws
the bear. When I thinks of him again, I see him running by
me. I was shocked and yelled,
   “Fatty waits up for me.” I tried to catch up to him, but
he was to fast and jumped into the lake. I rans up and
stopped at the waters edge, seeing Fatty swimming like a
snapping turtle on the surface. He had his arms and legs
kicking. I turned to look at the bear. It never chased us. It
was sitting there eating the berries. Fatty he didn’t stop
swimming until he reached the other sides of the lake. I
watched him drag his body up on the shore and drop like an
acorn from a tree. Got to watch those acorns, they’ll leave
lumps on your head.
   I walked around the lake to catch up to Fatty. He had not
moved since he collapsed and I approached him. His face
was lying in the dirt, mouth open gasping for air, asking
me,
   “We got away.” He was so out of breath he didn’t say
another word, finally sat up and asked,
   “What happened to the bear?”
   “Fatty the bear never chased us. But how did you run so
fast, you never run?” Fatty took a couple breaths, looked
across the lake to the bear that was still feeding and said,
   “I never tried to run, never had to. Never saw any
reason. I sweat too much. But there I had no time to
thinks. It was all reaction. But I know one things for sure,
I can runs faster then you.” We both laughed.
   This tooks some time to sink in, I mean since I was
known as the fastest kid around. No one could catch me if
I decided to run. Fatty passed me like I was standing still.
   We wents back to the town to show the other kids how
fast Fatty could run. But the truth be told. Fatty never was
able to run again like that, unless he had some motivation.
We tried a few times. His fat would start bouncing all over
and he’d lose his stride. But that day with the bear, all his
fat was shifting just right, and Fatty was the fastest man in
this town.
   Never forget the day Julie moved in. I think it was Julie
that made us forget we were boys. Wow the way she
swayed when she walked. Her hair would swing with each
opposing step. The sun glowed when it hit her hairs, long
and blond to the bottom of her back.
   She was walking to school in the morning. Of coarse
Fatty and me we was walking in the other direction. By
this time we never went to school anymore. We was
always being teased. We must have been a sight. Fatty
was no taller than five-feet and a few inches. In school
when they tried to weigh him, the scale spun all the way
round and broke. So we never really knew how heavy he
was. Fatty had to be over three hundred pounds, if he
weighted a cow patty at all.
   Me I was so skinny my daddy’s belts wrapped around
me twice. I was tall, over six-foot and I didn’t even hits my
growing spurt, it was coming. I would keep getting taller
and Fatty keeps getting rounder. Kind of how it was for us.
   The kids at school they were curl looking back. Poor
Fatty sitting in class one day the chair under him collapsed.
Every kid started laughing, even the teacher slipped with
giggles. I saw Fatty sprawled out. That chairs legs
pointing in all four directions. The back was broken and
Fatty was out flat, looking at the lights above him. He sat
there soaking in all that had happened. He heard the
laughs. I saw his tear he wiped with his sleeve before he
sat up. I felt bad for him. It wasn’t his fault he was heavy I
saw his baby pictures. Fatty was big boned.
   Well by the end of the day every kid in school had heard
about Fatty hitting the floor. The joke at his expenses was
mores then him and me could takes. We learned how to
catch and eat all the food we needed. We was good at it,
we always had some meats and other things. If you know
how to look in the woods, there’s almost always something
you could find. I heard others says we was dumb, but I
knew we was smarter then most.
   Fatty shocked all when he became the smartest kid in
school. This is before we stopped going. Ones of the other
boys told us Julie likes to dates guys with brains. From that
day Fatty started reading obsessively. I was pissed. We
didn’t spend as much time in the woods. I knew if she
wanted smart guys, then Fatty and I was out. But not Fatty
and he read those books like he was eating crawdads.
   What was the worst is every time the teacher would ask a
question about history or math. It didn’t matter what it
was. Fatty had his hand in the air, looking at Julie. Too
shows her he knew the answers. But Julie never gave Fatty
a second look.
   Each time Fatty would sit near her in class, she’d move
to another chair. I have to give it to Fatty he never gave up.
He had all the answers, but he didn’t have one that would
get Julie. Fatty finally had enough that day of being teased
and that’s when we stopped going to school. But Fatty was
the smartest kid there. If he wanted to he could have
finished that year. Never forgets the time he aced the
spelling bee, and took first prize.
   When I looks over at Julie, this was where Fatty was
looking. Julie was talking to a friend, never even clapped
for him. That seemed to be the day Fatty stopped trying to
be smart. We started spending more time in the woods.
This was fines with me.
   It’s funny how the whole town stopped making fun of
him. He wasn’t some big fat fellow all could laugh at
anymore. They found it hard to laugh at someone that was
smarter then them, maybe together. I was proud of Fatty.
How once he makes his mind up. Likes the thought of the
bear chasing him, its amazing in life how many times Fatty
did things, with motivation, better then any one around.
   I don’t want you to thinks we only had some good times.
We went through really hard times. Never forget the look
in Fatty’s eyes, the day he came a knocking at my front
door, and he said,
    “I have some bad news.” He told me this while looking
away from me. I think he didn’t want to sees the looks in
my eyes, and he continued,
    “Shorty died.” I went numb to my feets, and fingers, sat
down on the spot. Put my head between my knees. I knew
Shorty was old. Fatty and I found him as a puppy. He was
alone in the woods, shivering out of his fur. Fatty picked
him up, cuddled him under his chin over his big heart. He
put that little wet puppy inside his coat, on this cold
Christmas morning, and shared his body warmth with the
little guy. That puppy couldn’t have been more then three
weeks, but it sure did like that gift of warmth Fatty shared.
This is why we called hims Shorty. He was so small.
    Shorty was our dog, was an outside dog. We gave a
home to. He could sleep at my barn or Fatty’s. I got up the
courage to ask with a lump in my throat. I wanted to be
strong for Fatty, I could sees he was hurting. And I asked,
    “How did he die?” Fatty shook his head saying,
    “He looks like he died in his sleep. Didn’t look unhappy
at all. Looked quiet.” We both let out a sigh. We knew
this was a bad day for the both of us, to this point the worst
in our lives.
    We went to bury Shorty. Took him back to where we
found him as a puppy. We must have dug his hole halfway
to the moon. It was that deep. We didn’t want anything to
find him and dig him up. So we dug the hole so deep I had
to finish it. Fatty couldn’t fit in the bottom with his feet,
and still have enough room to throw out the dirt. When we
laid him in the hole, I felt so weak and Fatty said,
    “He was my best friend. Will miss him forever.” I
replied with an arm over his shoulder,
   “I’m with you buddy. To my last breath I will think of
him.” I have kept my promises to never forgets. Hope to
see you guys agains. With my best pal Fatty. I knows they
still has to be out there somewhere. I looks up to the sky
and says,
   “You guys take care. Until I am there to be with you.” I
was a bit jealous of Fatty since he got to go be with Shorty
before me. Sorry lost track a moment. You see Fatty and
Shorty are gone in my older days. Heck Fatty died young.
I have not seen his big fat smile for nearly forty years.
   Not a day passes when I don’t think of Shorty and Fatty.
The smiles through those miles of life, we shared, made me
whom I am today. If it weren’t for them two, there would
be no reasons for me on my last days, to put all this on
paper. I want you to know my best friends. The way they
lived, and the way they died.
   So here we are burring Shorty, he lived for seventeen
years. This dog was with us from boy to man. Fatty and I
always stayed close. Where was I? That’s right talking
about burring old Shorty. He was lying there in the hole
we had dug. Fatty started pushing the dirt.
   We agreed we’d put the dirt over his face last. We
covered his body. When we started to cover him from the
neck up, we stopped. Looking at him, I guess we both
wanted to be sure he was really gone. Like we waited to
see if he would move, twitch an ears forward, the way he
had always done.
   He lay there not moving. I slowly pushed the final
handful of dirt that took his sweet face from our sight. This
is the last picture I had painted in my mind. It was the
saddest day in our lives to that point, Shorty, Fatty, and me.
Here now they call me Mr. or Sir. But my best days I will
always remember, are when all called me Skinny.
   I guess the reasons it was so funny the first time we met,
is due to Fatty had heards all about me. We practically
knew each other before we met. I thinks we was born to be
friends for life. Like all was supposed to happens the ways
it did.
   Fatty really did like eating. After school was done we
decided to try to find a mate for life. After seeing Julie this
is all we spoke about most of the time is, was girls. Most
didn’t want anything to do with us, but we loved them just
the same.
    Finally Fatty did meet this girl. She lived a bit far away,
near town. One day they had a party we are invited. We
were a bit older. It was a sad story. Brought tears to all in
that small town. The accident ended Fatty’s relations with
this woman. He was wanting to fry some frog legs. We
had a mess of them. Some so fresh they was still trying to
hop off the table, without the frog.
   Well a bit later we had them all dipped in corn meal,
ready to go. Fatty put the legs in the pot of hot oil without
telling anyone. They asked him to wait until an hour or so
passed. No one else was hungry. It was about two in the
afternoon, but no, Fatty couldn’t wait. He had to have his
frog legs now. He said he was going to the bathroom and
went in and lit the oil on the burner and came outside.
   Abouts an hour later there was smoke coming out of the
trailer. Fatty’s girl saw it first and ran in. On the stove was
the pot of oil, Fatty forgot about on the fire. When we gots
there she puts the lid on it and opened the kitchen door.
She gots gloves and turned grabbing the pot to take it
outside. When the breeze blew through the opened kitchen
door, with the front door open, it blew the lid off the pot.
When the air hit the oil it burst into flames. She dropped
the pot and the oil splattered everywhere. She slipped and
fell lighting herself on fire with the scolding oil.
   She jumped up and ran out the kitchen door. Her
neighbor living in the next trailer saw her comes flying out.
She hit the ground screaming in pains. We all followed her
out the door. The neighbor came running with a bucket of
water. He throws it on her. She had so much oil on her
when the water hit her, little drops of burning oil flew off
landing everywhere, lighting all with like little candles
burning off the grasses.
   By the times Fatty and me gets around to her, the
neighbor had her pinned on the ground. Trying to get her
to roll around. Her mother comes out of the trailer with
blankets. We rolls her up to get the fire to goes out.
   Mean whiles we calls for help. When the ambulance and
police, with the fire department arrives. Fatty’s girl friend
is going into shock. The trailer was burning and we were
all tryings to help her. While we was helping, the neighbors
trailer starts to fills with smoke. Don’t forgets the entire
time, her trailer is starting to burn out of control. I says,
   “Your home is on fire!” He looked at me yelling while
running,
   “I was frying me up a batch of frog legs. Fatty brought
them over for us to eat. I forgot about them when I saw
her.” I watch him runs into his trailer while yelling this to
me. He opens his front door and the flames come right out
over his head. He ducks back but gets burned in the face
pretty good. I guess pretty isn’t the best of words here.
The ambulance takes them away. The fires men put out
both destroyed trailers. Fatty and I went to the hospital to
see how she was doing. Her mother never liked Fatty. We
was asked to leave before hearing any news about her.
   Well we never saw them folks again. From what we
heard she was burnt bad, and wanted nothing to do with a
man that can’t control his urges for frog legs. For me she
didn’t know Fatty, he could never wait for food, frogs legs
was one of thems. Looking back. This is what I think set
us up in the catfish farming business. After that day Fatty
and me never wanted anything to do with woman. It just
happened. You see one-day Fatty saids to me,
   “You know Skinny. You and me should start a
business.”
   “Fatty that sounds great. But we don’t have any money.”
   “We don’t need money.” He said this like he had an
idea. I asked,
   “What is it Fatty?”
   “I say we start a farm.”
   “A farm. This is it?”
   “Yeah a farm.”
   “We live on farms both of us. We don’t make any
money. Look at how hard our fathers work, and mothers,
this is all they do all day. We have to work for free on the
farms to help them make ends meet. Why a farm?”
   “Not just a farm. We both have lots of land, and that
pond at the bottom of your land we can dig it out. Clean it
and raise catfish. People always want catfish. Heck we
can even raise bullfrogs if we want. We are really goods
with animals. We wouldn’t needs any money. We could
start collecting them. Stock the ponds. See if we can get
them to breed and then we can sell them. People are
always looking for catfish and frogs legs.”
   I thought about it. I knew Fatty whatever he did, if he
put his mind to it, he’d be the best. People always have
brought our extra fish and legs, and I replied,
   “What you have in mind Fatty?”
   “We gather up all the baby catfish in spring. We catch
as many as we can for the next couple of years. Heck with
your dad’s tractors we can dig a few more ponds. We can
do this in the back of each of our yards. Where they meet.
Then we collect all the bullfrog tadpoles and put them in
one of the new ponds with no fish. We load the catfish into
the other ponds. We should be able to collect enough that
we can start selling in a couple years.”
   We went back to our parents and let them know what we
planned. My dad and mom was all for it. The land was
sitting there. If we wanted to do the work, without it
cutting into out choirs, it was fine. Fatty’s parents said the
same. It’s funny how we was always thinking about girls
to that point. Now the only thing we were doing, is
catching catfish and bullfrogs. I think this was the happiest
times of our lives.
   Right off the bat, it was clear the bullfrogs wouldn’t be
so easy. They were killing each other as soon as they was
larger. So we would have one big pond, with one bullfrog
that would eats all the others, or kill them, to stay
dominant. So we ate him and all the other frogs. We stuck
to catfish. I’ll never forget next spring when the water
warmed, there where thousands of baby catfish swimming
in balls of black clouds. We both saw dollar signs ringing
up.
   Speaking of catfish we always loved to fish for them.
We had a hole in the river that was about an hour from us.
Me, Fatty and Shorty had gone cat fishing that day. We
usually caught good cats from the banks. But the water
was down low, and we had to gets out to the deepest water.
Usually you could only gets to this water with a boat. But
there was this tree that wents across the lands that were
showing itself, from the lowered river. If we could make it
across, we could gets to the deeper water.
   I didn’t think it was such a great idea. I thought Fatty
was a bit big for the log. It was about twenty-feet longs. It
was over the bad muds and the fast flowing water. Usually
it would be a pool of water but with the waters low like
this, it was faster then we coulds swim. Fatty started
pointing saying,
   “Come on lets make our way over there. We wont catch
no fish here.” I replied,
   “You sure you want to cross?” Fatty had this face like
there was no other choice, and he said,
   “We have too. I didn’t come all this way to go home
without a catfish. This was before we was farming them.
Shorty that dog had its six-sense. He’d always be the first
to cross a log. Not his time. That dog put his tail between
his legs and went up the hills a bit. He sat down and turned
to us, looked our way, with his ears backs. I had a bad
feeling seeing his face looking back at us.
   I turned to see Fatty already on the log crossing it. I
followed and we made it to the other side. As we did the
log breaks and falls a few feet, not all the way. But we
both made it to the other sides, with all of our rods. We
always fished two rods each and had our secrete catfish
bait. To this day we have never told anyone what it was,
lets say we had to do something with those frogs without
legs.
   Fatty and I made our way across the exposed mud flats
that are mostly under water. We had been having a drought
this year. The water is low. It was funny the mud was
slippery. We made it to the banks of where the water is
now. We set up those rods with a couple sticks pushed into
the muds. We didn’t get any hits for hours. Then my ones
rod twitches.
   I leans up. Take the rod in my hand. Whens I do, the tip
pulls down. I gives somes. When I see the line tighten I hit
this fish with a full hook set. The rod doubles over. I think
right away I’m snagged. It didn’t move. While looking up
at the tips of the rod, that’s when I feel it pull down. I
knows I’m into something big. I fought that fish until we
could see it. It took a log time. It was a strong catfish.
Fatty and me couldn’t get it up on the slippery muddy bank,
and we was trying. I tried to drag it up with the line but
was afraid it was going to break.
   Fatty he walks to the bank, while I was holding the fish’s
head in the shallow water, with the rod. If I didn’t he’d be
able to turns and swims back out. Fatty gets down to the
bottom and reaches for the gills of the fish. I see he has it
and I get excited. This is a big cat, a blue cat. I walks
down to see it and slips hitting the ground, I drop the rod,
and falls into the rushing water. I was washed down stream
and had to make my way to the banks through the shallow
water. I was washed down a couple hundred yards before I
made it backs to the land.
   I walk up on the banks to the log. When I gets there,
there’s a group of people that saw Fatty from the bridge,
looking at him with the fish. Fatty drags the fish up on the
muddy banks. Everyone starts cheering for him. It was a
hot summer days. I come walking up to where we crossed
the log, and someone yells to me,
   “Hey did you see the fish Fatty caught?” We all knew
each other in the town. I was shocked to hear the news
about the catfish Fatty caught. I thought I caught it. But I
saw Fatty with the fish in the mud. He looked so proud.
