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There’s nothing to burn on Baldy Rock

Home Country
To The Desert Independent

April 8, 2020

April First … clear wonderful morning … members of the world dilemma think tank down at the Mule Barn coffee shop looked around.

“Anyone seen Dud this morning?”

“Not me. Haven’t seen Herb, either, come to think of it.”

“Hey, that’s right,” Steve said. “Matter of fact, haven’t seen much of those two all this past week.”

“Working, you think?” said Doc.

“Those two?”

“Yeah. What was I thinking?”

They were quiet through the sweet rolls and Steve’s hash browns.

“Last time I talked with them,” Doc said, “they were scheming something for April Fools Day. Wonder if they came up with something.”

The sirens got them up from the coffee and to the front window in time to see the village fire truck go screaming past toward the mountains. Steve went outside and got his binoculars out of the truck.

“Baldy Rock’s on fire!” he yelled. Sure enough, black smoke was pouring from the top of Baldy Rock, some ten miles or so to the northwest.

“You know,” said Doc. “There’s nothing to burn on Baldy Rock.”

“That’s right. Let’s go!”

The fire truck got there first, of course, up the winding little trail that would handle a fire truck if the driver was optimistic and a little dumb. The firemen were hosing down a burning pile of dead tires in the middle of the summit.

The fire chief was muttering to himself about April First, old ladies who had telephones, and a critical lack of coffee.

“What happened?” Doc asked.

“Got two calls about the same time this morning from a couple of old ladies who said a volcano was erupting.”

Doc turned to Steve. “Might as well go back to the Mule Barn and finish our breakfast. Might even find Dud and Herb there. In fact, I’d bet on it.”

Brought to you by A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing up Right, check it out at

"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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