Boys Being Men

Boys Being Men
By T. Delaplain

Dear Momma,
I’ll send home my pay when we gets to town again. Mighty hard for Dad to keep food on the table when he’s got his head in a bottle and his fists up.
The Army camp ain’t bad and the chow is good. I spend half my time green breaking and the other half picking wounded soldiers outta the dirt. I save the dead broke mounts for the guys who’ll listen but I can always find a nasty green broke mare for the others. I reckon it ain’t Christian but it makes for some great stories.

Photo credit to Nathan Sowers
My Dad was 14 years old when he left school to work. He kept his family of 12 fed with meager pay as a Calvery horse whisperer. A green broke horse means that they’ll accept a saddle, on a good day. Dead broke means, the horse accepts a saddle and in general is bomb proof. Many a story came out of those days of working for the Army. An arrogant city slicker rarely got the best of a smart ass Montana boy.

Saddle up and write a 100 word tale at Friday Fictioneers.

58 thoughts on “Boys Being Men

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  1. Dear Tracey,

    How happy I am that this photo lured you back to the FFFold. There’s a whole back story in the first two lines. Thank you for the explanation or I’d still be scratching my head. The voice sets the stage. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Mighty hard for Dad to keep food on the table when he’s got his head in a bottle and his fists up.” What a great sentence! You tell us so much about the youth and his family background with those few words. Nice story, and I like that you’ve told it in letter form.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tried to comment on your FF post but your site wouldn’t allow me to comment. I’m using an iPad so I think your theme is not mobile compatible. That can be a problem obviously. It also loads slowly and the pages jump around when I try to comment. A different theme might be better. It could be my device but I’m not having trouble on anyone else’s blog.


  3. Great local color. You captured a time and place and difficult situation in a down to earth voice. The vernacular helped us see the trials of his work and his family’s plight. A plain spken voice gets the job done in 100 words!

    Enjoyed hearing from a “snowbird. “. We get plenty here in FL!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent piece, Tracey. I love those old stories. My great grandfather passes a few to my dad about his time in the Civil War. Lice was a huge problem. At night the soldiers would remove their clothing and hold them in the smoke above a fire. The dropping lice popped like popcorn. However, I’m sure it was only temporary relieve from the infestation they all suffered.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the voice you used and the letter form. Nicely done! I also enjoyed the explanation “green broke” and “dead broke.” Thank you for sharing a bit of your family history. Your dad’s to be admired in supporting his large family at such a young age. =)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the story, and especially the personal one. My Dad was 12 when his father was killed. He took over the role and raised his siblings and tended the tobacco farm. Later, he became a semi-driver, and drove the Canada run until he stroked out behind the wheel one snowy November day. I’m told I have his fierce determination.


      1. Thank you, Tracey. Sorry so long in replying. It’s been hectic here, and had to replace my computer twice in one week. Check out my write this week and scroll down to our new family addition. 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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