   I never felts so proud, as when I saw Fatty proud. I
didn’t say anything about the fish, but I wish I did. We
helped Fatty gets back to the main bank. We all had to
carry that fish. Turns out it was a record catfish. The
biggest blue ever caught. Weighed over hundred and
twenty-five pounds. Fatty had his picture with the fish in
all the papers. I forgets what was I speaking about?
   Oh yeah. That summer the only thing we did was work
on the farms. We collected food for the catfish. It was
taken about four big buckets of worms now a day to feed
the babies. The more we fed the faster they started
growing. By spring, we was feeding them chunks of left
over meats, fats, and chickens.
   Worms became too hard to collect. But we did start a
worm farm to feed the young catfish. We had no idea how
fast worms grow, if you feed them right. They love leaves
and we spread them thick under the trees on our property.
We had to fight of the raccoons, birds, and possums. They
would dig in those leaves and eat our worms. We needed
the worms for the young catfish. They loved em. You
know all fishes love worms.
   The years seemed to go fast looking back from here. It
didn’t take long and we were selling catfish. In a week’s
time, we were bringing in as much money, as the two farms
of our families. This is when we learned about rent,
leasing, and taxes. The people around us all wanted to
know what we was doing. It was Fatty. He became
obsessed with all he did. He grew those worms, and fed
those catfish all the time. Fatty never did much else but
farm.
   I can’t forget about Shorty, what a dog, he knew those
worms meant something to us. Chased off every bird,
raccoon it didn’t matter what it was. Shorty spent twenty-
four hours a day protecting those worms. What was most
funny is we thought we would make money in the catfish.
It was the worms that sold the best. We would be selling
about a million worms a week. We sold them to bait shops
up and down the coast and inland. We had the biggest
worms it was said. I think they for worms, was as fat as
Fatty was to people. I loved our pictures on the sides of the
cans, Fatty with my arm over his shoulder and Shorty.
   Hope you had a friend like Fatty and Shorty in your life.
Someone you could count on to always gives the best of
efforts. Never had a bad bone in their bodies. Never hurt
anyone. Fatty always loved to do what he did with a fire. I
lived my life better because Fatty was there. Just for this
I’m a better person. I think Fatty and I did things different
then others. Do to we had each other, we were different
from everyone else. There was nothing normal about our
friendship.
   The normal people couldn’t understand. We did all out
of loneliness in life. Heck Fatty and I never really ever had
anyone to love but each other. There were a few women
through the years, but only we stayed friends. Womans
they comes and goes.
   I got lost there for a moment. You know, as you get
older your memory submits to your forgetter. I forget
many things, for moments, or where I am at. So if I seem
to bounce around, it isn’t me. It’s my old minds. It slips
from time-to-time, into memories. I find myself lost in
yesterday and I forgets today.
   I think Fatty was so into whatever he was doing, is so he
could forget his pains. Fatty never complained. But he
knew many people judged him on how he looked. If
people could see it was his heart that made him look so big.
Then they would have been able to see past the fat.
   Many have judged me due to how tall and skinny I was,
but it was never the same for Fatty. People never spoke
badly of me, or made jokes. I was a freak of nature. Fatty
was someone that lost control and eats himself into what he
was. To others a fat pig, to me he was Fatty. I never saw
anything wrong with him.
   But at times I did see Fatty’s pain. I never forget that
girl Julie. She said to him in the lunchroom one day. He
was piling on the mash potatoes and she says,
   “Can you save some for others?” I don’t think she really
meant any harm. They were almost gone. But it was the
first time she spoke to him. I could see the looks in his
eyes. He forgets when people are near to him if there’s
food. Heck Fatty would eat the whole watermelon and not
see you waiting for a bite. He didn’t do it on purpose. It
was the way he was. Fatty was born to eat.
   Fatty and I grew rather rich on those worms, we was
making sometimes profit, for each $25,000.00 per week.
That was some pretty good money for a fat and skinny guy,
from our neck of the woods. People used to speak about us
all the time. They couldn’t figure out how we wouldn’t
buy things that they thought we should have. For Fatty and
me we had all we could want. We got to plays with worms
and catfish all day. What else could a real man ask for?
   I was in town one day and I heards one of the towns
people saying. I know his name, but won’t share it in this
book. I don’t wants to make him famous in anyways. And
this guy was saying,
   “You would think with all the money those guys are
making, Fatty would get a new pair of pants.” I walked
away. I didn’t say anything. I thought Fatty was moving
way up the high society scale. He now had three pairs of
pants. I had four, but mines was different colors. This is
what fooled the people into thinking I had many pairs.
Fatty had all three with the same colors. I walked up to
Fatty later that day and asked,
   “Hey Fatty why don’t you goes and buys you some new
pants. Different colors.” He answered,
   “I don’t knows. I would have to worry about if my shirts
matched.” That’s when fatty shared something with me I
didn’t know. He told me,
   “I was born color blind. I can’t see anything but shades
of greens, grays, and browns. Some reds and pinks but all
looks the same to me. So I cants match my shirts to my
pants, so I wear the same colors all the time.”
   You would think after knowing a person for as many
years as we had, you’d know all about that person. It was a
surprise to me why he didn’t change the color of his pants
or shirts. But after hearing this, it all mades good senses to
me.
   Fatty was always thinking about things like this, how to
make daily life easier. This is why he trained Shorty to
chase everything away from the worm beds. I think Fatty
was getting tired of sleeping outside, to keep the critters
aways. Sometimes it amazes me how smart he was. I was
the simple one out of the two of us. You should have seen
Fatty write, he did all with perfect spellings.
   I was always jealous of how he could put his words on
paper for all to see. I think he should have been a writer.
Not some farmer. Fatty never did forget what Julie said to
him in school that day. For thanksgiving years later, Fatty
sent a truckload of potatoes to Julies house. He heard she
was hurting and didn’t have food for her kids. I guess it
was Fatty’s way of saying he was sorry.
   It was said they ate those potatoes for months. Fatty
never told her who sent them. It was known Fatty did it.
Due to he was that kind of a guy. Would help anyone even
if they took the time to hurt him. He found the time to
help, whenever the tables had been brought for him to serve
his kindness on.
   I was trying to put this book together in order. I might
jump a bit trying to tell the full story. I want to go back to
the first year again. I think this was the best year we spent.
Up to this point I had been a loner. Spent all day away in
the woods, besides some school and home. When I wasn’t
I spent my days chasing bugs, frogs, crayfish, and fishing.
I did all alone. The kids at school they didn’t like to be
seen with me. I wasn’t one of the cool kids.
   So I found my friends in the woods, all the animals. I
would talks to them, from bug to butterfly. If they had the
time to listen, I had something to speak. I guess this is why
I have started writing, where I’m at today. There aren’t
many bugs to speak to. So I speak to this paper. Funny
how the words spoke to bugs kind of fell on death ears, and
how here the paper is even lonelier. But at least I’m doing
something better then rocking my life away in that chair
they gave me.
   I sit here at this table, hand writing these words, from the
inspirations of a lifetime of two friends, a dog, and Fatty. I
look at myself and I see no others reflection. They have me
cooped here like a crawdad in a tank. I want to go out for a
walk. Live in the woods again. Nothing in these four walls
feels alive. No wonder people today have no feelings, and
can be so cold. Never did you hear about crimes like you
do today. I think more peoples needed to meet people like
Fatty. I was speaking about that first year. Fatty and I had
known each other a few days and he came up to me saying,
   “Wanta go hog hunting?” I have never done this before
but didn’t want him to know, and said,
   “Sure. Love to gets me some hog meat.” Fatty asked,
   “You know what to do?” I said,
   “Yes it’s easy. I have done it many times.”
   “Good I have never done it before. My dad brings the
meat home from hunting.” I didn’t want him to think I was
a liar, so I said,
   “It’s easy. Follow me I will show how I catch hogs.” I
was thinking I have no idea what I am doing. My dad had
showed me a few tricks about knots and lynches. I thought
I could build a good trap to catch one. While I was walking
with Fatty, I was thinking what we have to do. Looking
back I can’t believe Fatty brought it. He asked me,
   “What are we going to do?”
   “We have to get some rope, and some bait. I will show
you.”
   “Can’t wait to eat that thing. You know hows I loves
pork.”
   “Yes Fatty you love everything we catch.”
   “Not everything. Remember that skunk?”
   “I told you not to eat that thing.” Fatty looked at me and
said,
   “It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t dead so long. I
told you we needed to eat it the same day I shot it.”
   “I told you we didn’t need to eat it at all. You didn’t
need to shoot no skunk.”
   “But my Grandma, God rest her soul, she always told me
how great they tasted.”
   “I’m telling you she meant possum, possum is great to
make a stew out of, not skunk! Your grandma was saying
all types of crazy things those last years before she died.”
   “I do have to admits, that house sure did smell bad.”
   “You think. It smelled like a skunk for weeks.”
   “It didn’t smell that long.”
   “Are you kidding, our clothes smelled so bad when we
wents to town, everyone asked us if we had been playing
with a skunk. Just because we couldn’t smells it anymore,
doesn’t means we didn’t stink, others smelled us.”
   To this day Fatty would stand on his dead Grandma’s
grave, and tell me it was skunk. I never heards of anyone
make possum stew out of skunks.
   It’s late, what time is it? Wow can’t believe I have been
writing this long. How the hours pass when you pass them
remembering good times. I know you have heard this but I
forgets what I was writing about. Oh yeah that first year.
It was the first time, I felt, like I met someone that was so
lost, that only we could find each other. No one could have
seen us. Only Fatty and me we could see each other, and
the emptiness we felt.
   It was like God made these two puzzle pieces that should
have never have fit. Yet when brought them together they
are so different they are the same. This is why we could
relate to each other so easy. We both are out casts. Fatty
from his hurt he learned compassion. I learned empathy. I
think this was why anything no matter what it was, if it
needed help, Fatty and me we would help. Even if it meant
it would hurt Fatty in the long run.
   This reminds me of the day with them rich boys. They
had always been mean to us. But time had come full circle.
They like many in the town went broke. Their parents lost
all. They never said a good thing to anyone, were spoiled
brats. But when the one brother got sick, Fatty was there to
pay the bills from the doctors.
   Only I knew he did this. I saw his paper work that
morning. I never told Fatty I knew it was him that donated
the money to the church, to save the once rich boy. He was
poor now and couldn’t help himself. As I said, Fatty I
think was so big so he had enough of himself to go around.
I think if Fatty had been normal, he would have never been
able to touch as many people as he did.
   When Fatty died, for weeks many lined up at his grave.
They all cried. Seems Fatty even in life if he didn’t know
it, people knew it, and he was good. I lost it again. I was
speaking about our first time wild boar hunting. I decided
we’d go deep into the woods. Some places we have never
been. All the time Fatty is following me and we are
carrying rope, and bait for the boar to lure it in. Fatty is
asking me,
    “How much further until we can stop?”
    “Not much.” I replied. He said,
    “I’m tiered I need a rest, can we try here.”
    “This isn’t where the hogs is. But we can rest for a
moment.” Fatty slung down the bait. I dropped the rope,
and we sat to the grounds with Shorty. Shorty always had
to be helping so to makes him feels good. We gave him
some ropes to carry, and he dropped them to the ground to
rest also. I remember Shorty looking through the woods,
he turned and walked away looking back. He had his tail
between his legs. We watched as he walked a bit out of
sight. We called to him but that dog had his mind made up,
it wanted away from us that day. Shorty once he had his
mind made up you couldn’t get him to change it.
    There is this tree that has fallen in the woods and I
climbed it to rest. Fatty also climbed it but not as far. I
was sitting there. We heard some noises coming from the
thickets. The sound was coming from a place that was all
swamps. I thought it might be a deer due to it was loud. I
told Fatty,
    “Be still don’t make a sound. It sounds like it’s coming
towards us.” I remember looking down and seeing a circle
of stones, with a star inside of it on the ground. There had
been a small fire burning at its center. Due to it was filled
with old ashes. I heard the sounds getting closer and as
they seemed to creep up on us, the branches parted
opening. I expected to see an animal, but it was a person.
Just so you knows about it, I grew full of fears.
   It was like no person I had ever seen. Fatty and I speak
about it to each other, through out our lives, but we don’t
tell people about what we saw that day. I was sitting in the
tree looking down on this person, his back to us. He didn’t
see us, we are in the tree, and my hips are about as high as
his head. I look down on him. Fatty was a couple foot
below looking up. Neither moved.
   We waited to see what would happen. The person was
dressed in a black robe and had a hood over his head. On
his back was the same star and circle as was on the ground
in stone. He bent down and fixed a couple stones, and then
stood up and took his hood down, with his back still facing
us. His hair was like nothing I’d seen. He had all white
hair on one side of his head, and on the other all black. His
hair I have to take a moment to speak about it. I remember
every inch of it from his head to past his shoulders. It was
thin black on one side, white on the other. Beard and
mustache was the same. If you looked at his scalp you
could see space and skin between each hair. My jaw
dropped as I looked at him. I think he heard my mouth
open. He turned around and looks right into my eyes.
   For the first time I was speechless in life. I always had
something to say. I did try at this moment to say hi, to
whatever this was. Yet no words fell from my mouth.
Only silence as my lips blabbered in mid air. It was his
eyes that left me speechless. They are hollow. No whites
of the eye. Only a deep black and I felt as if I might fall
from the tree into his emptiness.
   But instead I did the man thing. I hopped over Fatty,
while dropping everything, and was gone. I tore through
those woods. I made tracks that few could keep up with.
Even Fatty didn’t have a burst of speed in him to catch me.
This was no bear. I guess Fatty wasn’t scared enough to
run, but for me, I filled my drawers with my stinky fear.
   I broke out of the woods into this lush field of grass, and
that’s when I thought about Fatty. What if that thing got
him? What if he didn’t get away? I turned and started
walking backwards looking for Fatty. I see him in the
woods and he came running out of those trees, as I was
walking away from them. I was cheering Fatty on, to hurry
up and catch me. I was surprised when I saw him carrying
the rope and bait for the hog. Heck I left those things and
was never going back for them again. I was walking
backwards yelling,
   “Hurry up Fatty. Run!” As I was doing this, the fear
was pulsing through my veins. I took my next step
backwards. I felt something beating on my legs. I jumped
up yelling,
   “Its’ got me! Its’ got me!” Fatty started laughing so
hard he fell over flipping himself. But he was to worried
what was behind him, to stop running. He rolled right up to
his feet. I realized by this time, the thing didn’t have me. I
had stepped on a nesting pheasant and what I felt pounding
my legs, was its wings. Fatty finally caught up to me and
we ran a long time before looking back. We stopped and
Fatty said,
   “Hold up. I need to catch my breath.”
   “You got a good laugh seeing me step on that pheasant.”
   “You have to admit that was great. What did you think
had you?”
   “I thought that thing came out of the ground. It was its
hands grabbing my ankles. I thought for sure he was going
to drag my butt under, maybe all the way to hell.”
   “What do you think it was Skinny?”
   “Fatty I don’t know.” We didn’t say much about that
thing the rest of that day. But the next day we went to
church for the first time. We prayed for forgiveness from
everything we thought we had done wrong. What was
funny is we really meant it that day. We had been really
sorry for anything we felt we did, that made this things
come to us. It wasn’t long before Shorty joined us again.
That dog I think knew something was there that day.
   Back to hog hunting. Fatty had his mind made up we
was setting a trap for a hog. We carried that bait and we
was going to use it. So we walked a couple more miles
away from that spot with that man. By now Shorty was
carrying his rope again. I set up the trap the way my daddy
told me. We put the bait all around, some corn, and other
garbage scraps. We left for home to come back the next
day to check.
   The next morning Fatty was a knocking at my window
before the sun. I jumped up. I couldn’t wait to see if we
caught us a hog. I ran out the front door. It was Sunday.
We had all day, no work. Our parents gave us Sunday’s off
to do whatever we wanted.
   Fatty and me walked back to the place where we set up
the trap. As we gets close Shorty stops. Shorty put his tail
down between his legs and walks away. This was starting
to become a pattern. I don’t think Shorty trusted Fatty and
mes judgments. But now from here looking backs, that dog
was right every time. Funny when in life how you can’t
see things so clear, but when you look back it is easy to see,
why Shorty ran with his tail between his legs. They says
womans has a good sense for things. I thinks a dogs is way
betters. Only puts his tail between his legs, never yells.
