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Has to be summer when lizards carry canteens

Slim RandlesHome Country
To The Desert Independent

July 8, 2020

“You know it has to be summer,” said Dud, “when you see lizards carrying canteens.”

There were nods of agreement going on around the round table at the Mule Barn coffee shop.

“Puts me in mind,” said Herb, “of that summer back in ’74. You remember that one?”

Everyone but Dud nodded. In 1974, Dud wasn’t yet a twinkle of his parents’ eyes.

“Fried an egg on the hood of Doc’s car, we did,” said Herb, grinning. “Sunny side up, right, Doc?”

“That’s right,” Doc said, “but I wish you had asked me first. See, you boys didn’t put any grease on the hood and I thought I’d never get all that egg off.”

“Didn’t taste so pretty good either,” said Steve. “Herb forgot the salt, and it just … well, it just didn’t taste much like an egg. Tasted like someone fried it up on a car hood. But I sure do remember it being hot that day.”

“How hot was it, Steve?” asked Dud.

“’Bout a hundred forty I’ll bet,” said our resident working cowboy with the walrus moustache.

“Never been that hot here,” said Dud.

“Talkin’ ‘bout the hood of that car,” Steve said.

In this group, the first liar doesn’t stand a chance.

“For me,” Herb said, “I’ll never forget when it got so hot that little kids dressed up like fire hydrants and sat still, hoping a dog’d come by.”

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"Home Country" columnist Slim Randles won three regional book awards for the two books he wrote in 2014. "Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing" won for best how-to book and best cover design at the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards in Albuquerque. Randles lives in Albuquerque and has a dozen books currently in print.

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