Cowpies and Firecrackers

    Fireworks made cheap and abundant entertainment for husband Hank when he was a boy, shortly after the close of World War II when wartime prohibitions ended.

    Here’s one of his stories:

    “Cousin John and I would ride our bikes to the nearest fireworks stand and compete to see who could buy the most fireworks for five dollars. That usually meant large packages of medium-sized firecrackers. Then we’d cooperate in finding different and interesting ways to enjoy our purchases.

    “We liked to place an empty two pound coffee can upside down over a firecracker with the fuse sticking out. We’d light the fuse with a punk and when the firecracker exploded, we watched the can fly eight to ten feet into the air. With each explosion, the bottom of the can pushed out a little more, until the can was rounded on the bottom like a bowl.

    “John, Aunt Myra, Uncle Bing, and cousins Jean and Judy lived in a little house on Grandpa Husby’s place. Grandpa had about two acres of pasture for his cows. July brought plenty of fresh grass, and with all that fresh grass for feed, the cows produced an abundance of cow pies.

    “So John and I thought, why not put a firecracker in a fresh cow pie, light it and run? We’d be far away when the cow pie exploded. This worked fine. We whooped and laughed at the mayhem we were creating.

    “John had just lit one more firecracker and turned to run when a charley horse seized him. He grabbed his leg and yowled. Fortunately, his back was to the cow pie. Ka-blam! The firecracker exploded. The cow pie splattered all over John. I bent double, laughing.

    “As John limped up to their house with me as moral support, Aunt Myra met us at the back door and handed out a fresh set of clothes to her son. She said, “You’re not coming in here until you clean up.” She pointed to the outside water hose.

    “I helped by hosing his back. When John was clean as possible under the circumstances, he changed his clothes in the outhouse, which was attached to the back porch.

    “John and I found something else to do for the rest of the afternoon.”

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