   We was walking and by then the sun was up. The
morning birds had started to sing. Right away as soon as
we got near the trap you could see we had something. The
rope was pulled around the tree, and most of the bait was
gone. They were tracks everywhere in the ground. The
pigs had been looking for food. It was easy to see there had
been many overnight. Fatty whispered,
   “Don’t do anything fast. Lets sneak around the other
side, see what we have.” I followed him until we made our
way around the tree. We saw that monster hog. It was the
biggest tusks I’d ever seen. He was sitting there sleeping.
He woke and looked to us jumping to his feet. You could
see he was fighting to get free all night. I put my hand and
arm out across Fatty’s chest and told him,
   “I think we should go get our dads. This is a big boar!”
   “No way my father won’t let me eat this all at one time,
this is our boar. I say we keep it for ourselves.” I thought
about it. Fatty was right. We would barely get any of it.
So I said,
   “Okay. How do we kill it?”
   “Skinny I will sneak out my dads gun tonight. We can
shoot it.”
   “We can’t leave it here all night. We’ll be lucky if he’d
still be here in the morning.”
   “Your right. What should we do?” As Fatty asked this
the boar charged and the rope broke free, I knew we were
in trouble. Neither of us was going to out run that bastard.
He went right for Fatty. Due to the fact I was running
away, and kind of hiding behind him.
   I remember seeing that thing aimed right at us. Me
looking from behind Fatty, never thought Fatty would be
fast enough to get away. But Fatty has been known to
shock a few under certain conditions. Like this one, he
leaped about five foot straight up, grabbing a branch. He
climbed that tree so fast, that I couldn’t catch him. I had to
yell,
   “Yo Fatty. Your high enough, it can’t get us.” I
followed his butt up the tree. The worst was about to come,
the rope had a knot tied at the end, and it caught on a root.
The boar was stuck below us and as angry as could be.
There was nothing we could do. Fatty and I looked down
on it thinking what’s next. I said to Fatty,
   “Do you have any ideas on how to get rid of the thing?”
   “Yes. We can try to unhook the rope with a branch,
maybe we can reach it, and push it back off the roots.” We
tried to do this for a few hours. No luck. That darn pig
was about to take our heads off, if we tried to get to the
ground. That’s when I said,
   “I have an idea. We can climb over to the next tree.”
You see the trees had been touching branches. If we could
get to the next tree we could hit the ground running. As
long as the rope holds we’d be able to get away. This was
my thinking and I explained this to Fatty. I made it to the
next tree no problem. Fatty I think was too much for those
branches. They gave under his weight. I wasn’t sure what
I was more worried about, him hitting the ground, or what
was waiting there for him.
   I couldn’t believe it when he fell right on top of the boar.
The boar broke a couple of legs while padding Fatty’s fall
from the tree. I grabbed a couple pretty big rocks and
charged into save Fatty from the boar’s tusks, it was trying
to get to him. My first rock hit him in the side, sending him
rolling away from Fatty. Fatty took a couple rolls towards
me, out of the reach of the hog.
   We finally killed that thing. From that day we never
hunted hogs again. Fatty was the only one strong enough
to carry the things, turns out it was a record for our neck of
the woods. It was the biggest hog ever caught. They name
it Hogzilla. This thing was so big we shared it with many
folks.
   Fatty he wasn’t kidding he wanted to eat some meat. We
sat there until the sunset eating. All the folks around
brought corn and potatoes. We cleaned the bones. What
time is it? I look around for the clock. Can’t remember
where they keep putting it. They say it’s on the wall in the
same place. But I says they keep moving it, due to I can’t
find it. I think it’s time for bed. I will start in the morning
telling my story of Fatty and Shorty again.
   Sorry about that. I got tiered and forgets. Had to gets
some rest. I’m no youngster. Fatty and me we loves
fishing. We did all kinds and once we got our drivers
license we started going everywhere. We had some ideas
about doing some better fishing. Fatty brought an old 1956
pickup truck. I brought a 1962, 17-foot fiberglass boat.
We was going fishing. It was the first time we used this
boat and truck. The boat it started right up. We thought
nothing of it. Was going to do some fishing.
   We went to the bay. We heard through a friend the
fishing was good. They had been catching everything. We
wanted to do a days fishing trip. This is before the worms
went big.
   We was out there fishing hard that day. Catching
weakfish, bluefish, flounder, and blue crabs along with a
few other odd fish. It was a great fishing day. Fatty and I
was nailing those fish from morning till late noon. We
filled that boat with fish and crabs. We was fishing with
two rods bottom rigged, with a couple hooks and a big buck
tail for weight. That’s when it happened.
   You see we had been fishing for years. We heards of big
flounder but we never caughts one. Sure we caught some
big ones, but never the monster flounder. Well on this day,
it was perfect. We had been over the weakies all day.
Then the tide changed and started going out. This is when
those flounder started to hit. The first ones had been nice
all over twenty inches.
   Then Fatty’s rod bent over, I reeled in the other rods, and
Fatty fought this flounder. When I net it, I know it is over
ten pounds! The second biggest one I ever saws. We put
that fish in the cooler and casted the rods out. We had a
secrete bait for flounder. It was the belly meat of the ones
we was keeping, flounder for some reason loves their own
white belly meats. We was cutting them in strips of about
ten inches, and putting it on our hooks for the flounders. It
didn’t take longs, but after a bits I gets a bite. My rod
doubles over and I sets the hook. My tip stays right where
it is, it won’t move off the bottom. Right away I say to
Fatty,
   “This is it, the big one!” I knew it! I had never felt
anything like it. Flounders try to holds the bottom, but if
you lift them a bits you can feel them shake their heads up
and down. No other fish in the bay does this. A ray is hard
power that pulls, but moves quickly. A blue fish runs like
ducks from a fox. Only a flounder pulls like this. I tries to
lift the fish, but I can’t, and it holds the bottom.
   I works my way around the boat, and settle in for a long
fight. I smiles and looks to Fatty and say,
   “This is the biggest flounder I have ever hooked.” Fatty
replied,
   “Land it first and we will see what it is.” Fatty knew it
was fighting like a flounder but we had this happen before
and it turned out to be a sea turtle, Loggerhead. If you
know anything about them, they is huge and kind of fight
like a founder.
   Well when we sees the fish I can hardly believe my eyes.
I was leaning forward trying to see it over the boat and the
swells of the bay. I was looking at it. This is when I lost
my footing. The boats floor was covered in fish’s blood
and slime. I flipped out of the boats when that flounder
gave good tug. I handed Fatty the rod, while I climbed
around the back of the boat to get up on the motor. There
was no other way on the boat.
   Whens I get back on the boat, Fatty has the fish all reeled
in and I picks up the net. Whens I net it I can’t believe it.
We haves a big net, the fish didn’t want to fit into it. As I
lifted the net the entire fish hid the net from view. I started
to doubt we’d be able to get it into that net, but then the fish
folded a bit and slid into it.
   When I went to bring the net into the boat, I hads to hang
it straight up and down, do to he weight of the fish would
break the net. When we gets it on the boat, another boat
pulls up watching Fatty land this thing. Fatty holds the
flounder up and these guys in the other boat start to cheer
Fatty on. He had this smile, when he smiled I smiled.
Turns out the flounder was a record. It weighted over
thirty-one pounds. What a fish. Fatty had his names in the
record books agains.
   This wasn’t the end of this trip. I was just jumping in
about Fatty had another record fish to his name. We was
out in the bay and it was a feast for us. The best fishing
we’d ever done. We looked at the boat and started
laughing. It was filled with fish all kinds. We decided it
was time to go home. It was up to me to pull up the
anchor, Fatty was a too big to climb up on the front of the
boat.
   I was surprised since the rope to the anchor was hanging
straight under the boat. I lifted it and could feel it wasn’t
on the bottom. I looked up from the rope to around us, and
there was no land. Only that one boat and us, as far as I
could see, nothing looked like a way home. I pulled the
anchor in and started the motor. I didn’t let Fatty know we
had been drifting and I asked him,
   “Hey Fatty do you know which we was back to the boat
docks.” Fatty sat up and looked around and asked,
   “Where’s the land?”
   “I think we have been drifting.”
   “What?”
   “The anchor wasn’t holding. We drifted out into deeper
waters.”
   “Do you know where we are?”
   “Fatty I am a bit lost, I am not sure.” We looked all over
the bay. We saws that other boat fishing, it was getting late
the sun was low. Fatty says to me,
   “You better give that motor some gas, that boat is much
faster then us. We better get to him before he packs it in.”
I pushed the gas down and started heading for the boat. We
was going pretty good. We needed to catch up to that boat.
Otherwise I think we were about to sleep on the bay, or the
ocean. I don’t know how far we drifted. We pulled up to
the boat and yelled over to them,
   “You guys know where Fortescue is?” They yelled
back,
   “No never heard of it.” I asked,
   “Can you tell us where we are?” They pointed saying,
   “That river there is Tom’s River.” I yelled back,
   “How far is that from New Jersey?” The guy said
depends where you’re going.” I yelled back,
   “Near Cap May. Do you know how far that is?” He
scratched his head saying as we got close to them,
   “It must be a few hours in your boat at top speed, how
fast do you go?” I looks at Fatty and then to them and said,
   “Not very fast. I was a bit embarrassed about the looks
of my boat compared to how nice his was, so I asked,
   “If we was slow do you think we could make it by
dark?” He said,
   “No way.”
   I turned to Fatty and said,
   “Under the conditions, we should head up Tom’s river
and see what’s there.” Fatty yelled over to the guys fishing
in the other boat asking,
   “Is there any places there for us to be able to dock?”
   “Yes there’s a marina up river a bit, you have a few
miles to go to get there.” We waved to them saying,
   “Thank you.” We started our boat and went on our way
towards the river. That other boat past us and was gone.
Amazing how long it seems to take to gets to land when
you’re lost and it’s getting dark.
   We had the boat running good and then it makes a bad
sound and shut down. We still had a bit to go to get to the
mouth of the river and there wasn’t another boat on the
water in sight. This was before cell phones and we didn’t
have a ship to shore radio. Fatty looked at me with this
look. I turned and looked away from him, and to the front
of the boat, and land. It was about a half mile away, and
we was drifting out.
   I couldn’t get the boat started no matter how hard I tried.
The battery was going dead. I went to the front of the boat
and dropped the anchor over, made sure it bit this time,
holding the rope feeling it snag. Then I lets out plenty of
line to make sures we don’t drift again. I sat next to Fatty
he never smokes a cigar. He reached into his top pocket
and pulled this cigar out, and said,
   “I was saving this for one of two things. The first when
we gets back to shore. I didn’t think this boat would make
it. The other was I’d smoke it when I gets on land. Fatty
took that cigar and fired it right up, and he smoked it until
we both fell asleep. I was up first the next morning. The
cigar was still in Fatty’s mouth and he was sound asleep.
   I turned the key to the motor to see if the battery maybe
recharged itself over night. It cranked up and the motor
started. But we couldn’t go faster then a couple miles per
hour. There was the banging from the motor it sounded
bad. Finally we approached the marina it was in view. It
had many docks with lots of fancy boats. The tide was
ripping out again, since we were sleeping all night. As we
gots closer our boat stopped running again. We couldn’t
get it started. It must have been our lucky day. This forty
footer was coming in from fishing all night, I yelled waving
them to stop near us, and said,
   “We needs some help. Our boat won’t start and we need
to get up to the dock there.” It was about two hundred
yards away. They was thinking about giving Fatty and me
a tow back, so to sweeten the deal, I yelled,
   “Give us a hand and well give you some weakies.” The
guys heads all turned and one yelled,
   “You have weakies?”
   “Yes. We’ll give ten nice ones to help us get to that
dock.” I held up a nice seven pounded their eyes about
popped out of their heads, reminded me of Fatty and frog
legs. They gave us a tow back to the boat dock. They hads
a big boat and they couldn’t take us all the way in. So they
picked up speed and set us away with a push. We was just
short of the docks and the tide was turning the boat back
out. I jumped over board and swam as hard as I could to
pull the boat to the dock. Once I gots me feet on mud,
under the water I was fine, and I pulled the boat up.
   I climbed out of the water and there were a few people
watching us. We tied the boat. I smelt a bit from the tidal
water and the mud that was covering me. It was almost
black and smelled like, well I hate to say it but the only
thing I could think of at the moment, was wow this is bad.
We gots the boat tied up good and went to a couple people
standing there asking,
   “You ever here of Fortescue?” We watched as this one
guy comes forward and says,
   “Yes me and my dad went fishing there years ago, great
place to fish. It’s about three or four hours over the
Delaware Memorial bridge. Then all the way down the
coast.” I asked,
   “Round trip?” He said,
   “No. That’s one way. This is if you don’t get stuck in
traffic.” I really didn’t know what we was going to do?
We had some money with us, enough we figured to get us
back home if all went good. I walked up to this guy and
asked,
   “I’d give you forty dollars and two dozen weakies with a
few flounder if you give us a lift to get our truck?” The
guy next to him said,
   “I’ll do it. I can us the money. But you have to fill my
car with gas.” We agreed and he took Fatty to get Fatty’s
truck parked on the other side of the bay. While I was
waiting for Fatty to get back, I knew it would be hours. So
with the tied going out, on the wood of the docks, crabs
was all over them. I started netting them with our fish net.
I was having the time of my life. I was getting two or three
crabs off a piling. I covered the back of the boat with them
blue claws. I had bags of ice thrown over them to keep the
fish and the crabs good.
   Finally many hours’ later Fatty shows up with his truck,
I was glad. Started thinking he left me. But I knew he’d
never do this. I was hoping he wasn’t mad at me. The last
time I saw him for getting us lost in the ocean he was. I
was truly happy to see his old black truck pull up with the
empty boat trailer.
   I kind of saw this day coming to an end. It started over
24-hours ago with us putting the boat in the water. Now
here we are about to get out of the water. Never thought
I’d see the day when we both couldn’t wait to get away
from the water.
   Fatty backed the trailer down the boat ramp. He’d never
done this before and couldn’t get the trailer to stay straight
behind the truck. I hads to go ask Fatty to let me back the
trailer up and I was doing it perfect. I was proud of myself
since I have only done this a couple times. By now we had
an audience building watching us.
   I backed the trailer into the water and down the ramp,
when I heard some yelling. I hit the brakes and I heard a
bang. I got out of the truck and walked to the back of it,
where I saw the wheels of the trailer had fallen off the boat
ramp. The trailer was sitting on the metal frame. I tried to
pull the truck forward but the truck didn’t have the power
to pull it back onto the boat ramp. The tide had gone out to
far. There was a white line painted on the ramp. We didn’t
know that meant the ramp ended there.
   We had to pay four guys ten bucks each, and buy them
lunch as well, and give each of them a few weakies. They
all climbed into the muddy water and with a hard lift and
me easing down on the gas, in first gear, moved that trailer
up the boat ramp. I pulled up to the top of the ramp, and as
I parked the truck and turned it off, a guy walked up that
worked there, and said,
   “It will be about five hours before the tide turns. This is
how long you’ll have before you’ll be able to get that boat
out of the water.” I looked to Fatty. He was turning red. It
started on his neck and climbed over his face. No doubt he
was smoking by now.
   So we have another five hours to add to trip which was
over 30-hours. Fatty was a nice guy but he needed his
sleep. I learned this on this trip. So we waited for the tide
to turn and meanwhile we still had more fish and crabs then
our coolers could hold. We was buying bags of ice and
placing them over the fish and crabs. Didn’t want to lose
that meat, it would have been a shame.
   This is when we weighed in that flounder. It was a
record. If we didn’t drift that far we would have never of
hit those flounder like we did. I know now that we crossed
a deep channel and them fish was holding to this ledge.
This is why we only hit the flounders big like this for a
short while, then they was gone.
   Finally the tide did role in. There was plenty of water to
get the boat trailer in and the boat out of the water. We
backed Fatty’s truck in and put the boat on the trailer. By
now everyone at the dock knew there was a couple red
necks stuck there. They had been paying everyone for help
with cash and fish. I guess they were all coming down to
see if they could get some of those fish. I couldn’t blame
them. I would have done the same.
   So here I was watching Fatty about to pull the boat up
the ramp. All was on the trailer and looked well. Then he
gave the old truck some gas and only smoke poured out
from under it. Turns out the truck couldn’t pull the boat
out of the water, didn’t have an enough clutch.
   Fatty was skipping mad. He opened the door and I
stepped up to him. He slams the door shut and floored that
truck. The only thing that happened was it and Fatty
smoked more. He must have revved that truck up for five
minutes, trying to get that old broken down boat out of the
water. It couldn’t.
