Dust Unto Prairie Dust

Today, I let my imagination run wild over some of the photos I took in beautiful Montana. Bear with me while I make up the silliest story possible to go with my photos.

Dust Unto Prairie Dust

A man and his wife and their adult son lived way out in the prairies. And I mean WAY out. The lonely house stood sheltered by Russian olive trees which acted as windbreaks to slow down the constantly blowing prairie wind and eased the blast of the winter blizzards.

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The farmer and his son went out to work the land one day. To take the boredom out of the job, they made a bet as to who would last the longest without stopping.

The son wanted nothing more than to show his father that he was tough and could outlast his old man.

The father wanted nothing more than to show the young whippersnapper who still wore the pants in the family (which was odd because they were both wearing pants).

They each hitched up a horse to their two-wheeled ploughs and sat on the metal seat. The blades underneath turned over the soil while they urged the horses on to drag the contraptions around the fields. The early morning chill soon steamed off them as the sun rose higher in the sky. The young man had ploughed faster than his father but not as deeply. Perhaps it was the extra weight of the father’s beer belly that caused the blade to sink deeper into the ground.Whatever the reason, both horses were sweating: one with having to go so fast and the other with having to pull harder through the soil.

Under the noonday sun, the father’s face become redder. Beads of sweat collected on his forehead and soaked into the collar of his shirt. The young man had hardly broken out in a sweat. The only sign of him tiring was when he wiped his hands on his jeans now and then before gripping the reins tighter.

When they were nearly getting heatstroke and the horses were puffing and blowing, the father was about to give in. After all, he had proven himself over the years and he was tired of this juvenile game. He’d like to go home and have a cool beer and a slice of homemade bread with butter.

“Okay, you win,” he called to his son.

“I know,” the little snot called back. “I’ll race you back to the house.”

They snapped the reins on the horses’ backs and took off with the blades raised up. Heading back towards the house, the horses were dying for a drink of water and, given free rein, naturally, they took off “like a horse to the barn.” Did they care that they had a plough hitched to them as they stepped down into a drainage ditch and back up the other side? No, they did not. Father and son flew off the plough seats and landed in a heap of rocks. The horses had a drink of water from the ditch by the side of the road and then munched grass all the way home.

Seeing the horses in the yard, the wife came out to the fields looking for her two fools. When she found them dead, she pulled out a gently used hankie and dabbed a few tears away. She stopped short and sniffed as a revelation came to her. She was free! She piled the stones over their dead bodies and ran home to pack her suitcase. She coaxed one of the tired horses to take her to the train station. Then she boarded the train and got the hell out of Dodge.

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The grass grew high around the gateposts but nobody cared because there was no one to care for miles around. No one lived there anymore, no one came to visit, and no one had a car or truck anyway. And certainly no one had a lawnmower.

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Years later, the postlady still comes to deliver the mail. Way in the distance comes her car, but she always drives past the yellow house and its weird mailbox leaving the same thing every time – just a cloud of lonely prairie dust.

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22 thoughts on “Dust Unto Prairie Dust

  1. Nice plot twist! Great pictures, those old, abandoned houses just cry out for a story. I always thought of those plows as the chariots of the plains. They were conquerors of a sort. Thanks, Anneli. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can! I find that the photos often inspire me to wonder what really happened but I try not to inflict silly stories on my blogging friends too often. Once in a while, just for fun, I enjoy a bit of a spoof. You’re a good writer, Lori. You should try it just for fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I did not feel a sense of “silly story” just some excellent storytelling skills, Anneli. I love looking at photos or see settings and imagine stories to say about “why?” or “how” things became in such disarray. I also liked the story’s ending, one of triumph instead of sorrow. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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