Not so long ago, I was one of the best duelers in the West. At least I was in my mind. Granted, I’ve never actually been there. For me, the West was at my grandparents’ house. There I fought many a battle. My granddaddy often played the villain in our imaginary town, and I was the sheriff. We would fight for the title of “Quickest Draw in the West.”
“This town ain’t big enough for the both of us,” someone would say. “I challenge you to a duel!”
Granddaddy would count out “One, two, three,” and yell, “Now draw!” We both would respond with a loud, “Bang!” as we pointed our weapons (fingers, random objects and of course toy guns).
“Oh you got me!” one of us would yell.
Sometimes Granddaddy would draw first and get me. More often than not, I got him, because I was the quickest draw. Or at least he let me think I was. Dramatics would ensue with his death drop. And oh what a drop Granddaddy could do. He always managed to fall into his favorite chair. Some days he played possum, and would jump up saying I missed him. The duel would have to start anew. After checking to see if he was really gone, I would gallop off into the sunset (actually the kitchen) on my faithful steed Widow Maker.
Now Widow Maker was no ordinary horse. For one thing, she had the head of a horse and the body of a broom. You know those old school stick horses. Nonetheless, I loved Widow Maker to death. Granddaddy would share tales of all the riders Widow Maker took down. She turned many a wife into a widow. Only I was able to calm Widow Maker enough to ride her.
It’s funny how I should think of Widow Maker and those duels after all these years. That was well before my brother was born. I probably was 5 or 6 at the most. Just today, my mom sent me a text message asking if I remembered Widow Maker. Indeed I did. Those fun times with Granddaddy and Widow Maker first came back to my mind on Sunday. While leaving the library, I noticed someone had this giant rocking horse on the back of a truck. Immediately I thought of Widow Maker, Granddaddy and those duels.
These days, I don’t find myself in many duels. My best dueling opponent ever has gone to Heaven. And Widow Maker has long since gone out to pasture. Actually, I think my granny took her to the glue factory. She didn’t like Widow Maker for some reason. Once while cleaning up the house, Granny told Widow Maker to get her behind out the way (in not such nice terms).
I’ll always have the precious memories of my dueling days. And the title of “Quickest Draw in the West.” Don’t believe me? In the words of yesterday, “I challenge you to a duel! One, two, three. Now draw. Bang!”