   We had to unhook the boat from the trailer, and pull the
trailer and truck back up the ramp. It made it with just the
trailer. But once on level ground the truck stopped
smoking from the clutch. So we found this cute girl that
had a four-by-four jeep. She was laughing at us with the
rest of the people. I asked,
   “Any one that can help pull our boat out of the water, we
would give a couple bucks for gas and some fish.” The girl
smiled and said,
   “Sure I can do it for you guys.” I asked,
   “The trailer is a two inch ball.” She replied,
   “No problem this is what my ball is.” She backed her
truck in and pulled our boat out of the water. We unhooked
the trailer from her jeep and put it back on Fatty’s truck. I
have to admit I think at the moment Fatty wanted to never
go on a long fishing trip again. I thought Fatty was mad
when we pulled out of the parking lot, of the marina. But
you should have seen him after I made a mistake with the
map. I had us on this back road to nowhere.
   It was late at night by now, and neither of us had a good
nights sleep for two straight days. We found someone on
the road and stopped and asked,
   “Do you know where 95 is?” The guy looked at us
leaning overs a bit and replied,
   “Yeah. You guys need to go about three hours back
east.” Fatty jumped in saying,
   “What? Three hours…”
   “Yeah you guys are way off path.” My mouth dropped
as I looked at Fatty turning his head to look at me. We was
supposed to driving down the coast, but some hows I
wasn’t paying attention and missed a turn. I thoughts we
was going south on 95. I had Fatty take the wrong road
north.
   Heck I have nevers been out of state to this point. It was
a mistake of about 6-hours of extra driving. I didn’t know
someone could start to sweat that fast. You should’ve seen
Fatty, it started on his forehead and before a bead of sweat
could drop to his shirt, it was soaked.
   My hearts skips a couple beats, as he swung the truck
into gear and spun out making a u-turn. I nevers heard his
truck run like it did that day. You have to knows we are on
a dirt road, with ripples and bumps. That boat you could
hear it yanking on the truck, bouncing all over the place.
Whens I looks through the side mirror, I cans see the boat
bouncing into view, and outs as it went to the other sides of
the truck.
   I wanted to tell Fatty to slow down, but was afraid to
speak to him. Due to he was speaking to himself at those
moments. Much of it was about me. We was friends so I
knew it would blows over, and he wouldn’t be mad
eventually.
   So the entire time on this roads, he has the truck up to
70-mph with the boat banging behind us. You could hear
the metal clunking. Then there was silence. Not totally but
the sound of the boat banging stopped. The road had gotten
worse. I turned to look through the back window of the
truck and there I sees my boat.
   The front up in the air and at 70-mph it started to pass us,
then turned slowly to the left, going into the other lane. My
heart sunk. I thoughts we was going to kill someone. Buts
thank God I hads us lost enough the boat was on empty
roads.
   I watched it for seconds of eternity, the road had steep
sides and when that boat went off the road, for moment it
was air born. I was dieing. It was heading right for a house
about fifty feet off the road. Then there was that sounds I
will never forgets. The boat slams into three trees,
exploding into pieces. I was sick, I was thinkings it would
come to a stop in the grass. But didn’t get that lucky. I
hear, as Fatty stops the truck,
   “Whats the (bleep) was that?”
   “We lost the boat!”
   “We what?” Fatty already knew this and didn’t want to
realize it. Fatty had the truck stopped and turning around to
goes back to the boat. When we pulls up the owner of the
house was walking towards the boat. We drove up and
parked in his driveway. The trees were right in the middle
of his front yard. The boat hit them so hard that the entire
front of the boat was gone, almost three quarters of it was
shattered.
   I guess looking backs it was funny. The bottom of the
boat trailer wheels was up the middle of my chest. The
trees were on a slant and the boat road the first two up off
the ground. Then the front of the boat nailed the third tree.
   I loved that boat and wanted to die right then. I laid
down in the street thinking this can’t be true. I was dark
out now and Fatty grabbed me by the heals and pulled me
off the road. I remembers the feeling of that dirt road on
my back dragging over it. I finally got my head together
and gots up and walked around to the boat. It was a sad
sight. Crabs was stuck in the trees, literally, the shells
penetrated the wood, and smashed the crabs all over the
place.
   Ya’ll have to remembers had lots of fish and I was
catching crabs for hours. We had a couple bushels of those
crabs all live, and then all those fish. We had caught so
much fish and crab we pilled thems in the back seat of the
boat. In the floor, and covered thems in ice.
   Well they all gots catapulted from the boat. I looked
from the boat and there was fish and crab like a skid marks
all the ways to this guys house. There was some fish and
crabs smashed on his house, and a couple wents through his
big front window. I could see the glass was broken.
   Most of the crabs survived the crash, and where running
all over his front lawn. I was thinking this couldn’t be real.
It didn’t even look right. Fish was everywhere maybe
around a hundred weakies alone. Plus all those flounders,
croakers, spots, snapping blues, and a few others, that guy
walks over to us and says,
   “You guys got lucky. If those trees had not been there
this could have been really bad.” It is funny some ones
perception of things. I already thought it was really bad. I
think we gots lucky, and all happened due to it was
supposed to. If we didn’t have those problems that led us
lost, that boat was coming off, I believe, and could have
killed someone. Like all that day all these years ago was
supposed to happen the way it did. But for now back to the
scene. I was in disbelief, the guy says,
   “You okay?” I answers,
   “Yes I think.” He asks,
   “You need a drink of something.” I guess I wasn’t
looking so goods. We followed him to his house and I
looks through his broken window. There are even fish and
crabs on his roof. Whens I looked back to his home, first
things I see is his cat, trying to catch a crab crawling across
the floor. Dam if you didn’t know it, that crab latched on
to his paw, the dumb cat it held its paw over the head of the
crab like it was going to swat it. While doing this, the crab
latched onto it with one claw. The cat screamed and the
owner flew through the front door.
   Fatty and me we followed him into his house to try to
helps get the crabs. I think Fatty had it. He took one look
at that cat leaping and bounding off the walls. That crab
with a claw on its front paw, the other had the cats tail. I
didn’t know cats can jumps the ways this one did. Fatty
took a look at that. While watching the owner running to
help the cat, the owner slips on a flounder. His feets goes
up in the airs, and he hits his head on the tile floors,
knocking himself out cold.
   Fatty’s jaw dropped. I looked at him at all the fish and
crabs in this guys house. That cat was jumping out of its
fur, knocking things over and braking stuff. Finally the guy
wakes up, when his cat bangs into him. Fatty and me was
trying to grabs for the cat, buts no luck. We couldn’t get
our hands on that ricocheting blinding ball of screaming
fur.
   They guys gets up. Between the three of us we get the
cat pinned down in the guy’s jacket. He took of to catch it.
So we have the cat pinned. What next? Don’t know if you
like crabs. But if you have ever had ones stuck to your butt
like I did. Fatty thought it would be funny to stick a crab
on my butt, whiles I was cooking them. It might have been
funny, but it wasn’t to me. Everyone else had a great
laugh. That darn crab grabbed both my cheeks, and
wouldn’t let go no matter what.
   It’s like the crab knows you’re going to eat it, so it
thinks, gatcha, and he isn’t ever letting go. Fatty gets a
chopping knife, after about five minutes of trying to gets
this crab off my butt. I stills thinks he could have gotten it
off faster, if he would have stopped laughing for a minute.
   Fatty thought it was funny. When he broke the legs of
the crab for about thirty seconds, this things becomes super
crab. Man it squeezed so tight I saws a red cape with a
giant C on it, for Super Crab. It finally released. I’d get
me some revenge later that night. I don’t want to get of
subjects so back to the boats crash.
   I was thinking backs to when they cut the crabs claw off,
and how it became super crab. I was thinking poor kitty.
The guy comes back with a big pair of pliers, and I says,
   “Fatty. Hold the cat tight.” We had it all wrapped up,
now with towels and the guys’ coat. We crushed the first
claw of the crab and that cats screams. The sound hurt
every ones ears. Saw it all our faces. We gots the crab out
with one claw still attached to the cats tail. That guy
squeezed that crabs claw to break it off the crab. The cat
went silent. Limb! Stiff! Then dropped dead on the spot.
Beings I loves animals I figures it couldn’t handle it, any
mores and quit. I cans understand this sometimes.
   I was holding the towel. Fatty had the jacket. We
looked from the covered cat to each other. The owner was
sitting there. Hands are shaking with the pliers. He
dropped them, held his hands to his face. Me. I pulled the
towel off the cat. Fatty had the jacket wrapped around it,
and opened the coat laying it flat to the floor. The cat had
released himself. You know, a number one and two, you
gets what I mean. Don’t want to be crude but the coat
stunk of that cats last shit.
   Well Fatty and me stood up as the man reached for his
cat, kind of crying. It was a sad moment that touched us all
deep. Then Fatty and I looked around. The crabs there had
be two dozen in the guy houses. The fish was everywhere.
I was thinking what are the odds, two to one, something
like this could happen?
   That’s when fatty lost it. He started laughing and
couldn’t stop. He fell to this guys fish covered sofa, facing
the window. He took a good long look out through the
broken glass. Fatty slapped his leg hard and started to
laugh so hard, tears was running down his face.
   I looked at this poor guy. He was holding his cat in his
arms, and looked to Fatty laughing. I didn’t know what to
do. So I cried, no tears, made a bummed out face, and it hit
me. Fatty laughing likes that. Well I couldn’t do anything
else. Fatty and me we had one of our greatest laughs ever.
We looked at the guy his face was blank. He couldn’t say a
word. He dropped sitting to the chair across from us, while
looking around his house, he started to laugh saying,
   “I hated that dam cat.” I said,
   “Man sorry about your window. You know and all this
other fish and crabs thingy.” Didn’t know what else to say
and he replied,
   “Hated that window.” We all soaked in the moments
that passed. Laughing slowing to the realization of the
mess we had to clean up. I was the first up to start picking
up fish and crabs, the guy walked over to me saying,
   “I’m Hank.”
   “My name is Skinny. This is Fatty.”
   “Don’t know what got into the guy but he took a good
look at us and he lost it again. Laughing saying,
   “Your joking right? It’s 3:00 am and I have two guys
named Fatty and Skinny that killed my cat. By crab!
Knocked my front window out of my house and splattered
fish all over the place. Not only outside. But also through
my living room and kitchen. This is what you are going to
say to me, for your names?”
   “They are not our real names. This is when it hit me. I
asked Fatty,
   “Fatty you know my name?” Fatty thought about it for a
minute and said,
   “No. Never heard anyone call you anything else.”
   “Funny I was thinking the same about you.” The guy
jumps in saying,
   “Neither of you know each others names?” We both
reply,
   “No.”
   “How long you guys known each other?”
   “Years.” We both said looking at him and to each other.
I was thinking as well as a friend as Fatty is, I couldn’t
believe we didn’t know each other’s names. What was
funny Fatty and I thought our lives had been so great to,
that we didn’t want to change a thing, so I said to Hank,
   “Make a deal with you. We will clean everything here. I
will fix the window, and clean the fish and crabs up. I’ll
put all back in order, but we kinda like not knowing each
other’s names. The way it is. Hank took a moment to look
at us both. I guess he saw we was a couple of good ole
boys, and said,
   “Make a deal with you. Split the crabs and fish with me.
I will take that old busted up boat off your hands for
$200.00.” I thought about it, saying,
   “I think half the fish and crabs are fair. I will buy you a
new cat of your choice. I will clean all up and fix it like we
wasn’t even here.” Hank started laughing saying,
   “You kidding right? I want you to leave a couple of
those crabs stuck in the tree. I think it makes for a great
story. It’s so strange no one will believe what happened.”
Hank went outside and came back with a big cooler and
couple of smaller ones. While outside in his backyard I see
he has a boat on blocks. The same size as mine, it had no
motor or trailer. This was the only thing that survived the
crash on my boat was the trailer and motor. Even if the
motor was broke, it was fixable. Fatty and I could fix
anything.
   We cleaned up the rest of the fish and crab an hour into
the morning’s light. It was about 7:30am when we did as
much as we could. We went to the hardware store at
9:00am and brought a new window for the guy. Big bucks
for me back then. Once we got the window fixed. The tow
truck showed up to pull the boat out of the trees.
   The guy from the tow truck company, you can see was
shocked by all that was going on. We had to block the
road, so he could get a straight angle on the trailer. I
couldn’t believe it when the tow truck started hopping
backwards, when he turned the on whence. That truck
bounced with small hops, back. The boat and trailer didn’t
move.
   Well it turns out we never did get the boat out of the
trees. A couple weeks later Hank was suing me for one
boat and trailer for tree damage. He had to cut one of the
trees down to get the boat down. I had to fork over another
$400.00 for the labor for that. I should have taken the
$200.00 when the pickens was good. I thought it was all a
dream. When I woke the next morning in my home. Fatty
and me we stopped and slept a bit on the road, but we
didn’t really sleep for almost four days.
   Oh yeah back to my revenge on Fatty for sticking that
crab on my butt. Well he left the kitchen before all the
crabs had been cooked, his mistake. My laughs were about
to begin. I hid three of the crabs in my shirt I had taken off
from fishing that day. I told Fatty I was going to go change
these dirty clothes. It was late already about 11:00pm
before all the crabs had been cooked.
   I took those crabs and put them in Fatty’s bed. He was
sleeping at that time under the steps in his basement. His
bed fit there perfect. The rest of the basement was opened.
Had a sofa and couple chairs and a TV. I was already in on
the sofa watching the television. Fatty came outs from the
bathroom after a hot shower. He had a towel around him
and underwear to sleep in. Fatty got in his bed, it took
about a second, he jumped so fast, and his head on the steps
above him. The crab had grabbed him on the inside of his
thigh. Lucky for him the crab only had one claw. There
could have been some real damage there.
    Well I was glad to turn this crab into a super crab. I gots
me the same knife Fatty gots to cut the crab off my butt. I
tapped its claw a few times to be sure to piss that crab off.
Fatty wasn’t laughing so hard at this point. Me I was
having a good one. I still think Fatty screamed louder than
Hanks cat that day when I cut its claw off.
    You know as I said Fatty sure did love to eat everything.
One day we were hunting chipmunks. I didn’t like to eat
them. They made me gassy. Buy Fatty didn’t care about
the gas. He would string them up like pearls on a stick.
We would hold them over a fire until roasted golden
brown. He would sit there and eat everyone we caught, as
soon as we had ten. Never forget that day he got his new
gun with big fancy sight.
    We had been walking pretty far to find chipmunks.
Since Fatty ate all the ones that lived near by. We walked
this steep hill when we saws one. It saw us and ran a bits.
But if you are smart you can usually catch up and shoot the
little guy. Fatty was a great shot. I couldn’t kill them,
thoughts they was too cute. Well Fatty walked around to
get a better view. This was his first shot with his new riffle
with a scope.
    Fatty lined that thing up and pulled the trigger, I saws his
head snaps back. He then trips on a log and he falls. Fatty
when he falls hits the ground hard. The riffle goes flying as
Fatty starts to role. It was a steep hill. Thens I hear him
yelling. Then stopping. Then he’d yells agains.
   I kinds of roll down the hills after him, but in control.
Fatty whens I get to him he’s stuck in barbwires, that’s
electrics. Each time it sent out a pulse, Fatty woulds yell.
Fatty hits the wire hard and his clothes and him was tangled
up.
   Whens I get to Fatty he grabs me, and now we both is
yelling. Fatty was strong, and he wasn’t letting go. I was
getting pissed. Each time we woulds both get shocked, and
then it would stop.
   We’d laugh, then yell again, it was ones of those special
laughs in life, looking backs. I wished those times never
ended. Not the time on the wire when we are being
shocked. But those moment’s in-between, whens we was
laughing.
   I didn’t know until I gets off the wires with Fatty, that he
had peed his pants during the shocking and laughing. We
never coulds figure out which it was. We rolled away from
the fence and laughed us both into another world. Where
nothing mattered, and we didn’t care. It was nice to be so
young, you had freedom of life’s past. You know what I
mean, the bills, the hurts, the mistakes. The friends that is
no longer here. Whens your old, gray, and weak as I am,
you don’t have many friends left.
   I never had me no kids. I wanted to. It just never
happened for me. It would be nice to see something that
leaves more of me than just these words. I think this is why
I am telling you my story. I don’t want no one to forgets
Fatty and Shorty. Me I was there. I thinks to put them
here, I don’t know what other time I would be heres for. I
miss all my friends that don’t walk with me anymore.
Since I out lived them all.
   I am sorry back to the books. I was reminiscing there for
a moment. Funny when you thinks back to friends, you
remember thems smiling. So I thinks this is the saddest
thing for me. How much I miss their smiles. Hard to see
the paper through the smiles of times past, you see, I see,
Fatty’s smile this moment. It lit up my face, and them there
tears, makes the paper fogs.
   Shorty was a great dog. Ones day we was swimming
down buy the creeks where it meets the big river. We
loved going down there since the perch fishing was great,
and then there was those fresh water clams. I never sees
nobody eats them, but Fatty and me. I wouldn’t eats
everything, but these little shelled guys was sweet. We was
there hunting them whiles we had a couple rods cast out.
   We had a pile of clams and fish. What was great is how
Shorty would dives under the water and gets the clams with
us. Never seen a dog do it like Shorty did. That dog would
get up on his hind legs and walk with his head aboves the
water. He’d keep his hind legs in the sands feeling for
them shellfish. He was better at it then Fatty.
   We’d have a contest each times we comes to eat clams.
Due to Fatty couldn’t runs as fast as the dog or me, under
normal circumstances. I’d be in second and Shorty always
came in first. This always left Fatty in last place in
gathering those clams. Since we could never trains Shorty
to use a collecting bag, he’d always run up, but his clam in
his pile and then he’d runs back to the water.
   To make the games fair, for all, we’d have to do the
same. We used to collect them and put them in our shirts.
But since Shorty started playing we run to the shore and put
them on the beach, and then go gets more. One time Shorty
accused Fatty of cheating. I means it. Shorty had ran up
the beach six times. I was counting and when we gets back
to the beach with all of us, Shorty started barking at Fatty.
The race that day was to six. Shorty was counting and he
knew he won.
   We all now had five accepts Fatty, he had two. It was
hard for him. Fatty floated and couldn’t dive under to the
best ones. So Shorty and me had the advantage. Shorty for
a dog could really hold his breath for a long time. Once
he’d find a clam, he’d start yelping, before he dove under.
Never saws Shorty not comes up with a clam, but Fatty,
he’d have to dive five times to get the darn thing.
   Well we was all racing down to the water to gets another
clam, and when we comes back, Shorty is missing another
clam. I was there I saws it. Fatty had another one. Then I
looked at my clams and someone was stealing them! I
knows then Shorty was right.
   Only Fatty wasn’t missing any clams, he hads three now.
Shorty and I still with adding another one still had five. I
was looking at Fatty also for stealing clams. We turns and
runs back to the water, when there, Shorty finds ones fast,
he be a yelping then dove under. I turned to look where
Fatty was, to make sure he wasn’t stealing our clams. You
never know. Fatty is honest, but these is clams. I was
starting to doubt hims. This time I was going to let Shorty
wins. I was watching those clams on the beach.
   I couldn’t believes it, whens I was looking at the clams
this bird, I thinks it was a, not sure what it was, never seen
ones like this before. But it landed right between Fatty and
Shorty’s clams, and it took one from each piles. It looked
around for a second and flew off. I run towards it yelling,
   “Hey those ain’t your clams!” It flew out of sight. I
looked for Shorty and Fatty. They’d come up from diving.
I was now on the beach. When they comes up they look at
the clams and they thinks I take them. Think about it. First
Shorty blamed Fatty, then Shorty and I ganged up on Fatty,
and Shorty and Fatty are blaming me for stealing the clams
now. I started to says,
   “It was the bird.” I was pointing in the direction I last
saws it flying away with the clams. It didn’t matter to
thems, they wanted to win and they were running out to the
waters to gets other clam. Me, I thought, what the hecks,
and rans right in after them. The game lasted that day a bit
longer. They never did believe it was a bird that was
stealing the clams.
   I will let you know one thing. From that day we taught
Shorty to put them clams in a basket, we mades for him
that floated. We put them in our shirts, and that bird never
made me look like a crook again.
   Shorty loved to eat those clams with us. We’d make a
fire and cook them in a tin can. The winner gots to drink
the water in the can as the grand prize, this was after all
was cooked in it. Mans if you know anything about clams,
once you cook them in the water. That water is as sweet as
honey dripping from the cone. Oh yeah speaking of honey,
never forgets the day Fatty had to have some.
   I tolds him we should wait and do it right. Most times
we can gets the honey without to much of a problem,
meaning getting stung to many times. Fatty I guess he
didn’t care about getting stung. If he saw a hive he was
like a squirrel looking for his last nut. Fatty he’d was
known to track a bee for miles. If he was in the mood for
honey, Fatty would go look for where bees liked to feed.
Then follow them back to the hive. For a big guy he’d for
honey would go for a long time. Fatty would set a pace,
and we’d fallow Shorty and me.
   I was walking one-day home from working on my dad’s
farm. I hads to go mushroom pickens for me mom and
while I was doing this, I walks up on a beehive. It was at
the old barn deep in the woods, and I runs to get Fatty.
   We was walking to where it was. We heard the buzzing
before we saw the bees and the barn. I wasn’t even looking
for bees that day. To this day I don’t know what was going
ons. When we looked to the old barn, from the roof to the
ground there were bees!
   This barn wasn’t used anymore and was kinda deep off
the beaten path. This was the most bees I’d ever seens. I
stopped with eyes open in shock. I think we all did. This
was thirty feet of bees eight feet wide. I’m not kidding at
all. This was a three story old barn with a steep pointing
roof. The bees stretched over the roof to the ground. There
was so many they were about a foot thick on the walls. I
steps back, Shorty steps back, and Fatty licked his lips and
in a daze says,
   “You know how much honey is in there!” I says,
   “No way Fatty! There are too many bees.”
   “You’re kidding. The more the better, you know what a
big hive this is?”
   “Yes Fatty. Even Shorty wants out of this.” You could
tell. Since the only thing I saw was Shorty with his tail
between his legs and that dog ran out of sight. But not
Fatty. He wasn’t leaving that honey. I was looking at
those bees. I have to admit there was a lot of honey to
support a hive of this size. So we decided to comes up with
a plan. We didn’t wants to hurt those bees. We just
wanted some of the honey. We was thinking there was
enough here for the whole summer.
   Turns out. When I looks back. The county declared it
the largest beehive ever found. Fatty made the papers
again. You wouldn’t believe how. But it seemed like
everything Fatty found was as big as he was. Funny how
many times he would makes the record books before he
died. So what was I speaking about, oh yeah, Fatty and
that record beehive.
   We walked around to the front of the barn and walked in
through the broken doors. You could see right away the
hive. I thought we was going to lights a fire and makes
smoke. This was the plan. There were so many bees in the
barn they started stinging as soon as we walked in. I was
thinking of Shorty, he remembered the last times we gots
honey. He didn’t want any part of this.
   I was thinking that dog he was smarter then I was. When
I seen Fatty run up and grab a huge chunk of the hive. It
was about three-foot by two-foot and was dripping with
honey. I didn’t know what he was doing, but Fatty didn’t
care. He was getting that honey.
   Thens I couldn’t believe it. Fatty was running right at
me with the honeycomb, the bees chasing him. He was
getting stung in the face. I had already backed out of the
barn. I was getting ready to make me run for it. Thinking
of Shorty’s tail disappearing. Then Fatty took the hive as
he runs out of the barns and flips on his shoulder. Leaning
it against his head, it was big. He needed to gets one hand
free to gets the bees out of his eyes.
   This is ones of those times whens Fatty was able to runs
fast. We were heading away from the main hive. We was
running as fast as we could for a long times. I looked at
Fatty once the bees died down around me. Fatty still had a
hundred or so flying around his head. I guess his fat
protected him. I have seen him do this a many times, never
on a hive like this. The stings never seem to really bother
him.
   I couldn’t believe all the honey that was dripping from
the hive. Buy the times we gets far enough away, that the
bees aren’t bothering us, Fatty is cover in honey. From
head to foot honey was dripping from somewhere on him.
He didn’t care. He looked at me and said,
   “I feel like I died and went to heaven.” He loved honey
that much. I looked to his face. He has stingers stuck in
him. They are still pumping many of them. I really don’t
know how he dids it, but he did look funny with the honey
dripping over his nose and chin.
   We was walking back to find a place to eats the honey,
and that’s when we heards it, some branches breaking. I
turned to see a bear, with its nose in the air, walking
towards the smell it was following. Us! Fatty hadn’t
turned to look, just froze and asked,
   “Don’t tell me, that is what I think it is?” I was reaching
for him with my one hand. I was grabbing his shirt to let
him know it was. I couldn’t find any words. I really didn’t
want to tell him it was a bear. I had seen him before, and I
can’t run faster then he can from this, so I says,
   “It’s a big rabbit. A really big rabbit!” I could tells Fatty
didn’t believe me, so he takes a look himself. I was
looking at him listening to the bear. I saw his face, looked
to the bear, and heard a branch or two breaking. Fatty was
gone. My mouth dropped when I looked at him and seen
his fat gets in rhythm. It bounced to one side making his
leg pull forward. He leaned into the run, like he was
falling. Each of the next steps was to catch his balance.
   I swore I saw one of his nipples, as it flew under its arm
and around his pit. Then winked at me. Came out his short
shirts sleeve. He had that much fat on him, that it could
wrap around his body if you pushed it, or if he was running.
   I started running, and knew where Fatty was heading.
There was only one place near by, Mr. Roberts chicken
farm. I was running as fast as I could, but couldn’t catch
Fatty. I was keeping pace. As I rounded the corner Fatty is
running for the closest building, the chicken coops. We
new them coops good, we had our first jobs there. Fatty
got stuck in the window trying to steal some eggs. This is
when he was young. Mr. Roberts caught Fatty in the
window and blamed him for all the eggs and chickens that
had gone missing. I was around Fatty all the time. We
never stole any chickens from him, a few eggs, and this is
it. We had to work thems off for that summer.
   I saws Fatty runs through the door. I mean it. Right
though that door. Knocked it clean of the hinges and was
gone in a plume of feathers. I runs into the coop to hide
also. We was waiting for a long time and no bear. It didn’t
even follow us. Thens Mr. Roberts comes out with his
shotgun and it is pointing into the barn. Mr. Roberts’s
looks around and yells,
   “Someone in here?” He listened for a bit and yelled
again,
   “Anyone here?” He was walking in so I stood up from
under one of the chicken coops. Fatty he was all the way in
the back, yelling,
   “Give me some help.” I looked at Mr. Roberts and said,
   “We was being chased by a bear. We hid in here from
it.” He took me by my arm and said,
   “Yeah right. I didn’t see any bear.” I looked at him and
replied,
   “No really. Fatty was getting some honeycomb and the
bear was chasing us for it.” We hears,
   “Come on guys! Give me a hands.” We gets to Fatty.
He tried to get under the coop but he gots stuck. We lifted
it up off the ground a bit Mr. Roberts and me. Fatty rolled
out from underneath. He was belly down and stood up.
Fatty always had to get one leg under him before he stood,
or he’d fall and he did. Finally back on his feet, he was
turning to us, and that’s when I couldn’t believe what I was
looking at.
   Fatty was covered in feathers. I means it from head to
toe. Every part of him was feathered. The honey had stuck
them feathers to Fatty. He was trying to clean his hands
from the feathers, so he could pick up the honeycomb. Mr.
Roberts and I had a good laugh that day. Every time I hear
the fraise tar and feathered, I always see Fatty, that day, the
way he was. Can’t get it out of my mind. We gave Mr.
Roberts most of the comb for breaking his door and he
called it even.
   Fatty and I went on our way and found a great place to
eat the comb we still had. If you ever had if fresh like this,
you put it in your mouth. It’s the best. I looked at Fatty
and started laughing. There we were eating the last of it.
Fatty was sitting on the bank of the lake. Fatty cleaned his
hands and face, so he could eats the honey. The rest of him
was covered in feathers. Kind of reminded me of that
rooster on the cartoon, you know the one with the big red
thing hanging off his head. I turned to Fatty and asked,
   “Was it worth it?”
   “Are you kidding? Never had a better time.” He turned
to me and smiled and said,
   “Someday we’ll look back on this. It will be something
worth writing about.” I just laughed due to I know Fatty
had just burned a memory into me, that as long as I could
remember, I woulds never forgets the day Fatty was honey
and feathered. It still is one of the funniest things I can
ever remember abouts him. I mean the odds of this happen,
I bet it’s as rare, had to be two-to-one. Shorty showed up
whens there was a bit of honey left. Fatty gives it to him
and we watched him eating saying,
   “Mans best friend. But when the going gets tough you
get going. As soon as there is honey to share, you come
back. Some brave dog you are.” He padded him on the
head. We watched the sunset over the waters. It was a
super day that day, all of us together and plenty of honey
for all. I was thinking back to when I first met Fatty, and
when Shorty came into our lives. It’s funny how you know
when something will be there until one ends.
   I was thinking sometimes God sends angles. For me it
was Shorty, but to Shorty I’m sure it was Fatty. It depends
from what eyes you see from. I first saw Shorty as the
angle. Then it was Fatty. Nows I know, it was both. Each
was an angle to each, and all where angels to me. I forgets
to tell you about what happed with the chipmunk hunting.
After we gets off the electric fence, and had a good laugh,
Fatty asked,
   “You okay?” I had no idea what happened. This is the
first time I took the time to looks at him. Fatty had a circle
cut around his eye, from the sight when it nailed him with
the kick of the gun. Fatty was bleeding and he asked,
   “Did I hit the dam thing?” We didn’t know. We
climbed the hill to look to where the chipmunk was, and it
was dead. I don’t think I ever saw him miss a chipmunk.
Think about it? What a great shot he had to be. We
walked up to the chipmunk and it had been hit right in the
heart. I picked up the chipmunk. I couldn’t believe the
size of this one. We went back in town and weighted it. It
was almost four pounds! It was a record chipmunk and
made the books.
   Those chipmunks remind me of the spiders in the
swamps that day. I have to stop for a bits, those dump
doctors tells me I needs to get my shots. I wish they’d
leave me alone. If I don’t wants to be treated any mores
then I shouldn’t haves to. I thinks its part of the big plans,
all the money goes to them. You don’t want to gets me
started about politics. I have a few things I’d like to say.
But this books about Fatty and Shorty. Maybe if I live long
enough, I’ll write a book on how to fix this country. I think
more people needed to grow up like Fatty and me.
   We never asked for food stamps. We went out and
found our food. We eat what ever we earned. But we
never go begging for food. And when times were tough,
for Fatty this was every times we ran out of food. We have
eaten some things we thought would be bad, but everything
tasted like chicken. Even the water snakes and snails, they
all tasted like chickens. I would never eats the slugs, but
Fatty for some reason loved them steamed over a tin can.
   I’m tiered today. I wont write much, only a few words.
You knows me not much to say anymore. I only thinks of
when I was younger. I had all my days in front of me. I’m
glad for the days past. They give me something to do here
as I lay thinking. I hope for me its true what I want when I
die. I hope I get to see Fatty and Shorty one more time. I
don’t thinks I will be able, to be able, to be able to put this
in this book. Buts if I could. I would come back and tells
you. “How happy we all are, here in heaven.” This is what
I see in my mind.
   The pills they give I have to say help the pain. Buts I
don’t feel as I have my full mind. I think it’s a fair trade
for now, I really wouldn’t be able to write, with the pains
I’m feeling without those pills. I forgets for a bit when
they gives me more pills for the pain, and I feels okay for a
while.
   You’d think God would’ve made dieing easier. I think
maybe we wouldn’t understand it. I guess we never will
until it is our turn. I should’ve started writing this book
years ago. The reasons I’m writing now, I know I’m out of
time. If I don’t do it now then this memory I have of my
friends, will die with me. So here I sit, to writes my only
words of my life.
   I think Fatty if he’d saw me now would be smiling. No
one ever thought I could write. Didn’t learn how until this
book. But I had to learn and fast, and I dids. Something
made Fatty and me survivors. We could live off the land,
water and at times the air. Depends what we could shoot
from it. I think our favorite was deer hunting. There is
something special about those deer, they some good meat.
Anyone from the hills knows this. We would always hunts
with a bow, since we loved the arrows.
   It was a cold morning and we were already outside for a
couple hours, when it gets light. We had shots many deers
in our life but this was different. This was the only times a
bear comes along on us while we was gutting it. Now Fatty
wasn’t about to give that deer up so easy. This bear was
smaller and Fatty thought he could take it on, with a few
rocks and sticks. Me I ran. When I looks back. Fatty has
the deer and is running towards me. He threw the guts to
the bear and picked up the rest and was running with it. It’s
not such a funny story. But this was the last time we sawed
a bear again this close, so I thoughts I would brings it up. I
also wanted you to see that Fatty never once gave up his
food for nothings.
   Speaking of bow and arrow hunting. We was carp
hunting from the boat we had back then. It was a johnboat
14-footer. Fatty was standing on the front and I was
paddling around looking for a carps in the shallows. Fatty
finds one and directs me in. There was a log betweens the
boat and the fish. The carp was close to the log and Fatty
couldn’t gets a shot with the bow over it.
   Fatty tried to step forward to get his shot. The bow was
completely drawn back. Fatty stepped right off with his
front leg, and his one back leg, was still on the boat. It was
only about eight inches of water. But it was an all mud
bottom. Fatty as he was fallen had the bow drawn all the
way backs and released the arrow. It went over the trees
out of sight. A few moments later I hears a horrible crys. I
looked back from the direction the arrow went to Fatty. He
had his one leg still on the boat and his other had sunk to
his hip. Due to how his legs was, his head was under the
water.
   I jumps up from the oars to helps Fatty. I run to jump
out of the boat to lifts his head up out of the water. Buts I
smells that mud, it was stinking. I thought I am not
jumping in there. So I grabbed Fatty’s leg that was still in
the boat, and I flipped it, with my legs, and feets, then I
pushed him all the ways out. It was like pulling a frozen
tongue off a metals pole. I will haves to tell you about that.
I tolds Fatty not to licks the pole.
   Where was I? It is so hard with these pills all the dang
time to thinks straight a heads. I was talking about when
Fatty shot the arrow out of the boat as he fell. He was
stuck half in and half on the boat. I’s saved him by flipping
him completely out of the boat. Once his other leg was off,
his head comes up for air, and I asks,
   “Did you hear that?” Fatty shook the water from his ears
and said,
   “Hear what?”
   “I heard something cry. In the direction your arrow
went. It sounded like a person screaming.” I saw Fatty’s
face turn white as he tried to gets back in the boat. But his
leg was sunk in three foots of mud. I hads to help pull
Fatty up out of the water and we never did get his boot
back. But as soon as we had Fatty back on the boat, I says,
   “Fatty we needs to go see where that arrow wents.” I
started rowing the boat, to the other sides of the swamp, we
was hunting in, and finds a sandy landing. We pulls the
boat up. We both gets out after we slides the boat up on the
shore. I was dieing. My hearts a pounding, still dose
whens I think backs, even all these years later.
   Ya’ll see I knew in my heart Fatty with his slip off the
boat, nailed something with that arrow. The timing of the
cry and the direction, it was saying that darn thing did
something I didn’t want to see. Walking though the woods
I say,
   “Fatty I’m worried for you.” Fatty stopped and looked at
me saying,
   “You’re worried for me?”
   “Fatty you shot that arrow.”
   “So you’re going to pin this on me?”
   “We don’t even know what happened yet. But yes you
shot the dam thing.” I started walking away from him and
he followed saying,
   “Really you’re going to say all of this was my fault?” I
didn’t say a thing. Fatty threw the bow at me in disgust. I
picked up the bow and made tracks at this point. I didn’t
want to think about it anymore. I wanted this to be over, so
I started to run a bit. I made my way to the top of a hill and
right away I could see what happened. I drops my mouth,
my eyes pops wides open. Miss Smiths prize cow has the
arrow stuck right through its chest. It was the biggest cow
ever grown around here and she was very proud of it.
   It was rolling over with one front leg stiff as a stick,
pointing right up in the air. Eyes open bigger then the fear
it was showing. Its tongue flopped out as it collapsed on
the ground. I looked to Fatty and said,
   “What are the odds?” I was thinking they gotta be at
least two-to-one. Fatty runs up to me and his mouth drops
to where mines did and we looked at each others, like, can
you believe this! I knows you don’t believes it. I thinks
maybe you thinks, I be making some of this stuff up. But
as sure as a pickle in the eye burns it’s true.
   We were looking at the cow. It was dead. There we saw
the whole Smith family come running from the house to the
pasture. They was making their ways around the barns.
When they saws the cow with the arrow stuck in it, lying
on its side. I tooks a deep breathe as I steps behinds Fatty,
the Mr. hads a gun and was pointing it in our direction.
Fatty tried to hides behind me at the same time. There was
no way that was ever going to happen. The whole family
comes running over and starts yelling,
   “What did you do?” And Fatty said.
   “We didn’t do anything.” I was holding the bow, and I
looked at it. Then looking to the arrow. I chucked the bow
into the woods. Fatty was covered in mud and smelled bad
and was slightly yelling,
   “We didn’t do it.” Hands held up in the air saying,
   “We were shooting for fish.” I remember the looks in all
their eyes as the Mr. yells,
   “Fish! How the hell can you confuse a cow with a fish?”
From where I was standing, switching places with hims,
looking at it from his view, I’d have the same question.
But I saws what happen. Fatty was tellings the truth. He
was hunting fish and shot a cow. If I weren’t there I
wouldn’t have believed it. No matter who told me about it?
So I was thinking, Fatty was going to have some explaining
to all those people. They was walking at him at this
moment. Fatty looked at me. I said, stepping back,
   “Go ahead Fatty. Tell thems the truth.” But I was
thinking maybe making up a story, like we found the bow
while we was fishing. Picked it up and you guys came
running at us. But I left this to Fatty. He pointed at me and
yelled,
   “Skinny did it!” Man oh man let me tells you something,
it was the last things I thoughts he would say. But there
was his finger pointing at me and he was saying,
   “He had the bow when you came running. I couldn’t
stop him. He shot your cow.” He looked back to me
saying,
   “Go ahead tell them what really happened!” I was
shocked. Later fatty told me he froze. Buts I don’t believe
him. Where was I? Speaking about the time Fatty dimed
me out for the corn he found. We was walking though the
woods whens we come across a big patch of corn plants.
   There must have been twenty of them. All about six-foot
tall covered in corn, they was ready for pickings. I told
Fatty not to touch them. Lets keep going. We was hunting
porcupines, and was walking through the woods when we
stumbled upon them. Speaking of porcupines you should
have seen Fatty the day ones got into his sleeping bags. I
told hims not to sleeps with the worms for fishing. He said
it was too colds for them, they would die, so he was going
to keep the worms warm.
   Well as you know those porcupines they have a greats
senses of smell and loves worms. Fatty was sleeping as I
was. I thinks if he didn’t try to grab it, to get it away from
him, he’d been okay. But he rolled over in his bag, while
opening the zipper. To now he didn’t know what it was
that was in his sleeping bag. I looked and saws the thing
jump backwards only to get away, but it back right into
Fatty’s butt, then runs off, and I hears,
   “God,” I won’t say all that Fatty said here. But it wasn’t
good. I hope God wasn’t listening. I don’t think he really
meant it, but that moment I’m sure he did. He had about
forty quills stuck deep into his butt, lower back, and elbow.
He tried to knock the animal away with that one. The back
of his arm also had quills stuck in him. If you don’t knows
about them there porcupine quills, they are barbed and
don’t comes out as easy as they go in. Poor Fatty I really
felt bad for him as each one was pulled out.
   We was speaking about the corn, well Fatty had to have
it all. He tore up all the plants and piled them up. I wanted
nothing to do with it. I watched him and said,
   “You shouldn’t be stealing its not legal.” He stopped
pulling them plants up and said,
   “Why would someone be growing corn out here? In the
middle of nowhere.” And that’s whens I heard it, them
dogs barking. I was looking through the woods there I sees
it, about four or five dogs, big ones, I thinks Pit Bulls,
maybe some Shepard’s, and even a Beagle. These dogs
didn’t look friendly and neither did the voice we heard
yelling nasty,
   “Get’em boys, get him!” This is what I heard from
behind the dogs. I was looking and there I saws him
running with a guns. What is it with everyone and guns
anymore. I was going to stand there. Do nothing. But
Fatty was already running away with the plants slung over
his shoulder. I could sees there wasn’t a plant left, and I
didn’t want to be the only one caught. I started my run
from the dogs.
   Could here thems barks getting closer. I was running
faster. Needed a break or I’d be having my heals chewed
offs. Remembers seeing Fatty running in front of me with
all the plants. It was getting dark and Fatty was running
faster then the sun was settings.
   Fatty jumped into the West Bend Creek and started
swimmings for his life. I dove in right after hims. My
arms and feets were kicking faster then a prop on a
Johnson. We was swimming from fears. Speaking of fear.
I ever tell you about Fatty’s fear of spiders. He’d eats
anything, and I mean about anything. But when he saws
spiders he’d coulds run through a wall. He had this instant
freak out that left many of us laughing. What’s so funny is
how little I remember from whens we made it big with
money. Those times was not as fun as being broke in the
woods.
   The goods thing about the money is you could always
give it away. We made so much we couldn’t gives it away
fast enough. I thinks Fatty and me, we liked the woods,
with all its hard times verses the so called easy times all
said the money brings. Nothing is easy about moneys, but
fishing, hunting, running through the woods with your best
friends. Shorty and Fatty are all I ever see whens I look
back. Like my life had no others that meant enough for me
to thinks back too.
   I hates this. The coughing is starting. It slows me up
from writing. I wanted to say excuse me. I thinks my time
here wonts be as long as I need to tell you all abouts my
friends. This time I lose about fifteen minutes to this
choking. Don’ts no whys I cough like this, they don’t tell
me anything anymore. They try to make me comfortable
for the last days. They don’t know the torture of having
someone take care of you, so you can die. There are no
friendships here. Not that people are cold, they will speak
to you. But whats I means is, all put up a shield of
protection around thems heart. I don’ts blame them. Me I
would do the sames. This books would go fasters, if I
didn’t have to looks most of the words up in the dictionary.
   I knows, I am only starting writing, but whys is it so
hards. I looks for words that start with an F and nothing.
No matters how I looks. I know I’ve heard the words but I
guess they forgets some of them in those spelling books. I
wanted to say I have lived through many fazes in my life,
but can’t find the word fazes.
   Where was I? That’s right. The many faces of my life, I
had a few smiles. Mostly with Fatty and Shorty. Now with
paper and I have had a few tears. Never forgets the day
Shorty died. I think Fatty and I cried forever. Don’ts think
we ever shared a day we didn’t says a prayer for that dog.
   I only hope wherever he is, there was plenty of clams for
him to hunts. I think this was the best and he loved it.
Yeah that’s right, we sure did laugh those days away.
Maybe to fast, I wish I coulds slowed those laughs down so
they didn’t pass so fast.
   I would have loved to back then, to be able to know how
great those days are. Funny how Gods lets you remember
them. So even as they passed so fast, you still can slow
them laughs down in your head, to slows motion. In these
moments, with my eyes closed, I see Fatty and Shorty, we
were a bunch, a bunch of fun and life.
   I thinks Gods lets our minds go, as we gets older so it
makes it easier. They think I will die any day. I tolds them
I will stay here until my books finished. You should have
seen them their faces. They know I couldn’t read, and they
all smiled. I might not be able to reads but I’m no dummy.
I could sees they didn’t believe a word of what I was telling
them,
   “I won’t die until I have written all abouts Shorty and
Fatty.” That was two-years ago and I’m still writing.
Everyone is saying it’s a miracle. There’s nothing of the
sorts going on here. Only I remember when Shorty died,
then Fatty years later. I look back and there’s nothing of
them, where they’re buried. There are no marks on the
land. This is how we wanted it. To leave nature as we
came into this worlds.
   When they told me I was going to die, I couldn’t believe
it. I knew the only reason Fatty and Shorty was still alive
was because I was. When with friends through the years,
and now aids that help me, I share my stories of thems.
When I’m silenced this means we die, in many ways.
   I feels while I’m alives, they are. But if I go and don’t
write it down, then we all die. This broke my hearts the
most. I didn’t want this Earth to not know this was a better
world, only because I can picture Shorty and Fatty in it.
They didn’t even have to be here anymores. So I sit here at
the dawns of my life, the last seconds. And I slow thems
down and stretch them out, for enough time, so I can paints
a picture of Shorty and Fatty.
   Never forgets the day Fatty died. That was hard times.
We went hunting on a fall day. It was late fall. We were
up at the crack of dawn. We were heading to the
mountains. It was the talk of the town how he did. Even
made local and state headlines. Some laughed when they
heard. Some thought it was all a big joke. But me, I was
there and knows the truth. It all started the night before.
We was thinking of going fishing or hunting. It was two
choices. We pick the wrong one for Fatty.
   We would flips a coin. This is what brought us to
Fatty’s last day. It was like he rolled out of my life and I
never saw hims again. They was calling for snow but it
didn’t look like it to us, so we wents. Driving there we
passed on of our favorite trout streams, we had always
fished, and I said to Fatty,
   “Remember when you hooked that 46-inch brown
trout?” He looked at me and said,
   “How long ago was that?” I thought about it. Took me a
bit and I replied,
   “It’s been over twenty-years.”
   “No way! Dam time flies. Can you believe it Skinny?”
   “No. I really can’t. Still looked good for fishing.
Wonder if those trout’s is still there?” Fatty smiled and
added,
   “It was a state record brown trout. You do remember
that don’t you?”
   “What was it with you with records. I think you have
them all?”
   “Don’t know. I thinks it’s because this is all we did is
look for food. When you spend enough time in the woods
you is bound to steps on a nut.” I thought about and said,
   “Remembers the day we caught the sixteen trout? All
over a few pounds.” He smiles and replies,
   “Hows could I forgets. We fished by the dark of night,
no moon, and a heavy cloud cover. It was a perfect fishing
night.”
   “You know what I remember most.”
   “Yes Fatty. The crawdads were all over those rocks that
morning. This is why we caught those trout. They were
feeding on them.”
   “That was not the only thing feeding on them. We was
catching them by the handfuls. Throwing them right in the
fire.” I laughed at myself. I remembers Fatty out eating
me five to ones.
   Don’t get me wrong. I can eats as goods as anyone’s.
But Fatty he cheated. Everyone takes the head off and
peels the meat out of the shell. Not Fatty, he’d pop them in
his mouth like shelled peanuts. Speaking of peanuts, Fatty
loved them.
   He could eat peanuts like an anteater eating ants. I
forgets a bits. I was there. Holds on. I have to go backs
and reads. I wished I had the stable mind like when I was
eight-teen, and had the life lived of an eighty-six year old.
I forget most of what I wanted to write befores I can finish
the sentence. I find my self lately with my head filled with
great times, and sad that I want to share. My mind sees
them. The smiles and the tears, buts before my hands can
put its where I can see it I loses the words. I think they
might be memories for me. But on paper they is words.
   Fatty and I was driving to go hunting when I said,
   “Remember that field?” I pointed. Fatty said,
   “Yes. It’s where we got chased by the bear.” I laughed
to myself seeing him running like that for the first time. I
said,
   “Man Fatty. You could run fast when you thought you
had too.” We was silent there for a while driving to our
favorite place in the mountains. I was looking forward to
some deer hunting. We hadn’t gone in years. We needed
this get away from the stress of money.
   While we were driving down the road, there was this
turtle crossing it. We stopped and help it to the other sides.
It was a painted turtle. Speaking of turtles I thinks they are
so cool. Fatty wants to always eats the snappers, so I
nevers tells him whens I see ones. I can’t hurt a turtle.
While thinking of this I ask Fatty,
   “Remember that day on the lake when we was catching
the turtles through the ice?”
   “We caught over a hundred in only a couple hours.”
   “It was funny how they could gets some air through the
mud.” Fatty and me were thinking about then. How the
lake gots iced over in ones night. We went to bed that
night in the cabin, and couldn’t wait to get up and goes
fishing. In the morning I looked out the window and the
lake was a sheet of glass. Not a ripple from wind. This is
how it looked. When we get closer, the lake was frozen
solid from end to the other. It was a cold night to freeze a
lake in one night!
   The turtles all were walking under the ice. The lake was
shallow, and the ice was clear as glass. We would walk
over the ice with a rock, and we would break a hole and
reach down and get the turtles. Fatty and I would slide the
Turtles across the ice to Shorty. That dog, he’d collect
them into a pile for us. Shorty was such a great dog. He
would never get any slobber on them turtles. He’d run to
where we slides them, picks it up as gentle as a flower
holding a butterfly, and run them back to the shore. There
those turtles are trying to gets away. But there was no
place to go. Shorty never gots tiered of collecting thems.
   After we’d caught so many turtles Shorty would start to
go crazy. There were all kinds of turtles, all sizes, trying to
run all at once, away from him. We was glad the lake
wasn’t deep when Fatty finally broke through the ice.
   He says the waters felt warmer than the air. But once he
was out of the water, turtle hunting was over. We needed
us a fire. We started to gather woods for the fire and every
time we did this, Shorty would help. As soon as we picked
up a piece of wood, that dog would help collect more.
   But this time was funny. Shorty saw us getting the
woods for the fire, but he couldn’t leave the turtles, they
were all running away. He would come a few steps closer
to us, look backs at those pile of turtles running aways.
Shorty couldn’t let one turtle get away. So we collected the
wood without him that day. Speaking of Shorty and
collecting things, man did he get us in trouble one
Christmas.
   Fatty and I had to do a couple days in Jail and we could
never prove we didn’t do the crime. It was the night before
Christmas, and everything was stirring, even a mouse. No
really it came running out of the barn when Shorty was
chasing it. We had Mr. James over to buy some of Dads
prized pigs. That’s when I saws my dads and him walking
up to Fatty and me. Turns out there had been a rash of
Christmas decorations stolen and they all had been found in
my barn.
   They were carrying a couple things yelling at Fatty and
me to come to the barn. We walk in. There are all the
missing items from around town. There were shoes,
towels, milk jugs, and all types of shinny things, and much
of this was Christmas decorations. We were blamed for it
right away. I knew we didn’t do it, but it didn’t matter. It
looked bad for us. But what was strange, looking back,
was when we was getting yelled at, Shorty put his ears
down, tail between his legs, and that dog ran out of the barn
and out of sight.
   Well while we was in jail more things was stolen. So we
were released. Then ones day, at night, I was walking out
to check on the pigs. There are some giving birth. That’s
when I saw it! Shorty that darn dog, I saws him running
back to the barn with one of the decorations we had just
returned.
   It was Shorty stealing those things. I wasn’t sure what
the sentence would’ve have been for dogs, so I didn’t tells
anyone. Not even Fatty. But from those nights on, Shorty
slept in the house. I never let him out at night again. I’m
not sure but they might have given him the death sentence.
They don’t have doggy jails. If they was going to lock us
up, then who knows what they would have done with a
Shorty.
   Funny as mad as I was for Shorty stealing those things, I
sure would be glad to spend some time in Jail again. That’s
if Shorty was here to take things. I’d do his time no
problem, just to have hims one more time. I would have
never said this when he was here. Now that his gone. I
would gladly do some time, for some time, with my old
buddy.
   While we was in jail I couldn’t wait to get out. When we
found out we was free, Fatty didn’t want to leave. We was
playing softball with the other prisoners and it was Fatty’s
turn to bat. I was going to leaves him there, what if they
changed their minds. They didn’t tell us why they was
freeing us. I says to Fatty,
   “Yo, I’m going to leave you here.” Fatty looked at me
and replied,
   “It’s a close game. Can’t we finish before we leave?”
Well I tooks a few moments to think. It was a good game.
I was up after Fatty. I asked the guard,
   “Can we finish the game?” The guard looked at us like
was crazy and said,
   “You guys can stay as long as you want.” He walked
away. Wouldn’t you know it? The game went eleven extra
innings, and we hads to spend another night. It was to late
for them to release us. So we sleep one more night in jail.
We was at dinner, should have been out on the street with
our friends. Whens this guy tries to take Fatty’s corn
bread. I knew this was a bad moment. If you knew Fatty
you never messed with his food, but to touch his corn
bread. This guy was asking for trouble. Fatty said,
   “Don’t touch that!” That was it. The guy went to swing
at Fatty and hit him right in the gut. His arm went up to fat
to his elbow. Then Fatty before I could stops him, clocks
him with the food tray. Knocking the guy out. Fatty and
me had to do 24-hours in a cell, with no one else as prison
rules. We were released the next day. I will not tell you
whats I was yelling to Fatty across from me. I’m sure glad
we could forgive each other.
   I’ll tell you the best way for me to describe Fatty and me,
was like a couple of nuts in a bag. We were always
hanging around with each other. We was a bit crazy like
nuts, I have to say. I don’t thinks many people lived as full
of a life as us. All we did was live. I don’t get to live
anymore the ways I’d like. They could stick me in a canoe
and push me off to sea. Give me a rod. Just let me be. I
wouldn’t care if I ever came back to land. I would rather
be free for one more day, and then live a life without the
smell of great times.
   I forget once again. I was telling you how Fatty died.
We were traveling up the mountains. When we starts to get
an early light but very big-flaked wet snow. The flakes
were bigger then we’d ever seen. I say to Fatty,
   “They don’t even look real.” Fatty leaned over the
steering wheel, looked around and said,
   “Never saw them this big. Hopes this isn’t I sign of
things to come. We ain’t ready for snow.” I looked around
those flakes was melting as fast as they was hitting the
grounds. I said,
   “No worries. Its to warm for the snow to really sticks.”
We drove up the mountains and parked the truck. Fatty and
me get out of the car, and starts packing the gear. We start
to climb the path, to the top of this cliff we liked to hunt
from. It was perfect. We had a view of the deer and we
was high enough the deers never saw us. We were making
our way to the top, when Fatty said,
   “I need a rest.” I told him he needed to work out a bit
before we left. That he wasn’t in shape. I think he might
have gained a couple pounds a month since I’ve known
him. Now Fatty was too big for his own bridges. I was
walking behind him and he was above me, I mean it. I
couldn’t see the mountain past him. He was like an eclipse
of the land and sky. But I was sitting there thinking he
needs a break.
   While we were resting, the clouds started coming in. It
felt like it had gotten warmer. We thought it looked like
ran. All was damp. Sorry for the long break. I can’t write
now. I’m having one of them there coughing attacks.
   Leaves my hands shaken. Can’ts gets mys breaths. I try
to breath deeply to find some words, and flashes of my
limits of who I am appear. I am tired. I think maybe I
won’t be able to finish telling you what happens. I take a
deep breath, close my eyes, searching for the strength of
hope I wake up in the morning.
   I’m afraid to stop writing. Watching them sticks my
tube to my arm with something. This means I usually find
me waking up in the morning, not knowing what happened.
They tell me they have to. Other wise the pain would be
over whelming. I have tried to go with out it, buts then I
cant’s think of anything but the pain. So I let them try to
keep me on this balance. Some kind of level that allows
me to function, not suffer so bads that all you do is groan.
   I want you to know how Fatty died. I can’t do it now,
my eyes is growing sleepy. I have a weak feeling. The
only strength I have is to hope I have enough strength to
wake up in the morning. I’m so close to the end in so many
ways. I hope I can finish the last bits. I’m finding it hard
to put the paper down on the pen. Nothing I feel like is
what I wants.
   Said that backwards. The pen on the paper I mean. This
reminds me of a few times in life. You know when your
saying goodbye to someone. Something. It doesn’t matter
if it is small or big, mom or dad, sister or brother, it could
be a lover. It could be as simple as a tree. Why not a best
friend covered in fur, he could only speak dog, but told all
with his eyes. I think to so many wonderful things I don’t
see anymore. I hope to see this paper in the morning.
   If this sentence is here, when you read the next, and you
see this, then you don’t see me anymore. I didn’t wake up.
If this should be true, I want this to be clear. Fatty and me
we always lived life like nothing mattered. With this, all
that matter came to us. We had loves, and losses, we
suffered through great times, and we laughed through some
of the most shocking.
   Hell Fatty, and me we walked equal in height, side-by-
side. Me I was six feet something, and Fatty five-foot
something. But we always saw each other on the same
level.
   I looks to the clock, its about five minutes to midnight.
On all other nights, I’m out by nine. I can sense I should
keep writing. Whens the morning comes. I didn’t sleep
and winks. They all looked at me. I was writing, right now
as you read I’m writing. I decided I would not sleep again
until this is a finished. You will know Fatty and Shorty.
   I have to find away. I have never drunk a cup of coffee
in my life. Can’t stand it, but I start. This morning I ask
for my first cups. I get ready to down some caffeine. But I
can’t gets past he smell. So I have to do this with no help.
   We was up on that mountain, it was warm. But instead
of rain, those giant flakes of snow started falling from the
sky. We would finish getting to the top of the mountain to
see the deer. It wasn’t but a couple hours from the truck.
On the other side was a steep long drop.
   It went about three hundred yards, then faded into the
tree line. We were walking around looking for a place to
set up our hunting camp. We find a few rocks and hid
between them. We were tiered. Fatty and me were
speaking about good times, while we were making plans to
hunt. It started to get colder and the snow was sticking
more. There was some ice forming where the water from
the melting snow froze. Speaking of ice, never forgets the
time Fatty and I was ice fishing.
   We had no way to get through the ice. So we were using
the jack handle square main part, and were chopping
through the ice. Whens I told Fatty not to lose it. Bubbles
came up and it let out this blooping burping sound, as Fatty
lost it through the ice. Buts we had a small hole.
   The ice was thick on this lake, there was trout feeding
always was here. We had a big enough hole for most fish.
We would take turns. First Fatty hooks a nice one, about
ten inches. We bring up on the ice. It’s my turns now. We
both couldn’t fish. We lost the jack handle to break holes
through the ice. I feel a tug on the line and start to fight the
fish. The rod is bent down almost through the ice. I fought
that fish for a long time. It’s the biggest rainbow trout we
ever seen. But it wouldn’t fit through the hole and we
couldn’t get it.
   I was looking at the fish. Thinking what I could do, and
I hands the rod to Fatty to go get something to chop
through the ice. Fatty takes the rod, at the same time jumps
and stamps his feets hard. I could feels the ice sinks a bit.
Then he dids it again, and the ice went down another inch.
   Before I couldn’t get the words out to stop him. He was
only thinking of that fish. This time, the third, the ice
broke, first by sinking in a circle about ten feet a round us.
That ice broke up into smaller pieces and Fatty and me
went through, over our heads. This was some deep water.
   Fatty never let go of my rod. Even on the way down into
the water I saw him playing that fish. Rod tip held high
never giving that fish slack. As Fatty and I sunk, I saws
him reeling as fast as he could, to take up the extra line.
That fish was diving for the bottoms.
   Whens we both come up, Fatty has the rod above his
head. He was kicking his feet to keep above the water. It
was like he was on land or a boat, he didn’t care about
nothing, he was focused to getting da’t fish landed. Me I
didn’t care about that fish. I was swimming trying to lift
my self out of the water.
   It always amazed me how Shorty always knew. Shorty
as soon as Fatty jumped one times his tail went between his
legs and he ran about twenty feet back. He turned and
watches the entire thing. That dog had a sense about
things. If Fatty and me would have listened to him more
we’d been in a lot less trouble.
   Well you know Fatty gets the fish. He played that thing
like a fiddle. You could hear the sounds of the music in his
laugh. He loved it. By now Fatty had the fish in his hands
but was still in the water. There were a couple of people
that came running. Fatty held the fish up saying,
   “Big fish! Take it. Don’t drop it back in the water. The
hook came out.” Never once was worried about him self.
Fatty was like this. If he gotten focused to something to
eats, he was eatsing it. We get the fish up on the ice. It’s a
biggen. I grabs Fatty’s arm. But can’t drag him up on the
ice. I yell,
   “Shorty. Come here boy.” I didn’t needs to say athings
more. Shorty. That dog. Ran over and grabbed Fatty’s
arm, by his wet sleeve and we dragged him up on the ice.
Fatty lay there on his back, for a moment, catching his
breath, saying,
   “We need a fire.” I was already thinking this. We
gathered the wood. There was something in that darn old
dog, loved to do things for you. You could see his smile he
was so happy if you had some works for him. Somes
people could learn lots of pride from that dog.
    I was telling you how Fatty died. It was a strange day
with giant flakes of snow. They were falling all around us.
They were starting to sticks on everything. Fatty and me
was looking to the deer, starting to make they’re way into
our shooting ranges. But they stops. We dipped in to
hides. It was about an hour I guess. I saids to Fatty,
   “The snow is really starting to come downs hard. I
thinks we should leave.” Fatty had this look. That said
with out a deer. I knew he wasn’t leaving. He always had
to relate to how much money we spends to get here on gas,
time, and what he burned walking up the mountains and I
hears,
   “What? We aren’t leaving without a deer. Thinks
about.” I saids,
   “I already dids.” But for some reasons them deer. They
wouldn’t move towards us. We get there very early and
now it’s late noon. The snow was becoming steady, wet,
and was sticking to everything. I couldn’t even walk over
to Fatty. My boots would get so heavy with snow I
couldn’t lifts them. Then the next steps would sticks more
snow and you had to stop to knocks it from out boots. I
say,
   “Fatty we should gets out of here.” Fatty looked at the
deer, and said,
   “I was thinking, if we goes around the rocks here. Walks
around over on the lip, (he’s pointing), we coulds get close
enough for a shot.” I look to it. Was thinking this is when
Shorty would have his tail between his legs, if he was still
here. I’d see it running away. I wish Shorty were here
right now I’d follow him. I had bad feelings. I also knew
Fatty wasn’t leaving.
   This reminds me of the time whens we was fishing off
the rocks downs the shore. I tolds him the tide was coming
in and we hads to go. Shorty I still see his tails between his
legs. He was jumping from the last rocks to the beach. He
did this when he saw the last wave soaked us. He wasn’t
waiting around to sees no more. I say to Fatty,
   “We should get. The rocks will be under soon.” You
have to remember those rocks was green and slimy. When
we walks out the suns had dried them a bit. Now they were
getting wets again. I looked to Shorty sitting on the beach
and says,
   “Come on Fatty. We have to goes.” Fatty tooks a deep
breathe and says,
   “You now how far we drove to gets to the beach?” We
haven’t caught any fish yet. We can’t leave. You know the
fishes come in with the tides here.” I knew this to be true.
I thoughts about the last time here and we did catch some
big fish. But the waters were calm then. I looked out at the
breakers coming in and says,
   “Fatty. It was calmer thens.” Right then Fatty gets a hit
on his cuts bait. His drag starts screaming. We were both
fishing with two rods as always. Fatty’s other rod goes
screaming. Fatty yells to me,
   “Grabs my rod from the holder quick.” As he yells this
he has the one-rod in his hand. He reaches over setting the
hook on the other. Fatty has two rods bent with lines being
ripped from the reels. He yells leaning backs to me,
   “Quick takes this one.” He hands me the one-rod and we
both is in a battle. I forget all about the raising water and
get into fighting the fish. That’s when Fatty dose some
things I couldn’t believes. His fish broke the line. Got him
wrapped up in some rocks and he turns yelling at me,
   “Gives me that rod.” He pulls it from my hands. The
one he gives me, to fight the fish. We always if we hooked
two fish at the same time, the other would reels one in. I
looked at him dazed, and thens I saw it. We thoughts it
was a striper a big one. Then it jumped. We were fishing
off a beach in North Carolina. Some times really big things
swim in here. When it jumped I think Fatty and I lost
reality.
   I remember watching that Blue Marlins tail hopping
across the waters, and diving under. Fatty looked at me,
and back to the fish. I knew this was going to be a long
fight, if he had enough lines to fight it. It was heavy lines,
due to the rocks and a big bait-casting reel. But as I watch
the thing start to smoke from the run, the line goes limp.
Fatty you could see picks the tip high ands starts cracking.
But nothing, no weight of the fish, Fatty did get most of the
line back on the reel.
   I remembers his face whens he stopped reeling to face
me. That he had lost the fish. I felt badly for him. It was
likes a dog that hadn’t eaten in days, was standing next too
a store with glass windows, and it was filled to the tops
with pork chop bones. Then we sees that fish jumping right
next to us.
   It had made a run, then turned, and came all the ways
back to the beach. It was behind us. We were way out on
the rocks. Our feets was going under. The rocks were
covered to the beach with rollers going over them. Then
the rocks would show for a moment, than go under agains.
   Fatty starts spinning the reel handle like it was a twister
seed in the winds. He mades up the line, and I couldn’t
believe it. The fish had almost beached himself. That was
the key words, almosts. Fatty and me we didn’t expect for
what was going to happens next. Fatty was walking across
the rocks to gets to the beach. So he coulds fight the fish.
Then that fish like a bullet shot out of the air and started
swimmings down the beach. Fatty was standing on this
large flat rock and it was wet. When his rod starts to bend,
I see this like yesterday.
   When the rod starts to bend from the fish making its run,
Fatty leans into it. Putting the butt handle of the rod into
his guts. He shifts his weight back and his feet start to slide
on the rock. I yell,
   “Fatty loosens the drag.” He had the drag set for dry
rocks. But for wet rocks that drag was too tight. I watched
as he reached for it the drag to loosen it. That fish jerked
him hard towards the water, and I yell,
   “Fatty lets go of the rod.” I guess I should’ve yelled
something else. Like open the reel, let it free spool. No I
yelled let goes of the rod. By now you know Fatty. There
was no way this was going to happen. Then it happened.
Fatty was sliding off the rocks into the water. I guess he
thought the water wouldn’t be so deep, but it was over his
heads.
   I watched as that fish was swimming down the beach,
right along it. Fatty was on tops of the water, rod in front
of him, at times skipping across the waters. By now there
was all kinds of people had comes a running to see this.
What was happening? You couldn’t miss this fish leaping
from the water and flying into the air. It was a sight for
those that saw it. But the people didn’t see Fatty right
away, was the reason why it was leaping.
   After a bit I see people pointing at Fatty. He gots his feet
on sallower water, and he was standing. He starts to fights
the fish agains. I stood there for a moment on the slippery
rocks watching Fatty making his way, to knee-deep waters.
I was thinking. Glad he took the rod back. That fish
wasn’t worth it to me. No way I’d have done what he did.
   Well he fought that fish for the next couple hours. For
some reason it would make a runs out to sea. Then back to
land. This is the only reasons Fatty caught that fish. I
made my way off the rocks, to Shorty, and we runs down
the beach to help Fatty land that thing.
   It took as many people as was on the beach to land it.
We all tied a rope and drug it into the shallow waters. The
news was there, the game commission, police, boats was
out in the water watching. I think half that town watched
that fight live on TV, at least the end of it.
   It turns out was a world record for off the beach. We
never weighed it, we measured it and then Fatty did
something I have never seen him do. By the bill he takes
the fish and faces it towards the deeper water. He then
starts to walk it out to the sea. When deep enough he made
his way behind it. We all watched has he gets to the tail
and gives it a push to freedom. I have to admit my mouth
drops to the bottom of the ocean. I walked up to Fatty and
asked,
   “Why did you do that?” Fatty turned and looked back to
the fish as it tail swam it to the deeper waters. Once it saw
it was free that fish, it took one last leap for us to see.
What a great fish! Fatty still has his name in those record
books from that day.
   By the length of it they say it weighted over eleven
hundred pounds. I have never seen Fatty let anything go
that could be eaten. It didn’t matter what it was. It goes
back to when we was little. He even picked up the worms
and other bugs. He loved the way they tasted you could see
it. He would rub his big old belly, after swallowing one,
while grabbing for another worm.
   So I was talking about the last time anyone saws Fatty.
He was doing one of his stunts again. Walking around this
rock. It was not safe. I think back to that Marlin. Fatty
was right then. Like he always was. Like the time the fire
was burning on the field that day. I say,
   “Lets get out of here.” We was deer hunting, and Fatty
says,
   “We know that buck lives here. How long have we been
hunting?” Fatty asks and I say,
   “Years. But we don’t have to stay here with fire burning
all around us.” Fatty says,
   “That buck knows we is after it. I think it’ll be panicked
with this smoke and fire. It’s can’t run the other way
because of the lake. It has to come this way. We know he
is over there. We saw him go into the woods while we was
tracking him.” Fatty was making some sense. Due to we
were tracking him. That fire blew up fast and is blowing
our way. It wasn’t such a big fire. It was a grass fire more
than anything. I still wanted to get out of the smoke.
   It took about fifteen more minutes when the smoke was
at its thickest. That buck comes running towards us. Fatty
took aim with his bow. I see the arrow fly. With the
crackling of the fire around us, I don’t hear it hit the deer.
But I see it drop. It was a great short.
   Turns out to have forty-two points and was six foot
across the rack. It was the biggest buck ever shot in these
parts of the woods. It was a record buck in weight and
rack. Fatty had his picture taken with it. So far to this
point, Fatty has always been right. So I started walking
towards him. But that dams snow was sticking to my feets
and I asked,
   “So whats the plan?” Fatty nodded his head and said,
   “We walk around that bolder. We work our way along
the steep side of the mountain. So we don’t spook the deer.
Once we gets to the next bolder, we can hunts from there.
We will both have a shot.”
   There was about thirty doe and it sounded good to me.
Fatty goes and starts making his way down a bit on the
steep side of the mountain, to hides from the deer. I follow.
I still didn’t have good feelings. I had these feelings before
and Fatty always comes up on top. Like the time we was in
an eating contest.
   Fatty wanted to practice eating hotdogs for month
straight. I told him he didn’t have to do that. Fatty ate so
many hot dogs that month all the local stores were out of
them. Fatty says it was training. I say it was an excuse for
him to eats hotdogs. He loved them. So he eats the town
out of hotdogs.
   That day of the contest was here. We entered every year
and Fatty always lost to that same person, me. Fatty could
never eat more then me. I didn’t make such a big deal out
of eating like Fatty. Well this year it paid off for Fatty and
he won the championship. He ate three dogs more then me.
I could have eaten many more. I didn’t know that Fatty
wanted to win so bad and he gots himself a free years
supply of hotdogs. Heck we ate them over a fire in a
month.
   So we were walking around the rock. Now the winds
were coming from the steep side of the mountain. The
snow was blowing right at our backs and was sticking to us.
Fatty had snow from the top of his hat to the bottom of his
boots. Due to the snow being blown into our backs, it was
wet and heavy. I was covered the same.
   We made our way around the bolder and slipped down
behind the mountain. We are only looking over to see the
deer. I remember how the snow was still fallen as big
flakes. It became steadier and harder. When you look over
the mountain to the deer, it was strange. The snow would
lose its power of being blown by the winds, from the other
side, and they would cast themselves over the mountain.
They rained down so gentle and silent there. Behind us a
storm was brewing.
   The mountain on this one spot would deflect the winds
and it blew over the lee side of the mountain. Without a
ripple of it reaching down to where the deer are. I started
thinking. Those deer wasn’t feeding. They were finding a
spot to protect themselves from what was coming. I say to
Fatty,
   “Lets get out now! This isn’t good. I have bad
feelings.” Fatty looked at me and said,
   “I ain’t leaving without a deer. We are almost there.” I
watched as he turned to make his way from me to get his
shot. That would be the last words he would ever speak to
me. I wonder if Fatty could look back, if he would have
still taken that next step. I didn’t think through his own
blindness, he would see even the truth of this moment.
Even if he could see it before it happened.
   They are back to give me some more drugs. I tells them
no. I’m done and don’t need them. I only need to finish
this. Then they can give me more of those pain pills. They
can see I am hurting. Having trouble holding the pencil. I
use a pencil due to I have to erase some things, a couple of
times, and pens makes it really hard. I want to be able to
puts all in order so you understand.
   I watch as they inject the tubes running into my body
with some more things. The one person says,
   “I’ll be a sleep soon.” I didn’t listen to him. There was
no ways I was sleeping. So I watch as the one aid, she is
young, and has a gold bracelet. The gold reflects some
lights off it. I think back to the time we found a gold
nugget fishing for trout. We were in the mountains. This
time, Fatty sees something shinny and tells me his going to
dive for it. I watch as he kicks down and he comes up with
something in his hand. Fatty walks to the shore and takes a
looks at it saying,
   “I think I found gold!” I could hear in his voice he really
believed this. I walk over to him saying,
   “Yeah right.” You must know in North Carolina there is
gold and through the years some big nuggets have been
found. So I have to say my interest was high, but my mind
was thinking no way! I walk to Fatty and he holds up a
gold nugget. It weighed almost an ounce! That was it,
Fatty and me we sold it and brought us some gold mining
tools. We got gold fever.
   We would goes everyday for the next three months
looking for gold. Found another two ounces but we spent
more money digging for gold then the gold we found. We
couldn’t bends over anymore. So we stopped gold digging.
But you have to watch that yellow stuff. It will get you.
Fatty and me, we were obsessed with this for along time
and we wishes we would have saved that first nugget.
Never found another that big agains.
   I watch as they leave the room and I can get back to
writing. About how Fatty died. He was working his way
around that bolder. He made that. He slips out of sight and
spends another hour or so sneaking up around to the other
side. To where he has a shot at the deer, I could see him
leaning taking his bow. He released the arrow. Fatty lost
his balance and starts to stumble to grabs the bolder, buts
it’s too big. He can’t get a grip. He slips backwards. I
couldn’t do anything. I was to far away to help. Reminds
me of time we was picking raspberries.
   Fatty was working his way to the best of the bushes but
they were on a deep ledge with some sharp rocks. But
Fatty would always go up to that set and would get cut a
couple times. Fatty wasn’t good on steep ledges but he
always seemed to put him self on one. So Fatty was up on
that mountain releasing his arrow. I watched as his arrow
hit its marks. When I look back to Fatty, he’s trying to
keep from falling. He slips and I see him fall backwards
over his feet. He slams the ground behinds him and
bounces over.
   It had been snowing now for a long time. Wet and
heavy, when Fatty bounded over his back was packed with
snow. I thought that would be the end of it. He stopped.
Stood up and slipped down and started rolling. On the first
couple of rolls that snow was flying off him. He would roll
agains. It was a few flops befores the snow started to sticks
to him. It wasn’t like he looked like a snowball that was
building. It wasn’t that way. He rolled a few times and the
snow started to stick to him. The more he rolled, the
rounder he became. He started rolling faster.
   At first to me it was funny. I didn’t think he’d get hurt.
It wasn’t like it was really steep or a rocky cliff. It was a
long steep hill covered in wet snow. As Fatty rolled down
the hill further, like I says it wasn’t a ball. More like a
wheel. As he rolled it picked up the snow under him. I
was watching how as the wheel gets bigger, it picked up all
the snow down to the ground. That’s when I knew this
might not turn out so great for us or Fatty.
   I take a couple steps to starts running after him. He was
picking up so much speed at this moment I froze. I
watched him roll all the way down the mountain.
Bouncing a couple times off the ground with the shape of
the land. He kept rolling until he hit the tree line. He
didn’t even hit any trees. He rolled into the woods and out
of sight. I was taken a few steps down the mountain
towards to where I last saw Fatty, rolling away, and it
started to snow likes never before.
   It was a total white out. Couldn’t see a thing. I tried to
gets to Fatty but I knew the best way down would be from
the other side of the valley. It would be a hard long walk to
him this way. So I start to run backs to the truck. To go to
try to find out where Fatty had rolled.
   By foot it was only about two hours to the car. But I was
flying. My feets didn’t even touch the ground. I half slide
down the mountain on my sides and hips. I was really
worried about Fatty. I thought he might have hit a tree and
was hurt badly. Then I even laughed a bit. I thought back
to the kids teasing Fatty that day, that if he fell down a hill
he’d roll away. How ironic. I thought the tree was the
thing that would be hurt if he hit a tree. At the rate he was
rolling away he’d knock it right over.
   I make it back to the truck and I go into town to get
helps. I was running up to the police saying,
   “My friend rolled away in a snow wheel!” That cop told
me calm down. But he wasn’t in a hurry and I say,
   “You don’t understand. My friend Fatty was standing up
on Hazards point, when he fell off the long steep side.”
The cop said,
   “Really?” I say grabbing his hand,
   “Go get some help! I’m heading to the foot of the hills
to look for him.” I started driving my car to where I
thought Fatty would be. The closest I could get is whens I
come to the road. The snow is really coming down in cats
and dogs. There’s even some lightning and thunder with
this storm. The winds had to be blowing a steady fifty
miles an hour. I knew if we didn’t find Fatty fast he might
not make it. I was wishing he would hit something hard
enough to knocks him out of the snow he was rolling in.
So he could catch a breath.
   When I get down to the spot on the road where I thinks
he should be, there is a path. It was about eight feet wide
where the snow was removed from the road. I park the car
and run to where I see this. I look up the hill through the
trees. I can see Fatty’s path all the way out of sight up
from where he rolled.
   I run to the other sides of the road and the path continues
right out of sight again. I start to run in his tracks to try to
find out where he went. When I get up to the edge of the
mountain there’s a drop off. Then there’s about a thirty-
foot drop to the lake.
   I can’t see the lake from here. But I know Fatty made it
to it. The lake was frozen and had been for a couple weeks.
I run to another spots so I can see the lake. There I see a
big hole in the ice, but no Fatty.
   By now the town was gathering for a rescue and there
was sirens and voices yelling everywhere. I already knew
what happened. Fatty broke under the ice when he hit the
lake, and was drug off under it by the waters current. The
whole town made it down to the water and started looking
for Fatty. They even had some divers come in and search
the next day for him. Fatty was never seen again.
   Those dam doctors are here to gives me some more
shots. I don’t say anything to them this time. Where was I.
Oh yeah about when Fatty and me went bass fishing, Fatty
caught the state record that day. Those drugs seem to be
taking effect. I can feel my eyes closing. Speaking of eyes
closing did I ever tell you about how Fatty hit the longest
homerun in our town.
   I lay my pencil on the papers and close my eyes. I see
Fatty that day we walked the streams catching sunfish, they
was big for sunfish. Oh yeah what about the time we was
collecting mushrooms and ate a bad one, we both ended up
in the hospital that day. I want to keep writing I have so
much more to say.
   I already now if my close they will never open again. I
only hope if this happens, the next thing I see is Fatty
giving me a hugs, and Shorty licking my face. Hope you
like hearing about my friends. I hope they are your friends
now. This way our friendship will never ends. If you carry
us in your heart, that means we last forever. Fatty, Shorty
and me, we had some good times. I put the pencil down
knowing I may never pick it up again. I want to. See this
paper in the morning so my story of my friends is not over.
I don’t want this to be the final chapter. I am not ready to
say goodbye to this world.
   I only wish you could have been there for some of the
times we had. I’m sure you would have laughed and cried.
Like the time Fatty and me went small mouth bass fishing.
Fatty hooked two five pounders one on the front hook of
his lure and one on the backs hook. I remember thinking it
was a world record, for one fish ten pounds would have
been. But two fish on one hook was no record. Fatty had
all the lucks fishing. If you could have seen what we saw,
and what we did, how we lived, and died. Fatty, Shorty
and me, we had a great time!
   Hi, I’m the doctor that helped Skinny in his last days. I
was asked by him to be sure to share this with everyone.
Skinny was such a great guy. I did my best. I took his
hand written papers. I tried keeping the words the way
Skinny wrote them. Skinny had this raw quality that was
him. This is why his writing is not edited. I handed his
hand written scrip to many publishers but none would print
it. So I paid for it to be printed out of my own money. It
meant so much to Skinny that all this was on paper so
people could see it.
   Skinny brought so many smiles to everyone here. We
didn’t want to see those smiles die with him. Skinny
should have died two years ago or so, but he had to do this
book. I never saw any steady the way he did to be able to
write something down. The first weeks he asked all here
for help in writing. He only finished a couple sentences the
first month. We never thought he was serous about
finishing this book.
   Skinny asked me one favor. He never asked for
anything, not one time the entire time I knew him. He only
wanted me to be sure, that this book was put in the right
hands. That someday if people wanted to they could read
about him. Skinny wanted all to know he was cremated
and his ashes where spread, at the lake, near where Shorty
his dog as buried. But more his ashes are spread also near
where Fatty rolled into the lake on that faithful day.
   I think for me it was shocking. Skinny had no friends
really but Fatty and Shorty. No one came to see Skinny the
entire time he was with us. When I was scattering his ashes
over the water, I heard a bark. I look to my side, against a
tree. There was a little puppy. The puppy was a yellow
lab, about three weeks of age. It was looking to where I
spread the Skinny’s ashes. When I look to where the dog
was looking, I thought I saw Fatty. He walked over to the
puppy and picked it up.
   When I look again, Skinny was with them all. For me I
thought I was seeing things. But when I saw Skinny lay his
pencil on the ground, on top of Shorts grave, I knew he was
there to say goodbye. But I had the strongest feelings he
wasn’t saying goodbye to me at all. Skinny was saying hi
to his lost friends. I am sure this is what I saw that day, all
of them together again, laughing and smiling.
   I went back to work that night was on call. And I knew I
was a better person not for knowing Fatty and Skinny and
their dog, but for only knowing they had walked this land,
and I knew of them. This is what made me a better person.
I live more know than I have ever lived. I see each person
in my life and I want him or her to be sure they know I love
them. I take less for granite only due to when I knew
Skinny this was his biggest wish. That he knew how
special all those times had been way back when, back then.
So I take a moment in my life everyday, so I can be sure to
tell all in my life, they are this, special.
   Everyone had seen the change in my life. From work to
home, all saw I cared more than I had before. Like Skinny
says, I was a better man because I read this book, and got to
know them all as they had lived and died. I think we can
all learn something in life from these two guys. Had more
money than God, and they never brought a new car, a new
home. Between then they only had five pairs of pants.
They gave away more money then anyone else that ever
lived. And through this all when they went broke on them
crawdads, they never asked for a penny to help them.
   I wanted to say thank you for a moment Skinny. Thank
you for coming into all of our lives at the hospital. We
walk different. We appreciate life, and with out you, we
were all only living. When I think of Skinny I feel alive,
not many people in life can make you feel this way. I know
in my heart, seeing them that day I spread the ashes. That
Skinny has his heaven. They are all with each other, and I
hope they are never apart again.



                                       The End
                                       Written by Ekim

				
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posted:11/13/2011
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